Car deal: Livent names B’way site Ford Center

NEW YORK — Garth H. Drabinsky’s 1,839-seat theater, under construction on 42nd Street, will be called the Ford Center for the Performing Arts, with the Ford Motor Co. making a large payment to the Toronto-based producer’s company, Livent Inc., in order to see its name grace the Great White Way.

In keeping with Broadway’s recent branding efforts, the Ford name and logo will be prominently displayed on the new theater’s marquee, though the auto giant will play no role in the business of the theater.

The news was announced by Drabinsky and Ford Motor Co. VP-G.M. Ross Roberts at a press conference here Tuesday. The execs declined to disclose how much Ford is paying, saying only that it is significant and will be paid over several years.

The new theater is skedded to be completed in time for the Broadway premiere of its first show, Livent’s musical “Ragtime,” beginning previews this December.

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