ST. LOUIS, Mo.–Stifel (STEE-full) Financial Corp. has entered into a 10-year building naming-rights agreement to rename Peabody Opera House as Stifel Theatre.”  The partnership, which further solidifies the historic entertainment venue’s status in downtown St. Louis, is an extension of Stifel Financial Corp.’s more than 125-year history of civic spirit and leadership in St. Louis.
Stifel Theatre was restored and is operated by a joint venture made up of Chris McKee, Joe McKee, and the St. Louis Blues ownership group, headed by Blues Chairman Tom Stillman. Chris McKee is Principal and Chief Development Officer of CRG. Joe McKee is CEO of Paric Corporation.
“In July 2010, we stood in the dust-covered lobby of the former Kiel Opera House and announced our plans for renovating and reopening this beautiful venue. On that day, we made a commitment to our community to bring life back to this part of Market Street. Eight years later, having hosted more than 500 events in our main theater and welcoming more than one million guests, 1400 Market Street has become a vibrant part of downtown. We are excited Stifel is making a meaningful and long-term investment to continue moving us forward into the next 10 years,” said Chris McKee.
“Having two staples of our community come together for this agreement is a big moment for everyone who loves and believes in St. Louis,” said Chris Zimmerman, who serves as President and CEO of the St. Louis Blues, Enterprise Center and Stifel Theatre. “Stifel Financial Corp. has shown an incredible level of commitment to the St. Louis community during more than a century of operation here, and this is yet another example of its efforts to cultivate economic growth for our urban core and make our downtown one of the premier entertainment destinations in the Midwest.”
“We would very much like to thank Peabody, which has its global headquarters in St. Louis and has been an essential part of bringing a historic building back to life through its naming-rights sponsorship.  We are also pleased that Peabody has cheerfully agreed to continue to take part in sponsorship activities both at the theatre and Enterprise Center as part of its community involvement initiatives,” added Zimmerman.
“Stifel’s roots in downtown St. Louis date back to 1890, and we’re excited to lend our name to another local institution through our sponsorship of the Stifel Theatre,” said Ron Kruszewski, Chairman and CEO of Stifel.  “The Stifel Theatre is an icon in our region, and much like Stifel, it has played a major role in the revitalization of downtown.  We view this partnership as the ideal way to support our community while reinforcing the Stifel brand.”
Originally opened in 1934 as Kiel Opera House, the venue’s stage has hosted many of the greatest performers in history, including Frank Sinatra, Ray Charles, Bob Dylan and the Rolling Stones. In 2010, the venue underwent a $78.7 million renovation.  The project paid tribute to the building’s intrinsic value by reviving the original décor and architecture while modernizing it with state-of-the-art upgrades. On Oct. 1, 2011, the building re-opened as Peabody Opera House with a Grand Opening Gala, featuring Jay Leno and Aretha Franklin.  The revitalized venue has continued its tradition of attracting prominent entertainment acts and shows to downtown St. Louis, including Chris Rock, Willie Nelson, The Book of Mormon, Roger Daltrey, Blue Man Group and Oprah’s Lifeclass.

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