As an extension of its commitment to St. Louis and its community and sports franchises, Hardee’s has purchased the naming rights to the Summit Center ice arena in Chesterfield, Missouri. The facility will be renamed the Hardee’s Iceplex. Local civic officials, prominent members of the St. Louis hockey community and representatives from Hardee’s and The Summit Center made the official announcement at a press conference, hosted at Hardee’s Iceplex, on Tuesday, February 19, at 10:30 a.m.

Hardee’s and Summit Center officials are in the process of working with the St. Louis Area Regional Abduction Alert (S.A.R.A.A.) program (a division of the statewide A.M.B.E.R. Alert program) to use the facility’s soon-to-be-built outdoor LED sign to display S.A.R.A.A. alerts.

“We anticipate that Hardee’s new S.A.R.A.A. Alert sign will really enhance the A.M.B.E.R. Alert program overall,” says Chief Terry Milam of the St. John Police Department. “The sign is in such a high-traffic area that we think it will not only help spread the word faster, it also will in turn help the S.A.R.A.A. program work more effectively and efficiently.”

The new Hardee’s Iceplex sign, which will be highly visible from a busy stretch of Highway 40 once it is completed, will be the first privately-funded S.A.R.A.A. sign in the area.

“The partnership with the Summit Center is a natural fit as Hardee’s has always been an avid supporter of local sports,” says Hardee’s President and CEO, Andy Puzder. “We are also thrilled to partner with the S.A.R.A.A. Alert program to broadcast their important messages to the regional area.”

The A.M.B.E.R. Alert Plan is a function of Emergency Alert System (EAS) in Missouri and is a voluntary partnership between law enforcement and radio and television broadcasters to alert the public through emergency broadcasts when a child has been abducted. The Plan is an effort to help local law-enforcement more quickly recover abducted children and apprehend the suspect. Under Governor Matt Blunt’s leadership, the EAS has been upgraded and Missouri now has the equipment needed to transmit A.M.B.E.R. Alerts from EAS directly to broadcast news organizations within five minutes.

“I am committed to making Missouri as safe as possible for all citizens. The A.M.B.E.R. Alert network in particular has proven successful in saving lives, catching criminals and returning children safely to their families,” said Missouri Governor Blunt. “I commend the concern and action of good corporate citizens like Hardee’s who are joining our state and law enforcement officials to help ensure the safety of our children.”

“Our facility is very excited about the extraordinary impact this new partnership can have on youth sports and tourism in St. Louis,” says Lloyd Ney, General Manager of The Summit Center. “With the immediate credibility that the Hardee’s Iceplex name will bring our business, we will now have a unique advantage in bringing national events to our facility.”

One of the largest ice facilities in the Midwest, the new Hardee’s Iceplex is the venue of choice for many prominent national tournaments, with over 700,000 people expected to come through its doors in 2008. The arena is home to the Chesterfield Hockey Association and the St. Louis Amateur Blues, and also plays host to the St. Louis Bandits, as well as a number of key scouting events for the NHL.

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