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SBD/February 17, 2012/Facilities
Published February 17, 2012
END OF A LONG ERA: In London, Rory Tolson notes the name of St. James' Park was removed from the walls outside EPL club Newcastle United's stadium Thursday, marking the "end of 120 years' history." The club announced in November that the stadium would be "rebranded the Sports Direct Arena," and declared that it was a "temporary sponsorship deal with another company belonging to Mike Ashley, the club owner, with a view to securing a more permanent naming-rights deal." Ashley has said that a naming-rights deal, "along with a shirt sponsor to replace Virgin Money at the end of the season, could generate up to" US$15.8M a year in extra income for the club (LONDON TIMES, 2/17).
NEW NAMES IN TOWN: The new Player Development Center for Univ. of Michigan basketball teams will be "named in honor of late Pistons owner William Davidson." Davidson had been a "significant donor to the university over the years." The William Davidson Foundation "recently provided a gift of" $7.5M in support of Michigan athletics (DETROIT NEWS, 2/17). Meanwhile, Indiana Univ. will name its new baseball facility Bart Kaufman Field in honor of a major gift to IU Athletics from Indianapolis-based Kaufman Financial Corp. Chair & CEO Bart Kaufman (IU).