SBD/January 2, 2014/Facilities

Baylor Honors Drayton McLane By Renaming New Football Stadium After Him

Baylor Univ.’s new on-campus football stadium "will be named McLane Stadium" after former Astros Owner Drayton McLane Jr. and his family, according to Regina Dennis of the WACO TRIBUNE-HERALD. The McLane family, who in March '12, provided the lead donation of $260M for the project and was "granted naming rights for the facility." It chose the name Baylor Stadium, preferring "for the spotlight to remain on the university and the football program." However, BU Regent Chair Richard Willis in a statement said that the decision to change the name "was made to honor the family for their continued support of the university and advancing the idea of an on-campus stadium." McLane, a BU alum, said that BU officials and regents have "lobbied him to change the stadium’s name since July 2012, about the time the regents formally approved the project." He said that they "argued that having the stadium branded with a family name -- such as one with three generations of Texas business leaders like the McLane family -- would boost the long-term appeal for the facility." Dennis reported since McLane’s initial gift, BU has surpassed $125M in "private gifts and pledges for the project," as well as $35M in "public funds from the city of Waco." Another $100M in "athletics revenue is to cover the remaining costs of the stadium" (WACO TRIBUNE-HERALD, 12/31).

FITTING HONOR: A WACO TRIBUNE-HERALD editorial states the "deserving honor" of naming the stadium after McLane goes beyond the fact he "gave the lead gift” for the project. The editorial: “This newspaper concurs with [the] regents’ decision, if only because of what Baylor -- and the newly dubbed McLane Stadium -- have meant and will continue to mean for all Waco and Central Texas.” McLane was “touting the idea of an on-campus stadium back when many of us dismissed the notion as appealing but still a pipe dream.” In many ways, the change “will help reshape perceptions by the broader public about our city -- and given some of our past, that’s only for the better” (WACO TRIBUNE-HERALD, 1/2).
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