College Football Facility Notes: FAU Still Looking For Naming-Rights Sponsor
In Ft. Lauderdale, Ted Hutton reported Florida Atlantic Univ. has not announced a naming-rights partner for its new football stadium "less than two weeks from opening day." FAU AD Craig Angelos said, “I haven't given up on getting it named this year.” FAU has budgeted “$400,000 per year for those naming rights, so [the school] will need to get revenue from someplace else if a buyer is not found.” Hutton noted where FAU “has done best is at the lower-priced naming opportunities.” Two of the concourses “have been sold for $250,000 each, as have the President's Suite and FAU's locker room” (South Florida SUN-SENTINEL, 10/6).
KEEPING THE CHARM: In L.A., Bill Dwyre noted the Rose Bowl “has committed $152 million” to a three-year project to update the stadium. Improvements will be made to “widen the access tunnels; enlarge the press-box area for more luxury suites, club seats and loge boxes; add scoreboards; and widen concourse areas.” Seating sections will “be divided for easier entrance and departure.” But Dwyre noted, “The look, feel and charm of the Rose Bowl will be kept intact.” Rose Bowl CEO & GM Darryl Dunn said that he has “watched other stadiums come to their demise and knew that a project was needed.” Dunn: "It was clear that you can't just sit on your hands. That time will catch up to you" (L.A. TIMES, 10/6).
LEGION FIELD FACELIFT: In Alabama, Joseph Bryant reports “work is under way” at Legion Field “to install new covered seating just weeks before the Magic City Classic.” The annual matchup between Alabama A&M and Alabama State “draws 60,000 to 70,000 inside the stadium and thousands more outside.” Birmingham Mayor William Bell said that the seating upgrade “is part of an effort to make the 84-year old stadium palatable to tenants, including the Classic, the BBVA Compass Bowl and the Southwestern Athletic Conference championship.” Terry Burney, a senior aide to Mayor Bell, said that the city expects “to spend between $400,000 and $500,000 for the total project” (BIRMINGHAM NEWS, 10/7). Meanwhile, SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL's Don Muret reports Alabama State is "building a new football stadium on campus, a key piece of the school’s long-range plan to become the first historically black college to compete" at the FBS level (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 10/3 issue).
BETTER LATE THAN NEVER: In Memphis, Marlon Morgan noted the Univ. of Memphis's Elma Roane Fieldhouse renovations, “complete with brand new locker rooms for the women's basketball and volleyball teams, a players lounge area and a team meeting room” are done, but “took longer than expected.” Phase 1 of the fieldhouse renovations is complete “a year later than what was originally hoped for.” Plans for Phase 2, “which will include a training room and a weight room, are being finalized.” UM Associate AD for Compliance & Senior Women’s Administrator Lynne Parkes said that the "final cost was about $1 million." She added that she hopes “to have it completed by the fall of 2012 but no firm timetable has been set” (Memphis COMMERCIAL APPEAL, 10/3).