UNCC Names Field At New On-Campus Stadium After Hugh McColl, Jerry Richardson
The Univ. of North Carolina-Charlotte yesterday announced the field at its new on-campus stadium set to be completed in '12 will be named McColl-Richardson Field as donations to the school were made by former Bank of America Chair & COO Hugh McColl and NFL Panthers Owner Jerry Richardson. The 15,000-seat stadium will open when UNCC's football program begins play in '13 (UNCC). In Charlotte, Erik Spanberg reported neither UNCC nor McColl or Richardson "disclosed the amount of the donation." UNCC AD Judy Rose said that the donation is "'significant' and would go a long way toward reaching the goal of generating $2.5 million in contributions for field naming rights." While a proposed $5M fee "to put a corporate or donor name on the stadium will have a limited shelf life, the McColl-Richardson name will be permanent" (BIZJOURNALS.com, 11/1). Rose said, "With their names going on the field, other (potential sponsors) will say, 'Gosh, look at the names they have associated with this school.' They add tremendous value and credibility to our program" (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 11/2). Rose said UNCC did not want to put the names of McColl and Richardson on the stadium because that “will be on a timeframe and will be renewable, as most stadiums are done these days." Rose: "We wanted the field to be in perpetuity, so you look for individuals for perpetuity and you can look for corporations more if it’s going to be a rollover effect.” She said the construction of the stadium has been set "back a little bit" due to recent weather conditions, but added UNCC is "still on path to be on time." Rose: "It’s a very tight schedule because we don’t have to have the stadium completed by next July/August. But we really do need the fieldhouse completed and the practice fields because that first class of redshirt student-athletes will be signed on February 1st and they will come to our university in August ready to begin practices” ("The Bottom Line," ESPN Radio 730 Charlotte, 11/1).
UAB STADIUM IDEA SHOT DOWN: In Birmingham, Steve Irvine reports the Univ. of Alabama System Board of Trustees yesterday indicated that the UAB football program "has not generated enough fan support or money to justify building an on-campus stadium." The statement from the board called a new stadium the "wrong project at the wrong time." The decision "came after UAB officials completed an on-campus stadium feasibility study" by UAB AD Brian Mackin and VP/Financial Affairs Richard Margison. UAB booster Jimmy Filler, who "played a key role in getting purchase commitments for all 27 luxury suites in the proposed stadium," said that he "believes the board's decision is intended to be the 'final nail' for the idea of a new stadium." UAB currently plays at Legion Field (BIRMINGHAM NEWS, 11/2).