UK Board Of Trustees Greenlights 'Kroger Field'
It’s official. The University of Kentucky Board of Trustees has signed off on a massive corporate sponsorship deal with Kroger – one that will result in a name change for Commonwealth Stadium.
The university’s 12-year, $22 million dollar agreement with Kroger received the board’s stamp of approval, but the vote was not unanimous.
Two representatives registered their disapproval. Former Student Government Association President Rowan Reid said students objected to the “commercialization” of the iconic 44-year-old UK venue, which will become Kroger Field. Faculty representative Lee Blonder said the stadium was given its original name as a reminder that it belonged to the commonwealth.
But the deal sailed through with 17 yes votes.
"I think, if people look carefully at what this naming represents, not only for the benefit of the University of Kentucky but what Kroger is going to do across the commonwealth in terms of restoring recreational fields, you will see that the spirit of Commonwealth Stadium is alive and well and manifest in so many new ways," UK President Eli Capilouto told WUKY Monday.
The Wildcats begin playing in Kroger Field in September.
In other news, the site of the former senior center at the corner of South Limestone and Alumni will soon become University of Kentucky property.
Trustee's inked a $3.1 million dollar deal to acquire the nearly three-acre site. While the university hasn’t developed any long-term plans for the property, UK spokesman Jay Blanton said in March the purchase has some immediate benefits.
"It, from the get-go, does create additional parking, which is... always at a premium at the institution," UK spokesman Jay Blanton said in March. "There is more than 100 parking spaces there. We'll have to make some determinations about how best to utilize that, and over time we'll make some determinations about what to do with that facility as well."
A new $13 million dollar Lexington Senior Center opened last year off Richmond Road.