Two seasons and more than 700 days after its opening, FAU football stadium has a new name.
On Tuesday, GEO Group, a Boca-based company and one of the world’s largest operators of detention centers and prisons, announced a 12-year sponsorship for the stadium.
“This is a big day for our athletic program,” FAU Athletic Director Pat Chun said. “It allows us to move forward and it’s another sign of growth. The good programs always continue to grow.”
The deal was announced at a press conference held in the stadium’s recruiting room, where former alum and current GEO CEO George Zoley was met with raucous applause.
Over the 12 years, FAU will receive $6 million — or $500,000 annually. Chun says this “gift” was at the top of his to-do list.
“When I took this job, I listed all of our priorities,” Chun said. “This was priority number one. The necessity was there to find a naming partner. The good thing for us is it’s a true gift, it’s philanthropy at the highest levels. It sends all the right messages to the community about giving to the university.”
FAU president Mary Jane Saunders, sporting a pleased grin, echoed Chun’s thoughts.
“When I started as president, we had two main things on our agenda: first was getting the financing and building the beautiful stadium, the second was opening the medical school,” Saunders said. “We’re delighted that we reached the point that a local company agreed to name the stadium.”
GEO Group, which is in close proximity to FAU’s Boca campus, markets itself as a community leader.
“We couldn’t be more local,” Zoley said. “This is the finest example of community outreach our company has activated in its history.”
The stadium is expected to have its name up by the start of football season.
“We’ll work expeditiously to get it up,” Chun said.
Read more about the new stadium naming rights and GEO Group in next week’s issue of the UP.