Source: UNT sells stadium naming rights

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North Texas will announce that Apogee, a campus networking firm based in Austin, has purchased naming rights to the school's new football stadium, a source close to the situation said Thursday.

UNT has called a press conference for 10:30 a.m. today at the venue, which recently has been called Mean Green Stadium.

The UNT Board of Regents has scheduled a teleconference for 8 a.m. today to discuss a gift to the school for naming rights to the stadium.

UNT officials and an Apogee spokeswoman said they could not discuss the deal until it is finalized and approved by UNT's regents.

Street and Smith's Sports Business Daily reported Thursday that Apogee and UNT had reached an agreement on terms of the contract.

UNT lists a $20 million price tag on its website for the naming rights to the stadium, which sits at the junction of Interstate 35W and Interstate 35E. The venue was designed by HKS Inc.

The total cost of the stadium was $79 million.

UNT will play its first game in the venue when it hosts Houston on Sept. 10.

The football team had played in Fouts Field since 1952 and seen the facility significantly deteriorate over the last several years.

UNT's students helped kick-start the school's efforts to build a new venue in 2009, when they approved an athletics fee of $10 per semester credit hour to help fund construction of a new stadium.

A naming rights deal would further help pay down debt on the facility and could also bolster UNT's yearly athletic budget, because a smaller portion of the student fee would be needed to service debt on the stadium.

The school broke ground on the stadium Nov. 21, 2009. Construction was completed this summer.

UNT has given tours of the stadium over the last several weeks and has been happy with the response it has received.

"It's a proud day for the university," athletic director Rick Villarreal said after giving tours to media members last Friday. "To receive the comments we have about how it compares to not only other college facilities, but other facilities in the metroplex from the media, it is very satisfying. We know now that we have done this the right way and can provide people the same amenities as any other venue in the metroplex."

New UNT head coach Dan McCarney said he expects the venue to improve the fortunes of a program that has suffered through six consecutive losing seasons.

"Once we get young men and their families on campus, it is a whole different world now," McCarney said.

BRETT VITO can be reached at 940-566-6870. His e-mail address is bvito@dentonrc.com .

 

 


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