Photo courtesy of UVU Athletics
The baseball stadium at UVU will be renamed UCCU Ballpark after a new naming rights agreement was announced Thursday morning at a press event at the stadium.
President Matthew Holland announced a 10-year extension with Utah Community Credit Union in exchange for a gift of $5.5 million. In addition to the baseball stadium, the new deal replaces the current agreement for the naming rights of the UCCU Center and includes the billboard marquee next to Interstate-15 until June 2027.
“This university is where our members’ children go to school, it’s where our members go to school and so it’s part of the community,” Jeff Sermon, CEO and president of UCCU said. “To deepen that relationship and to make sure people know our commitment to education is a great opportunity for us.”
Sermon said some of the money they have donated has already gone toward the Center for Autism on campus, the NUVI Basketball Center, guest speakers, athletics, scholarships and other causes at the discretion of President Holland.
“It’s very gratifying,” Holland said. “For them to say ‘we want even more,’ we are just so enthused about this relationship.”
“This university is a treasure,” Sermon said. “It has national and international acclaim, and so to be a part of that and be associated with that is a natural step in our relationship.”
The naming rights to the baseball stadium was previously held by car dealer Brent Brown, whose contract expired at the end of June after holding the rights for 10 years.
The stadium sits just north of University Parkway and two exits from Interstate-15, making it the second-most trafficked intersection in the state of Utah.
The Review published a story in April detailing the financing of the baseball stadium’s construction and its rocky history of naming rights. The agreements with business owners for the naming rights of the stadium in the past were said to have been earmarked to repay the bond that was issued to pay for the construction, however, no mention of such an arrangement was mentioned.
Holland was not certain whether any of the funds would go toward the bond and later Val Peterson, UVU’s vice president of finance and administration, confirmed via email that none of the gift money from UCCU would go toward retiring the bond. UVU still owes about $1.2 million which is to be paid until 2020 using student fees.
Ty Bianucci is a life-long fan of the San Francisco Giants, 49ers and Golden State Warriors who started on the sports beat for The Review, but now contributes investigative stories. He, along with two of his colleagues, were awarded the Sunshine Award in 2018 by the Society of Professional Journalists.