Maryland varsity venue now SECU Stadium



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University of Maryland naming rights Image: University of Maryland Athletics

The University of Maryland’s Maryland Athletics Department (US) recently announced that it has sold the naming rights of its football stadium to credit union SECU (State Employees Credit Union of Maryland) for at least $11 million for the next 10 years. The stadium will officially be renamed the SECU Stadium on October 22nd.

‘247sports.com’ stated that in addition to the official partner designation, the facility previously known as the Capital One Field at Maryland Stadium will be renamed the SECU Stadium and will debut on October 1st, 2022 as Maryland Football hosts Michigan State Spartans football for its Big Ten Conference home opener.

The University of Maryland, College Park is a public land-grant research university in College Park, Maryland, US. Founded in 1856, the University of Maryland is the flagship institution of the University System of Maryland.

The State Employees Credit Union of Maryland is a State-chartered credit union headquartered in Linthicum, Maryland, US. It is the largest nonprofit credit union and it is regulated under the authority of The Office of the Commissioner of Financial Regulation, State of Maryland.

The 54,000-capacity SECU Stadium is an outdoor athletic stadium on the campus of the University of Maryland in College Park, Maryland, US. It is the home of Maryland Terrapins football and men’s lacrosse teams, which compete in the Big Ten Conference.

The Maryland Terrapins football team represents the University of Maryland, College Park in the sport of American football. The Terrapins compete in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) and the Big Ten Conference.

The Big Ten Conference is the oldest Division I collegiate athletic conference in the United States. Founded as the Intercollegiate Conference of Faculty Representatives in 1896, it predates the founding of its regulating organization, the NCAA. It is based in Rosemont, Illinois, US.

‘247sports.com’ further stated that the 10-year partnership will also include benefits for the entire campus. The SECU will co-present financial wellness workshops for the faculty and staff and will partner on the creation of a new financial literacy course for all students. Additionally, the Maryland Athletics will amplify SECU’s Kindness Campaign, a project designed to inspire acts of service throughout its communities.

Among that total is a $2.5 million gift toward Maryland’s planned $40 million standalone Barry P. Gossett Basketball Performance Center, to be built next to the 17,950-capacity Xfinity Center. The SECU will also provide financial literacy and wellness programs for athletes, other students and staff, and partner with Maryland on other charitable works.

The new Barry P. Gossett Basketball Performance Center will be a catalyst for positive growth of the Men’s and Women’s Basketball programs at the University of Maryland.

Noted Damon Evans, Maryland Athletic Director, “SECU’s a local company with local roots, been around for about 70 years. Their values are in alignment with the values that we have, specifically from a community service standpoint.”

There are some incentives in the contract. Evans expects the value of the deal to be worth $14-15 million all told, with an expected annual $300,000-$400,000 in variable compensation.

In order to make the deal with SECU, Evans had to extract the school from an existing naming rights deal with the Capital One Bank, which – then doing business as the Chevy Chase Bank – signed a 25-year, $20 million deal with the school in 2006. That money was paid largely upfront, a move by then-Athletic Director Debbie Yow to address major budgetary shortfalls that had ballooned under her watch.

Added Evans, “I would first and foremost thank Capital One. Because they’ve been a good partner. And when you have good partnerships like we’ve had, you’re able to do some things like this. Yeah, this is not the norm, let’s just be candid, that people will say, ‘Yeah, we’re going to relinquish the rights for you to move forward’. The gist of that deal, we were not generating any revenue off that deal for the remainder of it … I can’t thank them enough, to allow us to move forward in this manner, to be able to try to drive some revenue.”

Why did Capital One let Maryland off the hook for the remaining four years?

Informed Dan Shell, Vice-President of United Talent Agency, who helped facilitate the deal, “The company wasn’t focused on the naming rights in the first place, it signed the 2006 deal largely to get campuswide exclusivity in terms of banking and ATMs. It was also early in the naming rights era, and to get both stadium and field naming rights is highly unusual.”

“It really was amicable”, he said of the dissolution of Capitol One’s naming rights deal, adding that the length of the deal and the amount Maryland will receive “are very competitive” in the current landscape.

Added Shell, “It was a smooth transition.”

Every extra dollar helps Maryland, which has some of the lowest football revenues in the football-wealthy Big Ten Conference.

Added Evans, “For us to be able to drive revenue on an asset that wasn’t producing any revenue … we need to drive revenue at the University of Maryland to be able to keep up with our Big Ten counterparts.”

Noted Dave Sweiderk, SECU’s President, “As Maryland’s largest credit union, SECU takes great pride in partnering with Maryland Athletics and the entire University, one of the nation’s top public universities. Together, we are not only united in our love for Maryland but also in our commitment to positively impacting the people and communities we serve. As we continue to grow, it is important for SECU to give back to our communities and uphold our dedication to education and financial wellness. That’s why we are pleased to contribute to the enduring vitality of University of Maryland, while helping its more than 40,000 students, 14,000 faculty and staff members, and Maryland’s next generation of leaders set a foundation for financial success.”

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