Football stadium naming rights sell for $500,000

When the Williamsport Millionaires football team takes the field next fall, no longer will they be doing so at Millionaire Stadium but at STA Stadium.

The Williamsport Area School District approved an agreement to sell the stadium naming rights for $500,000 at Tuesday’s school board meeting.

The unanimous decision to sell the naming rights to the district’s transportation company, Student Transportation of America Inc., will help to kickoff the district’s education foundation’s “Return to Glory” capital campaign, which will look to fund updates to the high school’s athletic facilities.

The ongoing campaign has a goal of raising $3.5 million.

Trey Phillips, president of the education foundation, said he was “excited” about the agreement and the impact it will have on fundraising.

“It’s a major shot in the arm for our capital campaign,” Phillips said.

The name change will take effect July 1, 2014. The agreement will last for at least 15 years, according to the district.

Work to be done through the capital campaign includes installing an all-weather turf inside of the stadium that can be used by both football and soccer teams, a new track-and-field complex, along with additional infrastructure improvements.

The project is expected to be completed by 2015.

Vern McKissick, architect, explained that there have been discussions on a schedule that could allow the stadium to be used during the 2014 football season but it would create scheduling conflicts for home games. It also could create similar problems for the 2015 track-and-field season.

When asked about doing the project in several phases by the board, McKissick explained that it could be done that way.

He added that the track-and-field complex would need to be completed first since, in order to allow the stadium to be used for soccer, the track currently in the stadium would need to be taken out. The track-and-field complex would be housed on the high school property but outside of the stadium.

Matt Wright, STA area general manager, said the company was happy to continue serving the students of the district in this way.

“I’m very proud of what we accomplished here,” he said after the agreement was approved by the board.

Greg Hayes, education foundation executive director, said the announcement of the agreement will help to kickoff the foundation’s public start to the campaign at the homecoming football game Oct. 18.