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Logan • Utah State's move into the realm of corporate naming rights for its stadium might raise some eyebrows of those who prefer more historical names, but Utah State athletic director Scott Barnes said it was a necessary shift to keep his athletic program competitive with the big leagues.
The Aggies officially renamed Romney Stadium as Maverik Stadium Saturday as part of a 21-year agreement between the school and the convenience store chain. Financial details of the agreement were not revealed, but Barnes said the sponsorship will go a long way in funding the Aggies' upcoming $36 million stadium renovation.
Demolition of the press box will begin in May. The entire project, which will include new concession areas, sound systems and other upgrades, will be completed by the fall of 2016.
"It's an unprecedented partnership," Barnes said. "This serves as the catalyst for our stadium renovation."
Barnes acknowledged removing the Romney name might be controversial, but said the change comes with the blessing of the Romney family, who were present at Saturday's announcement.
Dick Romney coached the Aggies' football team from 1919-48 compiling a 128-91-16 record.
Richard Romney, the grandson of Dick Romney, told Barnes he recognized the need for corporate sponsorship for the school.
"The family has been very generous," Barnes said. "They understood the vision and have endorsed it fully. We also made a promise to them to keep the Romney legacy alive by having a place and plaque in the new structure dedicated to him."
The upcoming construction will affect the 2015 season, Barnes said, since some of the seats under the press box must be removed.
The school is dedicating $750,000 for temporary seating, press areas and game day operations on the east side during the construction.