The deal, worth $41 million over 10 years, is the largest of its kind in college athletics.
Husky Stadium got a $282 million makeover two years ago. Now it’s getting a new name.
The University of Washington and Alaska Airlines have again partnered on a naming-rights deal for one of the university’s venerable athletic facilities — now to be dubbed Alaska Airlines Field at Husky Stadium.
The deal is worth $41 million over 10 years, the UW said, making it the largest deal of its kind in college athletics. More than half of Alaska Airlines’ investment is earmarked directly for student-athlete scholarships and welfare.
The annual donation more than doubles the 30-year, $60-million agreement between the University of Illinois and State Farm Insurance for Illinois’ basketball arena naming rights. The University of California agreed to a 15-year, $18 million deal with video-game company Kabam in 2013. Last year Boise State announced a deal to rename its football venue Albertsons Stadium, for which Boise State will receive a little more than $9 million over 15 years.
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In 2011, UW and the Seattle-based Alaska Airlines agreed to a five-year deal worth at least $700,000 annually to rename the Hec Edmundson Pavilion basketball arena. The arena had been named Bank of America Arena the five years before that.
As part of the deal, UW has also created an Athletic Village presented by Alaska Airlines, which incorporates all of the athletic facilities located around the football stadium. The Seattle-based airline will also have a presence on UW’s Tacoma and Bothell campuses.
“This agreement formally brings together two iconic local organizations for the next decade,” Brad Tilden, CEO of Alaska Airlines, said in a statement. “Alaska is proud to be the official airline of the University of Washington, a pillar in the Seattle community with a rich tradition of academics and athletics.”
The deal, in the works for more than a year, is pending approval by the UW Board of Regents, which meets next on Sept. 10.
UW athletic administrators, with assistance from UW’s Sponsorship Office and Chicago-based sports analysis company Navigate Research, negotiated the deal.
“I am thrilled that we can expand on a local connection and enhance a long-standing relationship with a Seattle company who shares our values so deeply. As the costs of funding a first-class student-athlete experience continue to rise, it is critical that we seek new and creative funding opportunities with partners who share our values, and I am pleased because that is exactly what we have done with Alaska Airlines,” UW athletic director Scott Woodward said in a statement. “This exciting new agreement will work directly to fund our student-athlete experience and allow us to stay in front of the rising costs of funding student-athlete recruitment, scholarship, travel and competition.”