Bank Will Lend Its Name To Terps

Byrd Stadium
The University's football stadium will be known as Chevy Chase Bank Field at Byrd Stadium beginning this season. (Jonathan Newton - The Washington Post)
By Marc Carig
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, August 24, 2006

The University of Maryland has agreed to a $20 million naming-rights deal with Chevy Chase Bank in what's being viewed as a key component to the proposed expansion of Byrd Stadium, school athletic officials confirmed.

A formal announcement is expected today.

According to sources close to the negotiations, the university's football stadium will be known as Chevy Chase Bank Field at Byrd Stadium beginning this season.

Officials said the revenue from the 25-year naming-rights deal will be used to help pay for the renovation and expansion of the 55-year-old facility, which is expected to cost around $50 million.

The remainder of the money will come from a $35 million loan from the state, which the University System of Maryland Board of Regents approved in June. The deal makes Maryland the first school in the ACC to enter into a naming rights agreement for its football stadium.

According to a senior athletic department official, initial expansion plans call for the addition of 50 to 60 luxury suites and 500 mezzanine seats.

The additions would be built on both sides of Tyser Tower, which stands on the south end of the stadium and houses the press box and 300 outdoor luxury seats.

The plan is expected to raise the stadium's capacity by more than 2,000, bringing the total to more than 53,000. Byrd Stadium is the ninth-largest stadium in the 12-team ACC. Georgia Tech's Bobby Dodd Stadium ranks eighth, with a capacity of 55,000.

Last season, Maryland ranked 38th in the country and sixth in the ACC in attendance, drawing a school-record average of 52,426 in five home games, breaking previous marks set in 2003 and 2004.

Athletic department officials said they hope to have a design team in place by October.

One official said construction could be finished by 2009 or 2010.

"It's a great day for Maryland," Maryland Athletic Director Debbie Yow said.

According to sources, negotiations began with the bank early this year. The deal bolsters the Bethesda-based company's presence on campus.

The bank operates a full-service branch in the Stamp Student Union and has ATMs spread throughout the campus, including at Byrd Stadium and Comcast Center.

The stadium is named for Harry Clifton "Curley" Byrd, a Maryland alum who later served as football coach and the university's president.

Terrapin s Notes: Jamari McCollough will miss the season because of an injured right anterior cruciate ligament, Coach Ralph Friedgen said yesterday.

McCollough injured his knee when he became entangled with another player during an evening practice Friday. McCollough, a redshirt freshman who moved from cornerback to safety, had been projected to add depth to the secondary. Friedgen said McCollough is expected to undergo surgery in two weeks. . . .

Friedgen said he expects to begin completing the Terrapins' depth chart after today's final scrimmage. He hopes to give the first and second teams about 50 plays each, with the remainder of the snaps reserved for third-team members and young players. . . .

Wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey took part in yesterday's practice in a limited capacity. The redshirt freshman, who injured a shoulder last week, practiced in non-contact drills.

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