Highway Signs to Byrd Stadium Need to Be Updated, but Changes Aren't Forthcoming

By Steve Yanda
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, September 11, 2009

Fans driving southbound on Interstate 95 or along the Capital Beltway can expect to see signs for Chevy Chase Bank Field at Byrd Stadium for a while longer, despite the University of Maryland's announcement Tuesday that Capital One has assumed the $20 million naming rights agreement signed in August 2006. Who will pay for the signs to be changed remains in question.

Brian Ullmann, Maryland's senior associate athletic director for external operations, said it was unclear when the signs would be changed and how much the alterations would cost. He said the university would offer to assume the cost.

The Maryland Department of Transportation paid for the installation of the original signs two years ago.

School officials are preparing an official request to change the four highway signs directing drivers to the football stadium, but they have not yet submitted one.

Upon receipt of the school's request, the state will initially seek payment for the sign changes from Capital One -- the credit card company that acquired Chevy Chase Bank in December -- according to David Buck, a Maryland State Highway Administration spokesman who described the task of changing the signs as "a low priority."

Buck said the state, which made no attempt to have Chevy Chase Bank cover the costs of the original signs, does not expect to foot the bill this time around because the change is merely superficial. Buck estimated the costs of such alterations to be "a few thousand dollars."

Pam Girado, a Capital One spokeswoman, said she was unsure whether the terms of the company's agreement with the University of Maryland required it to incur such costs.

The signs were created to keep traffic away from Route 1, which had become jammed with fans trying to get to games at the College Park stadium.

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