Earlier this week, the Virginia Tech Hokies made some big news when they announced that English Field would be renamed English Field at Union Bank thanks to a 10-year, $3.5 million sponsorship deal from Union Bank. Union Bank becomes the second company over the last year to announce a sponsorship deal with Carilion Clinic having sponsorship rights for the next 10 years at Virginia Tech Carilion Court at Cassell Coliseum.
Whit Babcock has done a great job of fundraising with donors along with finding ways to bring in money without changing the name of an stadium significantly with all analysts still referring to Cassell Coliseum as Cassell Coliseum while English Field being still the primary name of the ballpark.
The Union Bank partnership is another smart move by Babcock that will bring in even more revenue to the athletic department. This sponsorship plus improved fundraising under Babcock also led to the announcement that Virginia Tech will renovate English Field over the next two years with the renovations being complete in-time for the 2018 season.
In the announcement, the Hokies said that they plan on adding more seats down the first-base line most line along with a picnic area for group events down the right field line and luxury suite seating. Virginia Tech also plans on renovating their clubhouse facilities to put English Field’s clubhouse among the best in the ACC and give the Hokies a ballpark of a minor league level quality.
Babcock and the Hokies do not plan on playing baseball games elsewhere in 2017 while renovations are going on with the renovation likely to be in two phases to an extent due to the 2017 baseball season. In some ways, this move puts more pressure on Patrick Mason to show that the program is headed in the right direction before the completion of renovations in 2018.
Whit Babcock and the Hokies have made another great sponsorship move, which is becoming typical for one of America’s best athletic directors.