Kentucky announced Monday that its football stadium would be renamed as part of a sponsorship deal with Kroger, the grocery giant.
The arrangement is a first for SEC football. Other football teams in Power Five conferences that play in stadiums named after corporate sponsors are Kentucky’s longtime rival Louisville (Papa John’s), Miami (Hard Rock), Minnesota (TCF Bank), Pittsburgh (Heinz), Rutgers (High Point Solutions), Syracuse (Carrier), Texas Tech (AT&T) and Wake Forest (BB&T). Miami and Pitt share their stadiums with NFL teams.
So, while UK’s football stadium will be named after a corporate entity, what about the rest of the league? Who are SEC stadiums named after and how did these people ultimately get their name on the door? It turns out that six of the 14 SEC stadiums honor iconic football coaches in some way. The rest are named after presidents, professors and generous benefactors who gave a whole lot of money to the building or renovation of the stadium.
Here’s the breakdown of how each of the SEC stadiums got its name.
Bryant-Denny Stadium: Built in 1929 and originally named for George H. Denny, the school’s president from 1912-36. In 1975, the Alabama legislature would add Paul “Bear” Bryant’s name. Bryant won 13 SEC championships and six national championships in 25 seasons (1958-82) at Alabama.
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