Groves Stadium is gone

from the Wake Forest University Athletics web site:

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – Wake Forest University and BB&T Corporation today announced a 10-year agreement to rename the Wake Forest football stadium as “BB&T Field at Wake Forest University” beginning with the 2008 season.

A brief renaming ceremony for the 31,500-seat stadium between Reynolds and Deacon boulevards – currently known as Groves Stadium – will be held between the first and second quarters of the Deacons’ 2007 home-opening game against Nebraska on Saturday. BB&T Chairman and CEO John A. Allison and WFU President Nathan O. Hatch will be present for the event.

“Wake Forest University and BB&T are both major hometown institutions,” said Ron Wellman, director of athletics at Wake Forest. “We both share the same vision of Winston-Salem in terms of values, ideals and a future vision for the community.”

Acquiring the naming rights for the Wake Forest football stadium is another significant step for the company in its growing and more-focused sports marketing program. BB&T is also involved in NASCAR, college and high school sports, minor league baseball events and the NFL. BB&T was recently granted naming rights to an 11-field soccer complex just outside Winston-Salem, one of the premier soccer facilities in North Carolina – officially named last month as “BB&T Soccer Park.”

Attendance at Wake Forest football games has soared over the last six years, consistent with the arrival of head coach Jim Grobe. In 2006, the Deacons played at home in front of three of the top 10 crowds in stadium history. The Deacons averaged 32,515 fans per home game last year to break the school record for season average. WFU has broken its season attendance average in three of the last four years.

Demon Deacon head football coach Jim Grobe said, “We are very appreciative of the support for our football program from BB&T. Their support is a key to our success and keeps Wake Forest football on the fast track.
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