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U Kentucky Sells Esports Center Naming Rights

The Cornerstone

The Cornerstone will house the University of Kentucky UK Federal Credit Union Esports Lounge and Theater. Source: Mark Cornelison, University of Kentucky

A new esports complex under construction on the campus of the University of Kentucky has sold naming rights. The University of Kentucky Federal Credit Union has signed a 13-year naming rights deal for the facility. The credit union was founded in 1937 by members of the then-named UK College of Agriculture (now known as the College of Agriculture, Food and Environment) and has a full-service branch on campus.

The "UK Federal Credit Union Esports Lounge and Theater" will house the institution's growing esports program. The deal was negotiated by JMI Sports, the university's rights representative. As part of the sponsorship, the credit union will host a "feature night" each year, a speaker series and an esports conference.

The esports theater will have 100 seats on retractable risers for tournaments and classes, and the esports gamers lounge will include at least 50 PC-based gaming units and multiple console-play areas, allowing for competition play and daily use of the space by students.

"The investment our credit union is making in UK's new esports program represents our commitment to innovate and cultivate new technologies and ideas for a large group of students," said David Kennedy, the credit union's president and CEO, in a press release. "While typical sports teams are limited to a smaller population of the student body, we view esports as an opportunity for all students to participate. UKFCU is proud to have served the UK community for 83 years and we are excited to grow our relationship for the next generation."

The Cornerstone, the building housing the complex, is scheduled to open in phases in the fall. The mixed-use property includes 23,000 square feet on the ground floor, dedicated to retail and innovation space, which will serve the campus and the wider community. It will also have 900 new parking spaces.

Earlier this year UK announced a multi-vendor food hall on the ground level that will be named "The Cornerstone Exchange." Named in a campuswide vote, it will house Kentucky-based dining establishments.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.

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