Washington State lands naming rights deal for stadium field

PULLMAN, Wash. (AP) — Washington State has reached a deal for the naming rights to the playing field at Martin Stadium that will guarantee the school at least $11 million.

The Washington State Board of Regents approved the 10-year agreement with Gesa Credit Union on Friday. The Cougars’ home football field will now be known as Gesa Field at Martin Stadium.

“We know how Cougs are, and how loyal they are to their institution and that logo,” Washington State athletic director Pat Chun said. “We’re excited to see how that impacts Gesa in the short term and in the long term.”

The new revenue stream for Washington State athletics will boost a department budget that is facing a deficit of more than $30 million. The Cougars were already facing a $22 million gap and the deficit grew by nearly $10 million in part because of distribution losses from the Pac-12 and NCAA, and because no fans were allowed at sporting events last year.

“It’s going to be a new revenue line item for us and a critical one as we try to go forward,” Chun said.

Washington State first entered into conversations with Gesa Credit Union in February 2020 prior to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The pandemic allowed both sides to do plenty of due diligence on what this deal needs to look like. And these deals are complex,” Chun said. “It’s a testament to where we’re at, at Washington State University, to be able to get this done through a pandemic with all the things going on here.”

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