HS Stadium Seeking New Naming Rights Deals

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Chicago Daily Herald


Barrington Area Unit District 220 plans to seek naming rights and advertising deals connected to the high school football stadium in advance of a 10-year contract expiring after the 2017-18 school year. About $750,000 was gained from the deals that involved naming rights to the field, track and stadium, plus scoreboard advertising, Barrington High School Athletic Director Mike Obsuszt said. Wickstrom Auto Group's name is part of Barrington Community Stadium.

Cancer Treatment Centers of America has sponsored the playing surface, called Celebrate Life Field. Obsuszt said a Barrington family sponsored the track but asked to have their name removed a year after the new stadium opened. He said the father expressed appreciation for what the high school did for his children and saw no reason for the family to be publicly recognized anymore.

In April 2007, voters agreed to borrow $4.4 million to replace what had been a stadium with a torn-up track, a dirt infield and stands that not only were old but also did not meet guidelines established in the Americans With Disabilities Act. Barrington High received a new stadium with an eight-lane track and a larger field surface for soccer and lacrosse play in August 2008. The bleachers have 2,500 seats for home fans and 1,500 for visitors. However, payments for the stadium's enhancements, including synthetic turf and an upgraded scoreboard, were not part of the ballot measure.

District 220 board members at the time agreed the enhancements should be covered from private money, which came from athletic boosters and the naming rights and advertising. "This was a big change for the board," longtime board member Brian Battle said during a finance committee session Wednesday, "because we didn't allow advertising."

New private money might have to go toward a new scoreboard, Obsuszt said. The current scoreboard can't be serviced because the company that built it, White Way Sign and Maintenance Co. of Mount Prospect, went bankrupt in 2014 and its assets later were purchased by another business.

"There's no spare parts," Obsuszt said. "I mean, we're stuck. If things go wrong with the scoreboard now, we're kind of out of luck."

Finance committee members plan to discuss what's expected in naming-rights fees and scoreboard advertising before issuing a recommendation to the full District 220 school board. Barrington High Principal Stephen McWilliams said after the meeting the advertising will continue to be done in good taste. He added that a majority of sponsors are local.

"They are Barrington, which is cool," he said. "As much as we can stay to that, that's a benefit, too."

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September 7, 2017


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