Charlotte, N.C. - UNC Charlotte Chancellor Dr. Philip Dubois and Director of Athletics Judy Rose, today, announced the naming of the Charlotte 49ers football field at a press conference overlooking the on-campus stadium site. Thanks to the generous personal contributions of Hugh McColl and Jerry Richardson - and the financial support of others who want to honor all that they have given their city - the Charlotte 49ers football field will be named McColl-Richardson Field.
"We have the architect of modern Charlotte and the architect of the Panthers NFL team joining forces on behalf of the university," Dubois said. "Today's announcement celebrates two community leaders whose names are synonymous with football in Charlotte and with the great progress this city has made over the last 30 years. The legacies of Hugh McColl and Jerry Richardson are already firmly established across the Charlotte region. We are thrilled their names will be permanently tied to our university. "
McColl, a banking industry pioneer who built Bank of America into one of this country's largest and most important financial institutions and made Charlotte its headquarters, was instrumental in bringing the Carolina Panthers to Charlotte.
"Jerry and I have been close friends for decades. Football happens to have been an important and consistent component in our friendship," McColl said. "Both of us saw the introduction of football at UNC Charlotte to be a unique and exciting opportunity for our great city to connect and bond even closer to its constituents. We are both happy to share our names and support with the university and athletic program as football becomes a reality."
Richardson, the owner of the Carolina Panthers, is a true leader inside the NFL management ranks who recently was the lead owner in the successful collective bargaining agreement negotiations. He landed the Panthers in Charlotte in 1995 and has watched it grow from expansion team to Super Bowl participant in 2003.
"It is quite an honor to have my name associated with such a good friend and wonderful academic institution," said Richardson. "Hugh and I both feel that UNC Charlotte is critical to the future of the Charlotte region. College football will be an important component in student life and will help the university create stronger community ties."
"We are thrilled to make an announcement of this magnitude," Rose said. "Mr. McColl and Mr. Richardson share what is special about Charlotte - a can-do attitude and a resilient spirit that has helped the city grow to the thriving force it is today -- and now these two have chosen to share in the vision of our university. We cannot thank them enough for their exceptional gift and cannot be more pleased to have their names on the 49ers football field."
The Charlotte 49ers on-campus 15,000-seat stadium is currently under construction and will be completed in August of 2012, in time for the 49ers first recruiting class to begin practice. The 49ers will begin play in 2013 as an FCS independent.
"For the many players who have yet to play for our team. For the many fans who have yet to cheer for our team. For the many coaches who have yet to call one play - And for our students and alums and the many people who have worked so hard to see this dream realized - thank you," said 49ers football coach Brad Lambert.
Football Seat Licenses are on sale, now, to offer fans the right to purchase season tickets to Charlotte 49ers football games. To purchase FSLs, which are the only way to guarantee a seat to 49ers football games, fans can call the 49ers athletic ticket office at 704/687-4949 or log on to charlotte49ers.com or charlotte49erfootball.com.
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