JMU announces partnership with Union Bank & Trust for new basketball facility

Daily Staff Report

James Madison University announced a sponsorship agreement with Union Bank & Trust on Friday which will designate the university’s previously planned new basketball facility as the Union Bank & Trust Center.

The announcement was made in the Bridgeforth Stadium Club on Friday afternoon. The partnership represents the largest corporate naming agreement in university history and was orchestrated by Learfield’s JMU Sports Properties, the multimedia rights holder for JMU Athletics. As part of the agreement, Union Bank & Trust will retain naming rights for the facility for 10 years for $2.25 million.

“This is a great day for JMU Athletics,” Director of Athletics Jeff Bourne said in a press release. “This facility will be a game changer for our basketball programs, and we are excited to partner with Union Bank & Trust as a significant step in moving forward with this project. We sit in the midst of an incredibly successful period in the history of JMU Athletics, and this facility and the Union Bank & Trust partnership will ensure that our basketball programs are part of that success.”

Union Bank & Trust has been a regular partner with JMU Athletics for over 20 years leading up to the new naming opportunity.

Original facility concepts and the initial fundraising launch were announced in April 2015. Groundbreaking for the Union Bank & Trust Center is slated for spring of 2018 with an anticipated opening no later than the start of the 2020-21 JMU basketball season.

The university is currently finalizing architectural design for the Union Bank & Trust Center with Virginia-based Moseley Architects working alongside veteran sports facility architect, Populous. S.B. Ballard will serve as the general construction manager.

Located on the corner of Carrier Drive and University Boulevard, the Union Bank & Trust Center will seat 8,500 guests for basketball games and closer to 10,000 for commencement and other events with additional floor seating.

Features of the facility include a club area, courtside seating with a designated private courtside hospitality area, state-of-the-art lighting and audio/video technology including a center-hung scoreboard and upper concourse ribbon boards, a student club area and expanded concessions and restroom availability. A 1,500-space parking deck will also be constructed adjacent to the facility concurrently.