UA announces large donation

Arizona Athletic Director Greg Byrne had a press conference on Monday to announce a large donation that will be put towards the north end zone project.

Arizona Athletic Director Greg Byrne held a press conference on Monday to announce that the north end zone project has received a major donation.

Byrne announced an $11 million anonymous gift, plus an extra $2 million from Jeff and Sharon Stevens, who donated $10 million in November 2009.

In addition, Jim Click donated $2.5 million, bringing the total to about $27 million for a $72.3 million project.

"We have had a family who has committed 11 million dollars to this project, which will end up being the second largest gift in the history of our athletic department," Byrne said. "The family is a longtime supporter of our athletic department and university."

While Byrne acknowledged that the economy has certainly not helped his effort at raising money, he made it clear that he is thankful for those that have.

"We recognize during this time the economy is tough, but these donors, these supporters of our program, have seen the value of moving the football program and athletic department forward," he said.

Byrne sees the effect of the north end zone project being much bigger than a simple addition to Arizona Stadium.

"This north end zone complex will obviously have a tremendous impact on our football program, but it will also impact all of our student athletes," he said. "We are going to have a multi-purpose cafeteria room with a kitchen next to it that is going to be open for training table for all of our student athletes and our hope is that it is also going to be something that is going to be open for the rest of our campus."

With money being raised, Byrne and the Athletic Department remain on track for when it would like to make the official proposal.

"Our plan is to take it to the capital committee in May and the board of regents in June," he said. "If it is approved, we would break ground in January right after the season is over and it would be a 15 to 18 month construction."

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