Facility Improvements Moving Forward

The now completed sale of Liberty Bank to Centennial Bank will create some changes for Arkansas State Athletics and Liberty Bank Stadium.

The original naming rights agreement for Liberty Bank Stadium provided for 10 annual payments of $500,000 for the naming rights, with those funds dedicated to the improvement of the stadium. Two of those payments have been made.

The stream of payments was bundled into the expenses of the sale of Liberty Bank to Centennial Bank. As a result, Arkansas State will soon receive a single payment of approximately $3.7 million representing the present value of the payment stream. That payment will cover nearly 25% of the cost of the Football Operations Center.

The Football Operations Center will include all of the proposed north end zone changes except for the Student Activity Center / indoor practice facility.

The stadium is expected to be renamed Centennial Bank Stadium in 2014.

Athletic Director Terry Mohajir says that the athletic department will need to raise an additional $11 million to cover the cost of the center. The athletic department recently received a commitment of a quarter of a million dollars from a single donor.

In an interview with the Jonesboro Sun, John Allison of Centennial Bank revealed that he was planning to make a $5 million contribution for renovation of the press box.

Mohajir says Arkansas State will expand the press box, improve the broadcast areas, the coaching boxes, working media area, and create revenue opportunities with suites.

"Right now we don't make revenue from the press box like we should," Mohajir said.

The University has announced that Arkansas State received an A1 rating from Moody's for its proposed bond issue. That bond issue will include the Student Activity Center at the stadium complex that will contain a full size indoor football field. The bonds are to be sold shortly and construction should begin in early spring.