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Baylor lands huge financial gift for new stadium

Drayton McLane AP

And, if the artist renderings are any indication, said gift will be put to spectacular use.

In a press release issued by the school Tuesday, Baylor announced that its football program is on the receiving end of “the largest capital gift in university history” that will be earmarked for the construction of its new stadium along the Brazos River.  The donors are Elizabeth and Drayton McLane, the latter being a 1958 BU graduate and formerly the majority owner of MLB’s Houston Astros.

The specific amount of what the school called a leadership gift was not revealed.  While the gift gives the McLanes naming rights, the couple has asked that the new football facility be called Baylor Stadium, although RG3 Field at Baylor Stadium may be more appropriate given the impact the reigning Heisman Trophy winner has had on the stadium push.

Regardless, the McLanes’ gift will allow the ongoing fundraising to support stadium construction to continue with a significant amount of momentum.

“We are fortunate to be a family that includes a number of proud Baylor University alumni,” said McLane in a statement. “We believe strongly in the University’s distinct and important role as a Christian institution dedicated to academic excellence at the highest level. Our son Drayton III, a 1996 graduate of Baylor, and his wife Amy, and their sons Drayton IV, Brooks and Walker, as well as our son Denton, who graduated from Baylor in 1999, and his wife Amy, and sons Jeff and Jake, join us in joyfully making this gift to Baylor.

“As a family, we wanted to do something that would shine a light on the University we love, while enhancing student life at Baylor and impacting positively the city of Waco and Central Texas. This is an incredible time to be a Baylor Bear and all the McLane family is excited to part of the momentum that is leading Baylor to new heights.”

The on-campus stadium will sit on a 93-acre site and initially seat 45,000 fans, with the flexibility to expand to 55,000 in the future.  The release states that the facility “also will feature a bridge crossing the Brazos River and connecting the stadium to the campus, canopy shading for half of all seats throughout the day, open concourses with views directly into the stadium, suites, loge boxes, indoor and outdoor club seating, designated seating for Baylor students and the Baylor band, and an event center and Stadium Club for year-round use.”

The project is expected to be completed in time for the 2014 opener, which is currently scheduled to be against in-state rival SMU.  And, as we indicated up above, the artist renderings of the proposed stadium are breathtaking:

Suffice to say, Bears head coach Art Briles is ecstatic to the point of cartwheels over what the McLanes’ gift means to his football program and the university.

“We are extremely grateful, humbled and honored by the McLane family’s generous lead gift for the new on-campus Baylor football stadium,” Briles said in his statement. “Their love and passion for Baylor is truly incredible, and this gift will impact not only Baylor football, but our great University, well into the future. The vision shown by both the McLane family and our University leadership will ensure continued success for our football program. I look forward to leading the Bears out of the tunnel and onto the field of the new Baylor Stadium.

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20 Responses to “Baylor lands huge financial gift for new stadium”
  1. surly1n1nd1anapol1s says: Mar 13, 2012 8:47 PM

    Bravo. Love the new stadium. I have no affiliation with the school nor much interest. However I love that the gift doesn’t come attached with the donor name. Symbolic gift and the name celebrates the institution that inspired.

  2. arizonahusker says: Mar 13, 2012 11:21 PM

    This will be one of if not THE best college stadiums in the NCAA. Great for the Bears, their fans and alumni.

    This is a game changer in the Big 12!!!

  3. mrslay1 says: Mar 13, 2012 11:27 PM

    45,000 to 55,000 when fully expanded? I’m happy for the school but those kind of numbers a “GAME CHANGER IN THE b12” COME ON MAN!!

  4. thefiesty1 says: Mar 13, 2012 11:48 PM

    If it’s anything like the past at Baylor, their games will be blacked out because they won’t fill the seats.

  5. jbones77 says: Mar 14, 2012 1:56 AM

    College games don’t get blacked out, genius

  6. goodfieldnohit says: Mar 14, 2012 8:11 AM

    They’re gonna need a bigger tarp.


  7. mrslay1 says: Mar 14, 2012 8:39 AM

    Give it up man, They don’t fill their seats and have just had the best year in 5o plus years. And that wouldn’t have happened if the little 12 was not so pitiful! Im am glad for you getting a stadium, but don’t think this less than average stadium some how makes you speical or even equal to major college football teams.

  8. denisceo says: Mar 14, 2012 12:13 PM

    Go Baylor!

  9. goodfieldnohit says: Mar 14, 2012 12:29 PM

    Guess I can’t embed .jpg images.

    They are gonna need a bigger tarp:

  10. normtide says: Mar 14, 2012 1:00 PM

    Playing defense in the little 12 would be a game changer. This is a school trying to cash in on their first DECENT season in 50+ years. Or, trying to justify being a BCS AQ team and all the money that comes with it.

  11. boomerdt says: Mar 14, 2012 1:31 PM

    Good for Baylor! As a Big12 alumni and fan this is great! Can’t wait to see the end product… may just have to take a trip when OU plays them.

  12. gopokes0714 says: Mar 14, 2012 1:33 PM

    its funny how threatened SEC fans are by the Big 12.

  13. mrslay1 says: Mar 14, 2012 4:06 PM

    After continuing to wipe the turf with your teams, you think we (SEC) are threatened? No wonder your such losers. You always think backwards!

  14. imaduffer says: Mar 14, 2012 4:15 PM

    When the Southern Baptist have a rally there it will be standing room only. Praise the Lord Hallelujah

  15. gopokes0714 says: Mar 14, 2012 4:15 PM

    lol see what I mean. its pathetic how your self esteem rests on the dominance of the SEC. if any conference threatens that then you desperately try to discredit and belittle it.

  16. imaduffer says: Mar 14, 2012 4:17 PM

    I forgot TAX write off

  17. helenh777 says: Mar 14, 2012 4:36 PM

    I am making a comment and if the shoe fits, wear it. Tearing down someone to build yourself up never works. It only make you look like a looser.

    CONGRATS to Baylor. Looking forward to playing you there in 2014, if it is ready. It is going to be beautiful.

  18. gmsalpha says: Mar 14, 2012 5:08 PM

    The gift DID allow the McLanes to name the stadium, but as the article states, Drayton wants it to be called Baylor Stadium. That’s refreshing.

    Even if it was called McLane Stadium, I don’t mind, just so long as it’s not Dr. Pepper Stadium or Geico Field or Dell Stadium or something corporate.

    Hey, he wants his alma mater to have a nice stadium. They will never be a long-term powerhouse, but there’s no better time to donate this money towards a stadium than now. It’s not Drayton’s fault that Baylor has never been all that good, but it shows his loyalty and love for the school and that’s awesome.

    Perhaps he’s of the thinking “if he builds it, they will come”.

  19. gopokes0714 says: Mar 14, 2012 5:19 PM

    Look what Boone Pickens did for OSU. We have an amazing stadium with locker room and facilities on par with the NFL. You cannot argue what it has done for recruiting.

    Congrats to Baylor. Looking at the artist renderings though I wonder about tailgating, traffic, and parking with all the water .

  20. footballfan15 says: Mar 20, 2012 9:46 AM

    Looking at that JPEG of the current stadium, is it no wonder people don’t want to see a game there?
    A new facility would be the first step in getting more butts in the seats…

    Build a nice venue to watch (and fan friendly), and Baylor becomes a place where visiting teams would rather not play on a more consistant basis…

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