Prison owner wins stadium naming rights
February 22, 2013
Colleges accepting money for stadium naming rights is certainly nothing new, but this wrinkle is: Stadium naming rights bought by a private prison.
As you might expect, it’s prompted all sorts of controversy over what is and what is not appropriate money for an educational institution to accept.
GEO Group has bought the naming rights to the 29,000-seat Florida Atlantic University stadium. GEO runs an immigration center in Pompano Beach, located near Boca Raton, where FAU is based.
It also oversees prisons in the U.S., UK and South Africa, leading some on Twitter to dub the Owls’ new stadium Owlcatraz.
Critics of the 12-year deal include Grassroots Leadership, a group opposed to private prison ownership. It argues that it gives GEO a bigger lobbying platform and could help legitimize it despite what it says is a spotty human rights record.
The New York Times notes that GEO has been involved in numerous high-profile lawsuits and has been criticized by human and immigration rights groups.
FAU says it is “proud” to partner with GEO, which is a “wonderful” company.
Tags: Boca Raton, FAU, fau stadium naming rights, Florida Atlantic, florida atlantic university, geo, Grassroots Leadership, out of home, out of home advertising, Pompano Beach, South Africa, sports advertising, stadium naming rights, U.S., UK
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