MORGANTOWN, W.Va. -- The University of Colorado is exploring naming rights opportunities for Folsom Field that could pump millions into an athletic department badly in need of additional revenue outside its traditional sources.
The department is also researching ways to muster more donations and improve the overall experience donors have when visiting campus on game days.
Athletic director Mike Bohn watched the Buffs play at West Virginia on Thursday and mingled with a group of more than 400 boosters and alumni from the Washington D.C. area before departing this morning for Louisville, Ky.
Bohn is scheduled to visit with Louisville athletic director Tom Jurich to learn more about the specifics of that school's stadium naming rights deal with Papa John's pizza. Bohn and Jurich worked together at Colorado State in 1996 and 1997.
Papa John's ownership committed $5 million toward construction of the stadium in Louisville in 1996 and has since pledged another $10 million toward expansion. If CU was able to land a similar deal with a Colorado-based company, it would enable the athletic department to fund several projects, including the long-awaited basketball practice facility at the Coors Events Center.
Bohn said last month he expects to break ground on the practice facility by the end of the year. He has been reluctant to discuss how the facility will be paid for, but he says fundraising for the project is on track to keep that timeline. During his trip to Louisville, Bohn also plans to research how Jurich and his staff service the Cardinals' donors and season-ticket holders in every facet of those relationships. It is part of a project Bohn started earlier this year when he spent time on the Oklahoma and Kansas campuses evaluating how those athletic departments handle fundraising and donor seating, parking and donor relations.
Bohn is scheduled to spend the weekend at Purdue where he will continue the project and watch the Purdue athletic department in action on game day Saturday when the Boilermakers host Northwestern.