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U of L renames football stadium years after dropping Papa John’s

The front of the University of Louisville football stadium has sweeping columns of windows and a brick column. Ads for stadium sponsors are in view.
Jacob Munoz
L&N Federal Credit Union is the new naming rights sponsor for the University of Louisville's football stadium.

The University of Louisville has a new name for its football stadium.

The school announced Monday it reached a $41.3 million agreement with L&N Federal Credit Union to rename Cardinal Stadium. The financial institution, based out of Louisville, has the naming rights for the next 20 years.

The venue was formerly known as Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium. It was renamed in 2018 after company founder John Schnatter said the N-word during a business call.

L&N has worked with the university before. It made a $2.25 million gift to name Denny Crum Hall, a residential building that opened this academic school year. It’s also held the naming rights for the school’s volleyball arena since 2019.

Tim Root, the credit union’s executive vice president and COO, said negotiations with the school began in mid-2022.

He added its past relationship with the school helped get the deal done.

“We’ve been a partner with U of L, especially in the sports area, for a number of years now. And really, that made this opportunity an easier decision for us, because we know what impact the university has on this community,” Root said.

U of L Athletics Director Josh Heird said getting a naming sponsor has been a main goal since late 2021 when he became interim director.

“We had conversations with numerous companies locally, regionally and nationally before realizing L&N could be interested in this opportunity. Fortunately for us, when the conversation was had, they didn’t say no,” Heird said.

The naming deal also includes perks for L&N and its employees, such as tickets and parking to football games and access to athletic department staff, according to a document provided by the university.

Jacob is LPM's Business and Development Reporter. Email Jacob at jmunoz@lpm.org.

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