Shorter Athletics and the RFPRA agreed to terms on a three-year, $321,000 deal that provides the university usage of Historic Barron Stadium for Shorter’s home football games and home track meets and practices, among other events.
Shorter is also granted the right to host its spring commencement activities at Barron Stadium in addition to one home soccer and one home lacrosse match per year and five miscellaneous events.
“We are proud to be a partner with the Rome Floyd Parks and Recreation Authority and look forward to many mutual benefits that will aid our students and the Greater Rome community,” said Shorter President, Dr. Donald Dowless.
This latest financial agreement between Shorter and RFPRA marks a continuation of Shorter’s commitment to helping upgrade and pay for facilities it uses for intercollegiate competition.
In 2004, Shorter chipped in $100,000 to upgrade and renovate the Alto Park Softball Complex, creating locker room and office space and enhancing the current game facility to create a more spectator-friendly and college-like atmosphere. Shorter has since donated approximately $25,000 for additional improvements and upkeep.
Just this past year, Shorter purchased over $100,000 worth of track and field specific equipment to help make Maddox Track at Barron Stadium a world class track and field facility. Shorter also provided 100 percent of cost of the equipment and installation for the new, state-of-the-art Throws Center located next to Ridge Ferry Park.
“We have really enjoyed working with the City, the County and with RFPRA in trying to do all we can to be a good corporate citizen and to enhance the facilities that we utilize,” said Shorter Director of Athletics, Bill Peterson.
Shorter’s commitment to the community has extended well beyond its financial donations to current RFPRA facilities.
In 2007, Shorter Athletics initiated and helped underwrite the bid for the NAIA Football National Championship. Shorter won that bid, and since, in conjunction with the City of Rome and Floyd County, has assumed one-third of the annual cost associated with hosting the game while providing many of the game’s volunteers.
In the four years that Rome, Floyd County and Shorter have hosted the NAIA Football National Championship, the game has generated over $6 million in economic development that far exceeds the initial cost of renovation generated through the SPLOST in 2009.
Shorter has also been instrumental in bringing several other events to Rome and Floyd County, including the Southern States Athletic Conference men and women’s basketball, softball, cross country and tennis tournaments, the Mid-South Conference Outdoor Track and Field Championships, the National Women’s Lacrosse League Tournament and most recently, the Gulf South Conference Baseball Tournament held at State Mutual Stadium last spring.
“The NAIA Football National Championship is just one of many events that we have either hosted or encouraged to move here over the past five years,” said Peterson. “Since 2007, Shorter has been a leader in helping Rome host championships in lacrosse, tennis, cross country, basketball, softball, baseball and track and field. These events have a substantial positive impact on the local economy, and while they require significant effort from our coaches and staff, we think the impact on Rome and Floyd County makes it all worthwhile.”
Shorter, which has called Barron Stadium home since its football program was introduced in 2005, opens its 2012 home football campaign this Saturday, September 22, with a 1:30 pm kickoff against NCAA Division I FCS Charleston Southern University.
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