The arms race in the Sun Belt took another step on Monday afternoon as Arkansas State announced that almunus and CEO of Home BancShares Johnny Allison would be donating $5 million personally along with another $5 million from Centennial Bank to extend its naming rights to Centennial Bank Stadium until 2037. The soon to be built athletics operations center in the north endzone, along with the naming rights to the field at ‘the vault” will also carry the Allison / Centennial Bank brand. Now it will be Allison Field at Centennial Bank Stadium along with the Centennial Bank Athletics Operations Center which will house the complete football operation including locker room, coaches offices, meeting rooms, weight room, athletic training, and nutrition area for athletes.
In a five year period Arkansas State will now have completed a complete overhaul of the pressbox tower that increased it 35,741 square feet, built an indoor practice facility, a new endzone operations building and added more premium seating to the north endzone. A $5 million naming gift in 2014 by Johnny Allison spurred the redesign of the tower which would include adding 42 loge boxes, 20 suites and 300 club seats to its revenue-generating areas. The endzone renovation will include more loge box premium seating along with the much talked about water displays.
The construction on the endzone seating is already underway in Jonesboro and the timeline for the endzone operations center to open should be in 2019. Allison is a former letterman and member of the 1968 footall team and has previously served on the ASU Board of Trustees. The operations center is a $29 million, 67,000 square foot building that will connect the indoor practice facility and the north endzone together. The new construction will also free up areas in the existing south endzone complex for office and meeting space for all of Arkansas State’s 17 sports.