Florida Stadium to Be Renamed— After Prison Firm
GEO Group's boss is alumnus of Florida Atlantic
By Matt Cantor, Newser User
Posted Feb 20, 2013 1:54 PM CST
A file photo of detainees inside a holding cell at the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma, Wash. The facility is operated by the GEO Group.   (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

(Newser) – A 29,000-seat university stadium in Boca Raton, Florida, will soon boast the name of a private prison company—a move that has critics shaking their heads, the New York Times reports. GEO Group "is a company whose record is marred by human rights abuses, by lawsuits, by unnecessary deaths," says one social justice activist. "It’s like calling something Blackwater Stadium." But Florida Atlantic University's president says GEO is "a wonderful company" with strong ties to the school.

Its chairman, George Zoley, has a pair of Florida Atlantic degrees. Still, his good intentions may be misplaced, says an expert on sports marketing. With the $6 million deal for naming rights, Zoley is "mixing his philanthropic interest with a marketing strategy that doesn’t make any sense. ... Now, across the country, they’re going to say that Florida Atlantic can change its uniforms to stripes."

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Showing 3 of 17 comments
Feb 24, 2013 1:39 PM CST
Prison is like a farm leauge for players.
Feb 21, 2013 4:16 AM CST
The University of Phoenix has a stadium they paid the naming rights for. They don't even have any sport teams, but at least there a college. Maybe Corrections Corporation of American should look into buying the rights to Glendale Community College and then Sheriff Joe could field a team wearing 'pink' uniforms.
Feb 20, 2013 7:15 PM CST
Good thing it's not the FAU baseball stadium...the Owls would be afraid to steal a base!