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Lugnuts' home gets new name for 201002/24/2010 3:47 PM ET
LANSING, Mich. -- Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero and Thomas M. Cooley Law School President and Dean Don LeDuc announced Monday that the downtown Lansing stadium and home to one of Minor League Baseball's most successful franchises, the Lansing Lugnuts, will officially be named the Cooley Law School Stadium in a sponsorship agreement signed between the baseball team and the law school.
"This is a grand slam home run for the City of Lansing, the Lugnuts and Cooley Law School," Mayor Bernero said at the noon announcement on the plaza in front of the stadium.
"Cooley is the largest law school in the country and continues to be one of our greatest partners in bringing new vitality to downtown Lansing. Naming our downtown ballpark the Cooley Law School Stadium is a perfect tribute that honors all of the students, alumni and faculty who have been a part of this important and respected Lansing educational institution for so many years."
"We are thrilled to make this long-term investment that will benefit, not only our students and employees, but the entire community and region for years to come," said Cooley President LeDuc. "While Cooley has grown to serve students across the state at four campuses, Lansing will always be our home."
"Sponsorships are very important in professional sports," said Sherrie Myers, co-owner of the Lansing Lugnuts. "In Lansing, this kind of stadium support helps to keep ticket prices affordable for so many families and friends from throughout the region who want to enjoy fun, high-quality but low-cost family-friendly entertainment."
The downtown Lansing stadium had been sponsored by General Motors since the stadium opened 15 years ago, with the facility formerly known as Oldsmobile Park. GM chose not to renew the Lansing stadium sponsorship agreement along with not renewing many other sponsorships around the nation because of the corporation's financial bankruptcy. A total of 346,935 fans attended 66 Lugnuts home games last year, and 5,680,821 fans have attended games since the stadium opened.
The new agreement between the Lansing Lugnuts and the Thomas M. Cooley Law School is an 11-year stadium sponsorship deal that mirrors the length of the stadium lease between the team and the City of Lansing. The new stadium name agreement allows the baseball club and the city to evenly split the sponsorship support totaling $1,485,000 over the length of the contract.
Cooley Law School is the largest law school in the nation. Founded in 1972, the private, non-profit law school operates J.D. programs across Michigan in Lansing, Auburn Hills, Grand Rapids and Ann Arbor. Today, Cooley Law School has nearly 14,000 graduates across the nation and worldwide and also offers joint degree and master of laws programs. Cooley offers enrollment three times a year: in January, May and September.