With a gift of $2 million from local businessman Bob Brooks, the Coastal Carolina University football stadium, currently under construction, will officially be named Brooks Stadium.
Named in honor of Brooks' children, Coby Garrett and Boni Belle, the stadium will be dedicated Sept. 6 during Coastal's first football game against Newberry College.
The contribution represents the largest single gift the university has received to date.
"We are pleased to have Bob Brooks, his wife Tami and their family as key players in our football program," said Coastal President Ronald Ingle in announcing the gift. "Bob's commitment to this exciting new phase of university life will carry us to the next level. It's a very generous gesture that shows his willingness to invest in community."
Brooks, who grew up on a farm in Loris, is the CEO and founder of Eastern Foods, Inc., creators of the Naturally Fresh line of products, and chairman of Hooters of America, Inc., which includes restaurants by the same name in 41 states and nine countries. He also created Hooters Air Charter Airline, the National Golf Association Hooters Tour, and the Hooters ProCup Series, a $3-million-a-year operation that includes 30 short-track races in small towns throughout the Southeast and Midwest.
"I am glad we are able to contribute to this community in this way," said Brooks. "I trust that our involvement in the community will continue for a long time. I would ask that other businesses get involved also because of the critical importance of supporting education in our community. God has favored us with the ability to make this possible, and this is the least we can do."
Groundbreaking for the Chanticleers' stadium was July 30, 2002. Phase I of the stadium construction will have 6,408 seats. The stadium will be a work in progress, designed to grow with the program, with a possible future seating capacity of up to 20,000 seats.
Led by Head Football Coach David Bennett, formerly of Catawba College in Salisbury, N.C., the Chanticleers will compete at the NCAA Division I-AA level. In its inaugural season, the Chanticleers will play teams including Morehead State, Savannah State, VMI, Davidson and others.
Hill Construction Inc., of Mt. Pleasant, is handling construction of the stadium, which was designed by McMillan Smith & Partners of Spartanburg.
For ticket information, call 1-877-4 CHANTS (424-2687).