BBVA Compass and UAB officials released a statement on Friday announcing a $1.5 million gift to be used to construct a new 2,500 seat stadium for the school’s men’s and women’s soccer teams. The unveiling of these plans follow recent public written statements (including one released by UAB president Dr. Ray Watts and another by the university’s athletic director Brian Mackin) in response to a letter penned by the members of the newly formed UAB Football Foundation and first published on SB Nation’s Underdog Dynasty. The exchange is leading many to wonder if the UAB football team will be taking the field in 2016 and beyond.
Digital renderings of the new facility, to be called BBVA Compass Field, were posted to the UAB men’s soccer team’s fan page on Facebook on Saturday morning, November 8. It would place two of athletic department’s top three performing programs (soccer and baseball) on prominent display for those arriving on campus from the west along University Boulevard. Its location is approximately where a proposed facility was suggested in the long-range plan for the university previously prepared by KPS Group. The field would replace the current team home, the West Campus Field. It is also not the global financial institution’s first foray into the naming-rights arena as BBVA Compass Stadium, a 22,000 seat facility in Houston, TX nicknamed “The Oven,” houses the MLS’s Houston Dynamo and NWSL’s Houston Dash; their Spanish-based parent company, BBVA Group, sponsors La Jiga — the top division in Spain’s soccer league system.
In related news, the men’s soccer team, currently ranked No. 22 in the nation, will play against Marshall at 3:30 p.m. CT on Wednesday, November 12, in Norfolk, VA. in a quarterfinal match for the Conference USA championship. They will play the winner of the first match of the day — Kentucky vs. South Carolina (1 p.m. CT).