Archive for Saturday, November 6, 2004

$3 million given for upgrade

November 6, 2004


Kansas University's proposed centralized football facility at Memorial Stadium received $3 million in seed money Friday.

KU officials announced that alumni Charles and Sharon Lynch Kimbell of Hutchinson made the commitment with their children and their children's spouses -- Michael and Michelle Kimbell of Mission Hills, and Dan and Kay Kimbell Almanza of Lawrence.

The $3 million is a start, but the KU athletic department still was seeking many more millions of dollars to construct the football facility, said Jim Marchiony, an athletics spokesman. The price tag on the project was between $25 million and $30 million, he said.

Sources have told the Journal-World that a $20 million donation from KU alumnus Bud Adams, owner of the NFL Tennessee Titans, might be forthcoming.

Marchiony said no other donations had yet been finalized, and no time frame had been set for design or construction.

"We haven't sat down and said we have to have this by 'X' date," he said. "We just want to get it done as soon as we can."

Earlier this week, KU athletic director Lew Perkins said officials would be sensitive to the view of Campanile Hill and the KU graduation ceremony when deciding where to locate the football building.

"This facility will help KU be more competitive with other Big 12 programs," Perkins said in a statement. "By consolidating all football activities into one area, the facility will free up space needed for other sports, especially our women's athletics programs."

Sharon Kimbell, who graduated in 1958 and earned a degree in education, mentioned her father, the late Bryan Lynch, who attended KU in the early 1920s.

"My father was a great supporter of KU athletics, especially KU football, and Charlie and I and our family want to carry on that tradition," she said. "We feel very strongly that athletics are an important part of the university and that the football program needs our support."

In addition to the football gift, the Hutchinson couple pledged an additional $1 million to the Lied Center's Kimbell Performing Arts Programming Fund.

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