UNLV just received its largest contribution of a $5 million donation from The Boyd Gaming Corp for its men’s basketball and softball program. The funds will also go towards building a center that will benefit all athletic spots at UNLV. Plans for the donation will include a new scoreboard at the Thomas & Mack Center and help with the Student Athlete Excellence Center and the Eller Media Stadium.
UNLV athletic director Desiree Reed-Francois says, “We are thankful for this transformational commitment. This is a tremendous way to celebrate the respect and admiration that we have for the Boyds and Boyd Gaming. The impact will be felt throughout our student-athlete community, allowing us to deliver programs and services essential to our mission.”
Boyd Gaming executive chairman Bill Boyd says, “We are proud to build upon our partnership with UNLV in such a profound way. This investment will carry Boyd Gaming’s legacy with UNLV athletics forward to inspire the next generation of leaders across our great city and state. We believe in the vision of the leadership at UNLV athletics and are proud to know that Boyd Gaming will be closely tied to the Rebels’ emergence among the nation’s elite.”
With the basketball season opening Nov. 10 against Loyola Marymount, coach Marvin Menzies says, “Like at most successful home courts across the country, the fans appreciate not just the players on the court but the overall experience and atmosphere that is provided. We truly appreciate our fans and know how important the game-day atmosphere in the Thomas & Mack Center is. The new scoreboard will absolutely help enhance the experience for our fans.”
The new student athlete center will be inside the Lied Athletic Complex and offer leadership and health services, among others. Reed-Francois says, “The Student-Athlete Excellence Center will be a differentiator for UNLV athletics. It will allow us to support our entire student-athlete population while graduating leaders prepared for lifelong success.”
As Las Vegas prepare for the opening of the Las Vegas Raiders stadium in 2020, UNLV will also be planning to reveal upgrades to their softball stadium. Softball coach Kristie Fox says, “We are so thankful to Boyd Gaming and their generous donation. It is a time in college athletics where facilities are getting better and better. This will allow UNLV softball to build on the traditions of our past and continue towards a bright future.”