Georgia has secured naming rights for its indoor practice facility.
Thanks to $10 million in gifts from family and friends, Billy and Porter Payne will now have the building named after them. It will officially be called the William Porter Payne and Porter Otis Payne Indoor Athletic Facility. The UGA football team began practicing in the indoor facility during winter workouts following the 2016 season.
Whether it rained or was too hot outside, the Bulldogs took full advantage of the $30.2 million dollar facility throughout the 2017 campaign. The Georgia baseball and track teams also have use of the facility.
Billy Payne graduated from UGA with a political science degree in 1969 and with a law degree in 1973. Both Billy Payne (1966-68) and his father, Porter Payne (1946-49), played football for the Bulldogs. Porter Payne was elected team captain of the 1949 football team and was an All-SEC offensive lineman.
“It is a great day for the University of Georgia to honor Billy Payne and his father, Porter,” Georgia athletics director Greg McGarity said in a statement. “We are exceptionally proud to have the Payne family name honored by placement on one of our most significant athletic facilities.”
Billy Payne became famous in the state of Georgia for two sports-related endeavors. First, he was named the president and chief executive officer of the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games. He then proved instrumental in bringing the Centennial Olympic Games to Atlanta in 1996.
In 2006, Billy Payne became the chairman of the Augusta National Golf Club, home of the annual Masters Tournament. He served in that capacity through the 2017 tournament. Billy Payne also helped found Centennial Holding Company, a real estate investment company based in Atlanta.
“Billy Payne and his late father Porter hold a very special place in the storied history and tradition of the University of Georgia,” said UGA President Jere W. Morehead. “It is a great honor to have their names forever tied to one of the most prominent athletic programs in the country.”