Mercer’s football and lacrosse home has a new name after the Five Star Automotive Group made a multi-million dollar commitment to the school’s athletics department Thursday.
Five Star Stadium, formerly Mercer University Stadium, is a two-year-old, 10,000-seat facility that opened in 2013 as the home for the school’s football team and men’s and women’s lacrosse teams.
“(Five Star owners) Charlie Cantrell and Dick Pope are two of the university’s strongest supporters, and we are deeply grateful for this significant financial commitment,” Mercer president William D. Underwood said in a release. “We are proud to have the Five Star name on one of the finest athletic venues of its size in the nation.”
Mercer’s football team has gone 16-8 in its two seasons since the program returned from a 72-year hiatus. The Bears have been strong at home, going 12-3. In its first season in the Southern Conference last season, Mercer was 4-3 at home (6-6 overall) and averaged more than 10,000 fans in its seven home games. The Bears were 8-0 at home in 2013 and 10-2 overall.
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The contribution is the largest in Mercer athletics history, according to the athletics department.
The men’s lacrosse team went 11-15 in its first two seasons and is 0-3 this season. The women’s lacrosse program won its debut last week.
“It’s huge, just really huge,” Mercer football head coach Bobby Lamb said. “This adds even more credibility to our program. We’re going to have a terrific stadium name, Five Star Stadium, and it’s great to have the support of Five Star Automotive Group and what they bring to our program.”