Kentucky will be first SEC school with corporate-named football stadium

The Wildcats are following in the footsteps of their in-state rivals at Louisville.

Generally speaking, SEC schools aren't hurting for cash, with the conference distributing about $40 million to each of its 14 schools in fiscal 2016. But there are still revenue streams out there to be tapped, and Kentucky became an SEC trailblazer in one of them Monday.

The Wildcats will become the first conference school to play their home games in a stadium with a corporate name — Kroger Field — as part of a university-wide marketing partnership with the grocery giant. The school said in a release Monday that Kentucky will receive $1.85 million annually in a deal that could last up to 12 years.

The former Commonwealth Stadium has been around since 1973, and though it will carry the distinction of being the first SEC football facility with a naming rights deal, several other FBS schools already have gone that route — most notably UK's rival Louisville, which has a sponsorship with Papa John's that runs through 2040.

Others include Texas Tech (Jones AT&T Stadium), Minnesota (TCF Bank Stadium), Wake Forest (BB&T Field) and UCF (Bright House Networks Stadium).

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