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updated: 8/2/2011 2:53 PM

South Elgin High School scoreboard gets sponsors

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A pair of big-name sponsors will have their names emblazoned across the South Elgin High School stadium scoreboard when the school hosts its first athletic event in the new facility next month.

The Elgin Area District U-46 school board Monday approved scoreboard donations and sponsorship agreements with Bear Family Restaurants, owners of nine local McDonald's franchises, and the Coca-Cola Co.

Board members approved the item on the consent agenda and did not discuss the agreements.

Each deal is worth $5,000 annually for the next five years and will go toward paying off the loan the South Elgin Booster Club took on to pay for the scoreboard, athletic director Jim Szymczak said.

The agreements designate space on the bottom panel of the scoreboard for each donor. Sherman and Provena St. Joseph hospitals in Elgin were initial sponsors of the $115,000 scoreboard, Szymczak said.

In addition to signage space, Coca-Cola will have exclusive beverage rights at the stadium, the agreement states, and the school is barred from displaying advertising of competitive products anywhere in the stadium, including locker rooms, sidelines and players benches.

The project is entirely funded through private donations and the booster club has so far raised more than $550,000 for the first phase of the stadium construction, which covers the installation of permanent home side bleachers and the scoreboard. The lion's share of the donations have come from the Wisdom Family Foundation of Elgin and the Hoffer Foundation of South Elgin.

"We are excited to have this project going on and are grateful for the district for allowing us to pursue this incredible project," Szymczak said. "The incredible coming together of the community that we are seeing and the community spirit that is there makes this a special place to be right now."

The total cost of the project is estimated at $3.2 million, which includes a new turf field, press box and brick walkway. The foundation is currently working on additional sponsorship agreements and opportunities to raise money for the remaining plans.

South Elgin's boys' soccer team is expected to christen the new stadium Sept. 15 when it hosts Hoffman Estates High School. The first home football game is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Sept. 17 when the Storm takes on Metea Valley.

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