Wednesday, September 18, 2013

UWL Is LaCrosse Loggers Sponsor, by Sean Eaton

For $40,000 a year from UW-La Crosse, the Eagles baseball team will in turn be able to begin playing their games at the LaCrosse Loggers’ Copeland Field in 2014.  UWL is already a game sponsor and has a “guess his major” promotion each home game.

Through the partnership, the University along with the Loggers are attempting to raise $600,000 for the necessary improvements to Copeland Field. As of this point, due in large part to a $300,000 donation from Festival Foods, the Loggers, along with UW-La Crosse, are well on their way to their goal. Josh Whitman, UWL a.d., has stated that none of the financial responsibilities of this partnership will at any time fall on the students.

In 2012, the Athletic Department announced a partnership with the local semiprofessional baseball team. The Loggers approached UW-La Crosse with an idea for a sponsorship deal. The idea was centered around a fund raising effort by the Loggers to be able to pay for a new video scoreboard, new batting cages, and new dugouts.

The partnership stemmed from 2010, when the University of Wisconsin La Crosse athletic department was faced with some difficult financial decisions surrounding its baseball team. With little funding, and a list of needs, the program was forced to cut the part of the budget that paid the $35-40,000 of salary owed to the head coach. This cut made the head coach’s salary come entirely from fund raising. “I didn’t think it was fair to ask our coach to go out and raise money for his own salary,” said  Whitman.