Businessman Tilman Fertitta is contributing $20 million to the University of Houston‘s arena renovation project, according to the Houston Chronicle. Feritta’s contribution would grant him naming rights to Hofheinz Pavilion, which is slated to undergo a $60 million overhaul.
The university has been planning this project for some time, as the Board of Regents approved the renovations to the home of the University of Houston Cougars last November. It was revealed at the time that the university had received a $20 million contribution, though the identity of the benefactor has been kept under wraps, due in part to a dispute between the university and the Hofheinz family. Fertitta’s contribution is expected to jumpstart the fundraising process. More from the Chronicle:
The $20 million gift from the university’s board chair would kick off a fundraising campaign to cover the remainder of the tab for the arena renovation. The Galveston native is chairman, CEO and controlling shareholder of Landry’s Inc. The company’s holdings include the Golden Nugget Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Atlantic City, Biloxi, Lake Charles; and the Kemah Boardwalk, Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier, and restaurant chains such as Morton’s The Steakhouse, McCormick and Schmick’s, Chart House, Bubba Gump, Rainforest Café, Saltgrass Steakhouse, and Vic and Anthony’s
Hofheinz Pavilion began hosting Cougars basketball back in 1969. Plans for this renovation call for additional premium seating, video and audio production upgrades, an overhauled concourse, and a raised court. The Board of Regents previously approved a schedule that allowed for construction to begin next spring, with the renovations in place in time for the 2018-2019 season.