FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – On Thursday, Fresno State announced a 10-year partnership with Valley Children’s Hospital. The deal includes the naming rights of Bulldog Stadium, as well as opportunities to enhance the facility.
“It’s a truly historical event, it brings two iconic institutions together,” said University President Dr. Saul Jimenez-Sandoval.
“It’s a great day for the university and in particular for athletics,” said Terry Tumey, Fresno State Director of Athletics.
The California State University Board of Trustees will have to approve the new name, which will be announced next spring.
“Athletics will be at the cornerstone of all of this,” said Jimenez-Sandoval. “Our athletes will be able to receive healthcare from Children’s hospitals as well.”
“The football team is always coming by our place to visit kids. The other teams [like] baseball, basketball, tennis, the list goes on,” shared Todd Suntrapak, Valley Children’s Hospital President & CEO.
The deal also provides $10 million in funds for operations, scholarships, collaborations for student-athletes, youth programs and opportunities for those pursuing degrees in healthcare.
“As a football player, as a football athlete, just as a student in general, as a human being, to take time and visit a place like Valley Children’s Hospital you just get a different perspective on your life,” said former NFL player and Fresno State alum David Carr.
Carr played a key role in the partnership. He and his younger brother David, who also played football at the university and for the NFL, serve as ambassadors for the healthcare network.
While in college, Derek visited the hospital to interact with patients. Years later, his son underwent life-saving surgery at the Madera campus.
“We know that when our youth are well, they do have a greater chance at success. Including pursuing the dream at a higher education,” said Jimenez-Sandoval. “Together, we will bring strength and vitality to our Valley.”
“It shows amazing investment in our community, not just for right now, the present, but for generations to come,” added Suntrapak.