As East Tennessee State gears up to play its first season of football since 2003, the program received good news on Wednesday when Roadrunner Markets and Dunkin’ Donuts donated $1 million toward the school’s new football stadium.
“Roadrunner Markets has been a part of this community for nearly 40 years, and we’re privileged to be able to be a contributing partner in this endeavor to bring college football back to Johnson City,” says Ryan Broyles, President and CEO of Roadrunner Markets. “We recognize the significance that the resurgence of this program will have on the region and encourage all local businesses to do their part as well.”
The 10,000-seat stadium, which the school hopes will be ready for the 2017 season, is estimated to cost more than $26 million. The school announced the location of the new stadium last month while detailing a fundraising effort needed to raise the rest of the money needed (approximately $13 million) to build the facility.
Assisting with the fundraising efforts are country music star Kenny Chesney, an ETSU alum, and former Tennessee head coach Phil Fulmer.
“I want to especially thank the people of Upper-East Tennessee for embracing this dream of bringing an important part of student life back to ETSU," Fulmer said earlier this month. "The community and all of Upper-East Tennessee will benefit from the financial impact East Tennessee state football will bring.”
ETSU senior associate athletic director Scott Carter hinted to the Johnson City Press Wednesday that the Roadrunner and Dunkin’ Donuts donation put the school close to its $12.7 million goal.
“This is definitely a huge benchmark for us, and it’s definitely moving us closer toward our goals,” Carter said. “It’s our hope that others will see the leadership demonstrated today by the Broyles family and encourage them to follow suit.”
ETSU rejoined the Southern Conference in 2014 and will play its first game since Nov. 22. 2003 when the Buccaneers host Kennesaw State on Sept. 3.
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