Ken Garff Family Donates Record $17.5 Million To Stadium Expansion
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The University of Utah announced that the Ken Garff family has donated a Utah Athletics record $17.5 million towards the Rice-Eccles Stadium expansion.
The record gift from the Garff family will help fund construction of the Ken Garff Performance Zone in the south end zone and is the lead gift in the $80 million stadium project.
Donors have pledged $32 million of the $35 million sought in philanthropic gifts. The remaining $45 million will be generated through various new revenue sources associated with the project.
“We are incredibly grateful for the continuing generosity of the Garff family,” said University of Utah President Ruth Watkins. “This extraordinary gift will dramatically improve the fan experience at Rice-Eccles Stadium during football games and many other events. My sincere thank you Robert and Kathi Garff, John and Amy Garff, and Matt and Nicole Garff for making this gift possible,” she said.
“The success of our student-athletes and our department relies on the extraordinary generosity of our supporters and the Garff Family has been instrumental in elevating Utah Athletics to unimaginable heights,” said Utah Athletics Director Mark Harlan “This transformational commitment from the Garffs will impact thousands of student-athletes, staff, coaches and fans for years to come and we are forever grateful for their kindness and support of our University.”
“The University of Utah is the alma mater for several generations of the Garff family, so it is an institution near and dear to our hearts,” said Robert Garff, Chairman of Ken Garff Automotive. “We at Ken Garff believe the greatest asset in a community is the education of our youth. This partnership with the University of Utah is our way to encourage a legacy of opportunity for decades to come as two aspirational brands come together to improve the community for future generations.”
“This generous gift from the Garff family will benefit generations of student-athletes and fans,” said Utah football coach Kyle Whittingham. “Updating the south end zone is the last piece in making Rice-Eccles Stadium truly one of the best college football environments in the country. We are especially grateful that a family enterprise like Ken Garff, whose roots are in Salt Lake City, has made such a significant contribution to our Utah football family.”
Harlan said that he and his staff are taking ideas from the University of Arkansas and other stadiums around the country.
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