Boyd Gaming Makes Big Pledge to UNLV Athletics

It is UNLV Athletics’ biggest donation ever.

Boyd Gaming has unveiled a $5 million, multi-year commitment to UNLV sports as part of the Company’s continuing efforts to support the southern Nevada institute of higher learning.

The centerpiece of the investment is the “Boyd Gaming Scoreboard,” a state-of-the-art scoreboard that will be installed in the Thomas & Mack Center prior to tip-off of the UNLV Rebels’ basketball season Nov. 10 against Loyola Marymount.

“We are proud to build upon our partnership with UNLV in such a profound way,” said the Company’s Executive Chairman, Bill Boyd. “This investment will carry Boyd Gaming’s legacy with UNLV Athletics forward to inspire the next generation of leaders across our great city and state. We believe in the vision of the leadership at UNLV Athletics, and are proud to know that Boyd Gaming will be closely tied to the Rebels’ emergence among the nation’s elite.”

A renovation of Eller Media Stadium, where the UNLV softball team plays, is also in the works thanks to Boyd Gaming’s donation.

Additionally, the Student-Athlete Excellence Center is planned as part of a renovation of the Lied Athletic Complex. The center will focus on topics such as leadership and health and wellness for student-athletes. “It will allow us to support our entire student-athlete population while graduating leaders prepared for lifelong success,” said UNLV Athletic Director Desiree Reed-Francois.

The gift was announced Sept. 8 during the UNLV football team’s home opener against the University of Texas, El Paso. During a timeout, Boyd Gaming President and CEO Keith Smith and Marianne Johnson, the Company’s Vice Chairman, Executive Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer, presented UNLV officials with a ceremonial check to commemorate the donation.

“We are thankful for this transformational commitment,” said Reed-Francois. “This is a tremendous way to celebrate the respect and admiration that we have for Boyd Gaming. The impact will be felt throughout our student-athlete community, allowing us to deliver programs and services essential to our mission. Our fans are so important to us, we listened and are enthused to provide this new scoreboard to enhance the gameday experience at the Thomas & Mack Center.

“The Student-Athlete Excellence Center will be a differentiator for UNLV Athletics. It will allow us to support our entire student-athlete population, while graduating leaders prepared for lifelong success. Support for softball will allow Coach Fox to compete at the highest level of the sport.”

This donation is the latest in a long list of Boyd Gaming commitments to higher education in the Las Vegas community.

  • The Company in the mid-1980s invested several million dollars in what was then known as the Las Vegas Silver Bowl. It was rechristened Sam Boyd Stadium in 1993.
  • Boyd Gaming Executive Chairman Bill Boyd has personally donated $30 million to the William S. Boyd School of Law at UNLV.
  • The Company pledged $2.5 million to support the expansion of the William F. Harrah College of Hotel Administration at UNLV. The donation helped build the new state-of-the-art academic building, Hospitality Hall.