UTRGV to rename H-E-B Park to Robert & Janet Vackar Stadium

dfwnewsa | March 21, 2024 | 0 | East Texas News , South Texas News

UTRGV to rename H-E-B Park to Robert & Janet Vackar Stadium
Robert and Janet Vacker are seen during a news conference as the University of Texas-Rio Grande Valley renames UTRGV Stadium, formerly H-E-B Park, to the Robert & Janet Vackar Stadium Thursday, March 21, 2024, in Edinburg. (Delcia Lopez | dlopez@themonitor.com)
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EDINBURG — The University of Texas-Rio Grande Valley on Thursday announced it is renaming UTRGV Stadium, formerly H-E-B Park, to the Robert & Janet Vackar Stadium.

Officials said during a news conference at the stadium that the couple gifted $20 million to UTRGV Athletics.

“In recognition of their generosity UTRGV is naming this stadium, the very place you’re sitting right now, the Robert & Janet Vackar Stadium,” UTRGV President Guy Bailey said at the news conference.

The stadium will be home to the university’s new football team, the UTRGV Vaqueros.
It once held the Rio Grande Valley FC Toros of the United Soccer League, which ceased operations in December 2023.

At the podium, Bailey also thanked the couple for their previous donations and how it helped shape the university early in its inception.

“(UTRGV) opened our doors August 30, 2015 … and we’ve accomplished a lot of things … and it’s something we should all be proud of,” he said. “But, you know, you don’t do that on your own. You need friends. You need people who believe in you, who support you, even if they are not completely sure what you’re going to be. They have faith in you. Bob and Janet Vackar are those friends.”

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It is not the first university building named after the couple with the business school named the UTRGV Robert C. Vackar College of Business & Entrepreneurship.

During the news conference, Janet shared her father’s story. He founded Bert Ogden Auto Group and also how the legacy institution University of Texas Pan American supported and helped build her father’s business.

Robert also took to the podium and said he is a proud product of Edinburg and reminisced how his father and leaders in the Edinburg community helped shape him to have a strong work ethic and pursue a college degree.

“I looked across there and all that was, was cornfields, no university out there, just two small buildings,” he said, remembering having to unload boxcars near UTRGV. “And what a job that the city and the state have done … (UTRGV) is now the ninth largest university in the state of Texas.”

This graphic shows a rendering of UTRGV Stadium in Edinburg, formally known as H-E-B Park. (Courtesy: UTRGV Athletics)

The Vackars also have donated to fund several endowed scholarships such as the Robert C. Vackar Endowed Scholarship for aspiring entrepreneurs in the college of business and the Janet Ogden Vackar Spirit of Philanthropy Endowed Scholarship for students pursuing a mass communications degree.

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Vice President and Director of UTRGV Athletics Chasse Conque said the $20 million gift is in the category of the top 40 donations made to a department of athletics across the country.

“This investment is helping us accomplish everything that we’re doing here today,” Conque said. “So the renovations, the things that we’ll be able to share here in the next couple of months, we’ll apply their extremely generous support to make those things become a reality.”

He added they will quickly get to work on rebranding, enhancing the stadium and an announcement of details and plans for the stadium to come in the next couple of months.

“The support of the Vackars is going to allow us to do some things to this already beautiful stadium,” Conque said. “It’s going to take it to the next level and really get it ready for college football and make sure we have all the fan amenities for our students and the fans across the Rio Grande Valley.”

Robert Vacker, Guy Bailey, Travis Bush and Janet Vacker laugh during a news conference as the University of Texas-Rio Grande Valley renames UTRGV Stadium, formerly H-E-B Park, to the Robert & Janet Vackar Stadium Thursday, March 21, 2024, in Edinburg. (Delcia Lopez | dlopez@themonitor.com)

The stadium has a capacity of nearly 10,000 and an amphitheater that can seat an additional 2,500 people.

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The UTRGV Vaqueros will also play a home game each season at Sams Memorial Stadium in Brownsville.

On Thursday, officials with UTRGV said there’s approximately 3,500 season ticket holders already and that the first official game will be Aug. 30, 2025.

“This is a blessing and I can just envision families here and everyone coming together,” Janet said. “Just fun times and laughter and great football and I think it’s going to bring all the communities around the Rio Grande Valley together.”

The post UTRGV to rename H-E-B Park to Robert & Janet Vackar Stadium appeared first on MyRGV.com.

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