Louisville settles naming rights with Papa John’s founder
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — The University of Louisville Athletic Association will pay Papa John’s founder John Schnatter $9.5 million over 5½ years in a settlement to terminate the pizza chain’s naming rights to Cardinal Stadium.
The school last year removed the Papa John’s name and logo from the 60,800-seat stadium amid fallout from a report that Schnatter used a racial slur during a company conference call.
Some Cardinal players had also called for its removal. ULAA and the Board of Trustees approved the agreement Thursday that will immediately pay Schnatter $1.5 million with four subsequent annual payments of $2 million every July.
Louisville athletic director Vince Tyra said the settlement allows the school to reclaim and resell naming rights to help pay the remaining installments.
The naming rights agreement ran through 2040. Tyra suggested the next deal would be shorter and added, “our intention would be to get that buttoned up by next season.”