BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - Bartow Arena was home to a big celebration Friday.
Blazer fans are celebrating a big donation that has come in to put football back on the field.
Legacy Credit Union is donating $4.2 million in naming rights for the UAB pavilion which will cover part the football team's practice field and help pay for the football complex.
"I can't think of any program I can put the confidence in for the next 20 years. I have no problem thinking UAB will be a viable force for next 20 years" said Joe McGee, President and CEO of Legacy Credit Union.
President Ray Watts killed the program but now said it will be a big winner.
UAB football advocate Tim Alexander says the animosity between Blazer supporters and Watts is gone.
"It's all about family. We are excited about the 365 countdown. Students are excited. Everyone is excited about 2017," Alexander said.
Athletic Director Mark Ingram said the UAB Pavilion and Football Operations Complex will be useful for all Blazer athletes to train.
Ingram said the Birmingham area's financial support along with Legacy and others are why everyone is optimistic about the future of UAB football.
"We have nothing but great support. This is community realizes how important athletics is to UAB. How important UAB is to Birmingham." Ingram said.
Football coach Bill Clark told the crowd he is ready to break ground now. Clark is getting the team ready for that big opening game in 2017.
He has eyes down the road on stadium in downtown for 2018.