The sale of Jim Ball’s auto dealership to the Basil family raises a question unrelated to cars: what becomes of the name of Jim Ball Stadium in Orchard Park?
Ball acquired the naming rights to the stadium on Erie Community College’s South Campus in 2001. It is the home field for the Kats football team, among other ECC sports.
Meanwhile, Ball’s dealership on Southwestern Boulevard – only a couple of miles or so from the stadium – is now known as Robert Basil Buick GMC Cadillac, the result of a deal completed last week. Ball remains involved as a senior sales representative.
“The college is currently reviewing all of its naming rights, not only for Jim Ball Stadium but buildings on all three campuses,” said Michael Farrell, an ECC spokesman.
Ball’s naming rights contract for the stadium actually expired in 2011, Farrell said.
“Because of the long-standing relationship the college has had with Mr. Ball, we just left the name up on the stadium,” he said. “So there is no contract in place at this time for a continuing relationship between the stadium name and his name.”