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July 05, 2016

U. of Houston Reportedly Secures $20 Million Naming Gift

After regaining naming rights to the campus basketball arena to raise money for its renovation, the University of Houston plans to rechristen the venue in honor of a $20 million donor, according to the Houston Chronicle. Citing multiple sources with knowledge of the plan, the newspaper reports that the former Hofheinz Pavilion will be renamed for Tilman Fertitta, a billionaire restaurateur who chairs the university’s Board of Regents.

Campus officials reached a settlement last month with the family of the late judge and civic leader Roy Hofheinz, for whom the arena was named upon its opening in 1969. The university said last November that it had received an anonymous $20 million pledge toward the $60 million makeover.

As chairman of the regents, Mr. Fertitta, the founder and CEO of dining and hospitality company Landry’s, voted to approve the renovation project following the November gift announcement and took part in negotiations with Hofheinz heirs who had sued to preserve the name. Neither the university nor Mr. Fertitta would comment or confirm the donation.