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Beaumont ISD school board votes to table decision on $1.1M bid for Memorial Stadium naming rights

Board members voted to table a decision on a bid provided by Doggett Equipment Services Group. The bid includes a payment of $110,000 every year for 10 years.

BEAUMONT, Texas — The Beaumont Independent School District school board voted to table the decision on approving of a bid package for the naming rights of Memorial Stadium in a meeting Thursday evening. 

(EDITOR'S NOTE: 12News previously reported the school board unanimously voted to sell naming rights for Memorial Stadium. It was difficult for our reporter to hear inside the meeting. We were told BISD's communications team also heard incorrectly at first. We apologize for this error.)

On April 20, 2023, a school board agenda item outlined a vote on approving a proposal provided by Doggett Equipment Services Group.

Doggett's package includes a stadium press box on both sides and an illuminated sign. 

The bid includes a payment of $110,000 every year for 10 years, totaling $1,100,000. 

Board members voted to table the decision. It will be up for consideration next month, according to district spokesperson Jackie Simien.

Prior to the meeting, board member Joe Evans said he's ready to see the stadium given a new name. 

"Anything that's pumping revenue into our educational system, i'm all for it. So, I've done the research on that company, they seem like qualified, great company, the ownership is here locally now, so they're part of the community," Evans said. 

Doggett is one of North America's largest heavy equipment distributors, with annual sales in excess of $2 billion and a workforce of more than 2,100 full-time employees, according to their proposal package.  

RELATED: Beaumont school board approves then rescinds stadium name change, opting to possibly sell naming rights instead

The stadium first opened in 2010 and was named after Carrol "Butch" Thomas the school district's first black superintendent.

In 2018, Beaumont ISD voted to change the name to Beaumont ISD Memorial Stadium. This came three years after a forensic audit revealed Thomas and his administration mismanaged a $389 million bond back in 2007 which funded the stadium.

In January 2022, the board passed a motion to change the name, but school officials didn’t specify if it would be back to Carrol “Butch” Thomas.

Four people voted in favor of the name change, two voted against and one person abstained.

The January 2022 meeting was the third time in four years the school board has discussed the renaming of the Beaumont ISD Memorial Stadium.

Several members wanted to bring back the 'Butch.’ The name change was rejected and the name 'Memorial Stadium' still stands.

Before the 4 to 2 vote, members heard from people on both sides of the issue.    

"If you're going to do anything with the name to sell the naming rights and bring in some much-needed revenue,” Beaumont City councilman Mike Getz said previously.

"The naming of the stadium had nothing to do with our children's education. If this actually had to be done by an elected board of trustees I would not be standing here tonight,” another meeting attendee said previously. 

After the motion passed, the board went into an executive session to meet with their attorney.

They returned and rescinded the original 4-2 vote, before finally deciding to consider selling the naming rights. The subsequent motion, which passed 5-2, resulted in the decision to have the superintendent meet with Beaumont ISD’s facilities committee to look into selling the naming rights for the stadium.

On January 18, 2022, Crenshaw Law Firm sent a letter to the Beaumont ISD board president and several others threatening to sue.

MORE| Read full letter sent to Beaumont ISD here 

The letter states an anonymous donor made a considerable donation to Beaumont in 2018 in exchange for permanently renaming Memorial Stadium.

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