University of Cincinnati Fans Match $1 Million Sheakley Challenge for Jefferson Avenue Sports Complex

Oct. 6, 2009

Jefferson Avenue Sports Complex Website - Donate Here

CINCINNATI - Two weeks after Larry Sheakley, the CEO of the Sheakley Group and UC Patron, initiated a $1 million matching gift challenge to raise money for the Jefferson Avenue Sports Complex to the University of Cincinnati fan base, the UC Foundation, which oversees the school's current $1 billion Proudly Cincinnati campaign, and the UCATS Office, the fundraising wing of UC Athletics, announced today (Oct. 6) that they have received the donations needed to match the initial challenge.

The commitments, which came from a wide demographic of benefactors and community philanthropists, combined with the $7 million already raised, move the project closer to its overall goal of $13.5 million.

"First I want to thank everyone who took up my challenge over the last couple weeks and made this gift a reality," said Sheakley. "I am incredibly proud to be a part of this wonderful University, and the dedication and commitment of our community to join together for our student-athletes and the school. In response to your generosity and team spirit, I am personally extending the matching gift an additional $1.5 million. I am certain that the enthusiasm and pride we all feel for UC and the City of Cincinnati right now will continue, and I feel confident we will make our goal. Together, fans, business leaders, students, alumni, and the entire community, WE are creating UC Athletics history!"

Plans for the complex include two fields, one 100 yards in length and the other being 50 yards. The fields will serve all 18 of UC athletics programs with additional practice space, while the 100-yard field will be the competitive home for women's lacrosse. Long-range construction plans include seating areas, team meeting space, a press box, concessions, restrooms, and scoreboard.

The complex is also expected to play a vital role in UC recruiting the nation's finest prospective student-athletes. The 100-yard field will also become an indoor practice facility during winter months via an air-supported "bubble" that will be inflated over the field.



"The University and the City of Cincinnati are blessed to have such selfless benefactors like Larry Sheakley and the numerous others that stepped up the last two weeks," said UC Director of Athletics Mike Thomas. "It is the efforts of those people who will help us reach our goal and realize our CATAPULT ideals of Championships, Academics, and Together."

"I'm grateful for the confidence and support we've received over the past three years from the University and our fans," head coach Brian Kelly said. "The passion of the Bearcats Community, fans, and all those associated with our program are truly what makes UC football special. Every time we are issued a challenge, be it on or off the field, our supporters seem to find a way to get it done. That never give up attitude is what it takes to be a championship program, and by doing so, they demonstrate they are Proudly Cincinnati."

To contribute to the Jefferson Avenue Sports Complex, UC supporters are encouraged to log on to and click on the main page icon that features a comprehensive presentation of information regarding the Jefferson Avenue Sports Complex.

If you would like to speak to a member of the UCATS staff directly, please call 513-556-4884.

To learn more about the UC Foundation's Proudly Cincinnati campaign or make a gift, you can log on to