Prison Company Withdraws Deal to Name Florida College Stadium

Resulted in demonstrations and public outcry


A Florida-based private prison operator has withdrawn from its deal to land naming rights to Florida Atlantic University's football stadium, ending weeks of controversy, demonstrations and outcry from the FAU student body and surrounding community.

On Feb. 19, the university announced a $6 million deal with GEO Group – parceled out at $500,000 annually over 12 years – to rename the yet-unnamed facility "GEO Group Stadium." The deal's detractors had another name for the stadium: "Owlcatraz."

The university's decision was heavily protested on campus, with groups like the Stop Owlcatraz Coalition pointing out GEO Group's spotty track record of investigations, violations and fines at several facilities. One such GEO Group facility, the Broward Transitional Center, is located less than 10 miles from the university.