Northville Eight Mile Stadium Renamed Tom Holzer Ford Field

The auto dealership will give the district a $250,000 donation to be paid over 10 years in exchange for the naming rights.

-From a press release

Northville Public Schools announced today a generous $250,000 donation from Tom Holzer Ford, Inc., in Farmington Hills, that will support the completion of Phase I improvements to the school district’s athletic stadium — including the installation of artificial turf — and give naming rights for the facility to the automotive dealer.

Northville Superintendent Mary Kay Gallagher and Tom Holzer Ford President and Chief Executive Officer Constance Holzer signed the 10-year donor agreement at a gathering today at the stadium, where installation of the artificial turf was recently completed. With the agreement official, the facility —located on the north side of Eight Mile Road between Center Street and Taft Road — will now be known as Tom Holzer Ford Field.

Home to the (NHS) Mustangs, as well as several of the district’s middle school athletic teams, for nearly 50 years, the field and facilities, formerly known as the Eight Mile Stadium, are also used by numerous community athletic organizations each year, including youth football, soccer and lacrosse programs. The first athletic contest on the new Tom Holzer Ford Field will be at 7 p.m. on Friday, August 24, when the division champion Mustang Varsity Football Team takes on the Lakeland High School Eagles.

“We deeply appreciate this amazing gift from Tom Holzer Ford,” said Northville Public Schools Board of Education President Dottie Garrity. “This unique agreement is an example of how our community is choosing, through its generous support, to help on a local level to protect and grow the incredible educational and extra-curricular programs that are the hallmark of Northville Public Schools.”

“Our children are our future and our future is our children," Holzer said. “I want to do all that I can to protect and educate these beautiful young minds. It is an honor to be involved with the wonderful city of Northville and the Board of Education. Lets put our helmets on for TURF CLUB.”

The agreement calls for Tom Holzer Ford to provide the district with $172,600 of the $250,000 donation now, followed by annual payments of $8,600 for the next nine years of the contract. In addition to naming rights, the Tom Holzer Ford logo will appear on signs at the north and south entrances to the stadium and on the front of the scoreboard facing the athletic field and the back of the scoreboard facing Eight Mile Road. Tom Holzer Ford also will have the option during the 10 years of the agreement to place a full-page advertisement in the annual Northville Mustangs Football Program, take advantage of LED messages on the scoreboard for advertisements, set up car displays during athletic events at the stadium, and receive four athletic passes to all home Northville High School sporting events.

“This gift from Tom Holzer Ford is a win:win for Northville Public Schools, Tom Holzer Ford, and the Northville community as a whole,” Gallagher said. “The artificial turf project and stadium improvements are becoming a reality through the incredible generosity of community members, local businesses and community groups – without taking money away from the classroom. This is truly a reflection of the fact that our community values exemplary programs, including academics, athletics and the arts. Strong schools are the beacon of a
strong community where people want to live, businesses want to locate, and property values are higher.”

In addition to the $250,000 gift to the school district from Tom Holzer Ford, the Northville Educational Foundation also has received funding commitments of $600,000 toward the installation of artificial turf at the athletic field, including a $500,000 anonymous gift announced in April 2011 and another $100,000 gift from the Friends of Northville Parks and Recreation announced in May 2011.

In October 2011, TURF CLUB, a consortium of community members representing numerous Northville area organizations and businesses, set a goal of raising an additional $600,000 to help fund nearly $1.2 million in Phase I stadium improvements that includes the artificial turf and a new scoreboard. With the gift from Tom Holzer Ford, as well as anticipated scoreboard sponsorships (currently in the contracting phase), and other significant gifts from local organizations, families and individuals, the goal of funding the Phase I stadium improvements has been reached.

“We are extremely excited about our new partnership with Tom Holzer Ford,” said Bryan Masi, Northville High School Athletic Director and TURF CLUB member. “The agreement has enabled us to reach our fundraising goal so that we can complete the Phase I stadium project. Our new artificial turf field will allow us to increase field usage not only for NHS athletic teams but also for community programs. The artificial turf field will provide a safe surface and give young people in the Northville community a greater opportunity to participate
and to be physically active.”

While the artificial turf and scoreboard components of the Phase I stadium improvements have been paid for exclusively through donations, Northville Public Schools also is providing funding from the 1-mill sinking fund millage approved by voters in May 2011 to help with other stadium renovations. District improvements to the stadium that coincided with the Phase I installation of the artificial turf include a new press box, lighting and sound system. Over the course of the five-year sinking fund millage allocation, the school district anticipates it will devote $1.35 million to necessary stadium improvements.

TURF CLUB will be raising funds beginning this fall for Phase II of the stadium improvements, which will include renovation of the concession, restroom and locker room facilities.

Located at 10 Mile and Haggerty roads in Farmington Hills, Tom Holzer Ford is the nation’s ninth largest Ford dealership offering a wide variety of new and used vehicles for purchase or lease, as well as full-service parts, service and body shop departments. The automobile dealership is a proud sponsor of the Farmington Hills YMCA, the Novi Parks and Recreation Department, and is active in the Walled Lake, Northville, Plymouth and West Bloomfield communities. For more information, visit www.holzerford.com.

All contributions to TURF CLUB are managed by the Northville Educational Foundation, which has established a restricted fund for this purpose. For more information about TURF CLUB and how you can help, visit http://nhsturfclub.org.

The Northville Educational Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization whose mission is to attract, manage and distribute charitable gifts to provide educational opportunities that enhance Northville Public Schools’ commitment to excellence. All donations are tax deductible according to IRS guidelines. For more information or to discuss your gift including Tribute Gifts, Corporate Matching Gifts, etc., please contact Jennifer Pearson, Foundation Manager, at 248-344-8458 or NEF@NorthvilleEdFoundation.org.

Denise Nash July 19, 2012 at 05:09 PM
I'm sorry, but I feel that a correction is required here. The definition of GIFT, noun 1. something given voluntarily without payment in return, as to show favor toward someone, honor an occasion, or make a gesture of assistance; present. Make no mistake, it was nice that Tom Holzer Ford donated $250k in exchange for advertising his dealership. But please do not call this a gift.
Bill P July 23, 2012 at 04:11 AM
Not so sure I agree that the renaming of the high school athletic field as "Tom Holzer Ford Field" because THF is donating $250,000 over 10 years for turf and a new score board is "a win-win for . . the Northville community as a whole”. Wonder how much to change the name of "Main Street" to "McDonalds Street" or why not change "Northville" to "IKEAville"? That would certainly be "Timeless . . . With a Twist". Actually, each and every business property in Northville was recently levied a multi-year 23 mil school tax 'renewal' - which most were not allowed to vote on. That's probably more than $250,00 per year (not per 10 years). They should rename that field "Northville Merchants Field".


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