ANNAPOLIS -- Skyboxes at Navy-Marine Corps Stadium are moving toward reality.
If the project proceeds as anticipated, construction will start after this season and will be completed before next season. The $6.5 million project will include a press box, 31 skyboxes and the Annapolis Bay Club.
"If we just renovated the press box, that alone would be $1.5 million and we'd still have an old press box," said Navy athletic director Jack Lengyel.
Navy has commitments for 21 of the 31 skyboxes from restaurants, hotels, corporations, groups of doctors and lawyers and even individuals. All are within a two-hour drive.
Each box will accommodate 12 people and include a kitchen, dining area, TV monitor, restroom and cloakroom. The annual price of the boxes will range from $18,000 (goal lines) to $40,000 (50-yard line) a year.
The Annapolis Bay Club will offer 200 seats at $500 per seat a year, plus the cost of ticket and food. Those fans will have VIP parking and can view replays on TV monitors. Ninety seats in the club already have been sold.
University Partners of Oklahoma is the driving force behind the project. The company is building skyboxes for colleges that lack the money to do it themselves.
University Partners will receive 75 percent of the profits the first five years. After 15 years, the Naval Academy will own the complex.
In the meantime, Lengyel said, "We will be improving the cash flow for our 31 other sports and have a new press box at no cost to us. We'll draw people from a broader spectrum. They'll be able to attend games and have all the amenities."