Fifth Third Bank Stadium
|Full name||Fifth Third Bank Stadium|
|Former names||KSU Soccer Stadium (2010-13)|
|Location||3200 George Busbee Parkway, Kennesaw, Georgia 30144|
|Owner||Kennesaw State University Foundation|
|Operator||Kennesaw State University|
|Opened||May 2, 2010|
|Construction cost||$16.5 million|
|Kennesaw State Owls Women's Soccer Kennesaw State Owls Women's Lacrosse|
Fifth Third Bank Stadium (known as Kennesaw State University Stadium until 2013) is a soccer-specific stadium near Kennesaw, Georgia that opened on May 2, 2010, with the first match played on May 9. It is primarily used for soccer, and it hosts lacrosse and rugby games. The facility is the result of a public-private partnership between Kennesaw State University and the now-defunct Atlanta Beat of Women's Professional Soccer. The facility hosts the KSU women's soccer team; previously, it hosted the Beat, and hosted the 2010 WPS All-Star Game on June 30.
The stadium's capacity for soccer is 8,318. It has a stage at one end to facilitate concerts, and can hold up to 16,316 for that purpose.
When the stadium was announced, it was claimed to be the first major stadium in the world dedicated to women's soccer. Although the stadium is owned by KSU, it is not built on university land, allowing alcohol to be sold during Beat home games and concerts.
The bowl-shaped stadium –– built on 21 acres (85,000 m2) of land east of the Chastain Road exit off of Interstate 75, about a mile from Kennesaw State’s main campus –– is the latest addition to the KSU Sports & Recreation Park, which opened in fall 2009 to expand the university’s facilities for intramural and club sports. The stadium will help showcase varsity athletics at KSU, which completed its transition into NCAA Division I last year.
The 6.5 acres (26,000 m2) on which the stadium sits is part of 88 acres (360,000 m2) acquired for the university by the KSU Foundation in 2008 and 2009, which now are being developed into athletics facilities for the university’s growing student population. Over the next few months, the remaining area around the new stadium will be developed into soccer fields, an intramural field, a track and nearly 5,000 feet (1,500 m) of nature and hiking trails.
In September 2010, KSU announced that it planned to launch a football program at the Division I FCS level in 2014, and would use the stadium as its home field. On February 14, KSU announced that the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia approved the University’s request to add football to its 17-sport NCAA Division I intercollegiate athletics program. Kennesaw State university officials anticipate that 2015 will be the team’s first year of competition.
The stadium hosted a round of the 2013–14 IRB Women's Sevens World Series on 15-16 February 2014, as well as a rugby match between the United States and Uruguay on March 29, 2014. This match will be a qualifying match for the 2015 Rugby World Cup in England.
Renovation and renaming
Through a multi-million dollar, multi-year sponsorship agreement with the Fifth Third Bank's Georgia regional office, KSU Stadium will become Fifth Third Bank Stadium. Renovations to expand the 8,300-seat stadium to accommodate over 10,000 seats will be made prior to the football team’s inaugural season. 
Notes and references
- Ellis, Ralph (2010-04-15). "KSU hopes to raise profile with new soccer stadium". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved 2010-04-25.
- Sugiura, Ken (September 15, 2010). "Kennesaw State plans to field 2014 football team". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved September 26, 2010.
- This Is American Rugby, Eagles RWCQ Home Leg Set For Atlanta, 24 October 2013, http://www.thisisamericanrugby.com/2013/10/eagles-rwcq-home-leg-set-for-atlanta.html?utm_source=BP_recent
- "TOUCHDOWN! Kennesaw State University to Start Football Program in 2015". Kennesaw State University Athletics. February 14, 2013. Retrieved February 14, 2013.
- New Soccer Stadium
- Stadium information from Atlanta Beat
- KSU advertisement for official grand opening on May 2, 2010
- Football team announcement