MADISON, Ala. - Toyota's name will be on the Rocket City Trash Pandas stadium when the team throws out the first pitch next season.
The $46 million stadium will be named Toyota Field.
Trash Pandas CEO Ralph Nelson said the partnership reflects Toyota Motor Manufacturing Alabama's commitment to the region.
“I believe this community deserves a major league operation with our minor league team, and this significant partnership with Toyota, a company representing excellence and superior quality on a global scale, demonstrates exactly that," said Nelson in a press release.
The car brand will provide fans with the Toyota Outfield Experience which will showcase the Huntsville plant and connect jobseekers to 400 job opportunities. Fans will be able to see advanced engines from the Huntsville plant, interact with digital displays, learn what it’s like to work at Toyota. The Toyota Outfield Experience will be located beyond the right field fence.
Madison County Commission Chairman Dale Strong says Toyota is a preferred employer in the community. "A lot of people might not know, but Toyota Motor Manufacturing Alabama produces about 3000 engines every 24 hours right here in Madison County," says Strong.
Toyota Motor Manufacturing Alabama's engine plant announced earlier this year it was expanding production at its Huntsville plant.
And Mazda Toyota Manufacturing U.S. is building a new plant in the area, with the start of production expected to begin in 2021. The plant is expected to assemble up to 300,000 vehicles annually.
Revenue from the naming rights will be divided between the City of Madison and the Trash Pandas.
Madison's mayor Paul Finley says even though the stadium is being built within the city of Madison, the Trash Pandas is everyone's team. "The reality of what's cool about this is Decatur, Athens, Owens Cross Roads, Scottsboro, they feel a part of this team too," says Finley. "So we are thrilled that it's housed within Madison City limits, but it's everyone's team.
The stadium the Trash Pandas will call home is being built at the Town Madison development off Zierdt Road.
Nelson says on Friday, Oct. 18, the first field sod will be delivered to Toyota Field and construction is expected to be completed by Jan. 15, 2020.