A longstanding relationship between the University of Central Florida and CFE Federal Credit Union is expanding.

The credit union has acquired the naming rights to the UCF Arena, and the 10,000-seat facility will now be known as the CFE Arena. UCF President John C. Hitt announced the agreement today at the university’s Board of Trustees meeting.

“We are pleased to strengthen our relationship with an outstanding organization that has served our campus and our community so well,” Hitt said. “We can’t think of a better partner for the naming rights for one of our campus’ most prominent facilities.”

The CFE Arena, which opened in 2007, hosts UCF men’s and women’s basketball games, concerts, UCF and high school commencement ceremonies and other events. Men’s basketball alone has attracted 538,457 fans since the Arena opened. Next year, UCF’s basketball teams will enjoy even more national exposure when they move into the American Athletic Conference. Additionally, the Arena has hosted artists such as Katy Perry, Lady Gaga, Elton John and Dolly Parton, as well as performances by Cirque du Soleil and the annual Light Up UCF holiday event. Twenty high schools will hold their graduation ceremonies at the CFE Arena this year. 

“We are pleased to be named the official sponsor of the CFE Arena on the UCF campus. We have been a consistent supporter of education in Central Florida since our founding in 1937 and recognize UCF’s unique presence as an ever-expanding community of students, staff and alumni,” said Joseph A. Melbourne Jr., president and chief executive officer of CFE Federal Credit Union. “Our partnership with UCF offers us an even greater opportunity to provide the next generation with lifelong financial management skills and the products and services they will need throughout their lives.”

UCF will receive $3.95 million over seven years as part of the naming rights agreement for the Arena. 

CFE’s naming of the Arena is the latest initiative of the credit union’s focus on becoming more recognized and accessible on the UCF campus. In November 2011, CFE acquired UCF Federal Credit Union with an on-campus location in the John T. Washington Center and a location across from campus on Alafaya Trail. Through its merger with UCF Federal Credit Union, CFE now boasts more than 40 years’ experience serving the students, faculty and staff on the UCF campus. 

The credit union will open a branch inside the CFE Arena, its fourth on or near UCF’s main campus. The branch will offer flexible operating hours, especially during events hosted at the Arena. ATMs also will be installed in and near the CFE Arena.  CFE’s indoor space will include a lounge for Arena visitors to sit, study and charge their electronic devices. 

“Our branch in the CFE Arena will be more than a place to conduct financial business,” said Katie Thomason, director of UCF development for CFE. “We want to create a café vibe with a comfortable lounge area and a self-service coffee bar. Visitors will be invited to enjoy a cup of coffee while they relax or study, individually or in the company of others. The space will also be used to provide money management coaching and training for students. Helping our members manage their finances responsibly is a priority for CFE.” 

“Working closely with our partners ensures that UCF will have the added resources to meet the future needs of our students, faculty, programs and facilities,” said Bob Holmes, chief executive officer of the UCF Foundation, Inc. “Partnerships with CFE Federal Credit Union, like the naming of the arena, are vital to achieving the university’s mission of educating our future workforce, fostering innovation and strengthening Florida’s economy.”