News24

St James' Park will be no more

2011-11-10 12:21

Cape Town – Newcastle United have announced that they will change the name of its home ground, currently called St. James’ Park, to now be called the Sports Direct Arena.

Magpies’ owner, Mike Ashley is also the owner of Sports Direct and the club made the decision to highlight the opportunity for any “interested parties” hoping to affiliate their brand with the home of one of the biggest clubs in the north-east of England.

“Stadium rebranding offers a lucrative way for clubs to secure significant additional income.” United’s managing director, Derek Llambias said in a statement.

The club further emphasised their decision, citing that the original name of ‘St. James’ Park’, Newcastle’s home for almost 120 years, was not “commercially attractive”.

"Our aim for Newcastle United is to continue to deliver success for the fans and everyone associated with the club. We must make this club financially self-sufficient in order to deliver that success.

"To grow sustainably and allow us to invest in our future, we will need to rely increasingly heavily on commercial income.

"These are very difficult economic times and the board have a responsibility to maximise all revenue streams for the benefit of the club."

Any potential stadium sponsors will also gain the opportunity to become Newcastle’s official shirt sponsor as their deal current sponsor, Northern Rock, expires at the end of this season.

“Naming the stadium the Sports Direct Arena helps up to showcase the opportunity to interested parties.

“We are now actively seeking a long-term sponsor wishing to acquire full naming rights for the stadium.

“Our shirt sponsorship deal with Northern Rock will also expire at the end of this season, which presents would-be sponsors with the opportunity to acquire both the naming rights and shirt sponsorship deals,” the statement read.

St James' Park is the oldest ground in the North East with football having been played on its turf since 1880. Newcastle East End moved to the ground in 1892 before changing their name to Newcastle United.

Other Premiership clubs which stadiums which have been named after its primary sponsors include Manchester City (Etihad Stadium), Arsenal (Emirates Stadium), Stoke City (Britannia Stadium), Bolton Wanderers(Reebok Stadium), Wigan Athletic (DW Stadium) and Swansea City (Liberty Stadium)

Sport24

Comments
  • Thomas - 2011-11-11 14:00

    It is sad that all the stadiums need to be named after the companies that own or sponsor them But I supose its money that does the talking not nostalgia

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