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Wankhede Stadium to Get a New Name After Corporates Show Interest

Baidurjo Bhose |Cricketnext | Updated: September 21, 2017, 3:14 PM IST
Wankhede Stadium to Get a New Name After Corporates Show Interest

The Wankhede Stadium is set to be re-named as corporates have shown interest in getting associated with the stadium.

New Delhi: The historic Wankhede Stadium in the heart of Mumbai is set to get a new name. A rebranding of sorts is set to happen as corporates have shown interest in getting their name attached to the cricket ground. While brands being associated with famous grounds is common in other sports like football and baseball, this could be a 'technical' first in the country as the Subrata Roy Sahara Stadium in Pune has now been renamed the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium. In England, Surrey have already renamed The Oval as The Kia Oval after signing a sponsorship deal.

Speaking to CricketNext, a senior Mumbai Cricket Association official said that while the talks are on at a nascent stage, rebranding of the Wankhede Stadium is definitely in the pipeline.

“We have got requests from a few corporates like IMG-Reliance and DDB Mudra and while talks are on, rechristening is definitely in the pipeline this time round. The rights will be sold for a 5-year span and it should help in raking in money to promote the game in the grassroots level. We will have a transparent bidding process to hand over the right. Things didn’t fall in place when Mudra proposed using their name as prefix or suffix, but this time round we are confident of going ahead and getting the deal finalised with one of the corporates after looking into the financial viability and other areas,” he said.

The matter is likely to be decided by the members of the association by next week. The deal could be in the tune of Rs 100 crore that shall be paid over the span of five years. The exact amount will be known only when the process of bidding is conducted.

Interestingly, back in December 2015, Reliance had shown interest in tying up with the Mecca of Indian Cricket, Eden Gardens. The stadium was expected to be rechristened Eden Gardens Reliance Arena. While CAB president Sourav Ganguly had proposed the idea, it was turned down by the members.

Back in 2015, it was understood that the deal could make CAB richer by Rs 16 crore. But the members felt that the historic value of the stadium couldn’t be sacrificed just for monetary gains. To be fair, the Eden Gardens does have a heritage value in the heart of cricket fans across the globe.

“Eden has a special place in the hearts of Indians and more than anything, it has a heritage value. So, we need to be very cautious before taking any such step. Eden Gardens was not a property of CAB but belonged to the Indian Army. It is all good to make lofty plans, but one has to understand that one cannot enter into sponsorship deals with a third party when the property in question is given to you on the lease,” an official had said.

It is a common spectacle in football as Arsenal have their stadium named as the Emirates Stadium while Manchester City have their stadium named after Etihaad Airways. In Germany Bayern Munich’s stadium is known as Allianz Arena.

First Published: September 21, 2017, 10:35 AM IST

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