Newcastle FC renames stadium

Newcastle FC is changing the name of St James' Park stadium to the SportsDirect Arena, the first name change in the club's 119-year history, as it continues its search for a global brand sponsor.

Newcastle: renames stadium
Newcastle: renames stadium

The decision to rename St James' Park has been made by the club's owner Mike Ashley, the founder of the Sports Direct retail brand, as the club searches for a new long-term stadium and shirt sponsor.

The club planned to sell off the stadium naming rights two-years ago and hoped to find a local sponsor which would keep St James' Park in the title.

But its hunt has proved unsuccessful and the club has now been forced to widen its search.

Newcastle believes the SportsDirect brand has more appeal than St James' Park and is therefore more likely to lure in a big name sponsor. It has already attracted the attention of a number of parties.

Newcastle is currently enjoying a strong start to the season and is currently third in the table.

Other Premier League clubs are exploring the option of renaming their stadiums. Chelsea recently disclosed it was looking at the possibility.

Arsenal renamed its Highbury home stadium to its Sponsor's name, Emirates stadium.

Follow John Reynolds on Twitter  @johnreynolds10

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