There’s shock in the football world today following rumours that Newcastle United are allegedly planning to rename their St James’ Park home. The name Sports Direct Arena is reportedly supposed to showcase the exposure that a combined shirt-and-stadium sponsor could receive starting from 2012.
Newcastle fans have long expected that the St James’ Park name could be ditched, but there is still a sense of anger at the move. Nevertheless, the money eventually raised by the alleged deal is expected to be used to buy players, something that could help Newcastle as they bid to improve on their impressive start to the 2011-2012 season. At the time of writing, the club are third in the Barclay’s Premier League table.
St James’ Park was opened in 1892, with the site having previously been used for football since at least 1880. There have been occasional threats that the club might leave the site for a bigger home, but it seems that the owners have decided to stay where they are, at least for now.