It’s what the fans have been wanting for the last year, and now it seems as though they have their wish. From next season Newcastle United’s Stadium will again change its name back to the original St James’ Park after the loan company ‘Wonga’ will become the new club sponsor.
Wonga will replace Virgin Money as the club’s shirt sponsor, have also bought the naming rights for the stadium and will also look to invest £1.5 million into the Newcastle academy. This news will be music to all Geordie fans ears as last season the famous St James’ Park was renamed the Sports Direct Arena.
Although the intentions were good when the club’s directors renamed the stadium to bring in more revenue. The reason didn’t wash with the fans as they believe in tradition and history and never wanted the name to go. Fan’s were appalled by the name change and felt that if Newcastle United were to change the name of the stadium than they may as well change the name of the City.
Even though fans were unhappy with the name change many Newcastle fans still called the ground St James’ Park and even when I was talking about Newcastle to the fans of the club who I am friends with, I knew I remember saying “You playing at St James’ this weekend or away”, even I didn’t get use to the name change and I don’t even support Newcastle.
On the one hand stadium name changes can work. Just look at Arsenal. All the fans and everyone connected to the club were devasted when Highbury was taken away and changed to the Emirates Stadium. However in the defence of Newcastle fans I feel it is easier to get use to a stadium name change when you actually move location like Arsenal did rather than renaming the same stadium.
I have only ever been to St James’ Park once and when I went we didn’t go to a match we just sat and had a drink in the Shearer’s bar. But even from the outside the ground looks so impressive and I remember the great sign on the stadium ‘St James’ Park’. It will be really pleasing to see the sign put back on the stadium next season and I am sure all Geordie fans will be delighted.
There is one thing for sure Wonga have already scored some Brownie points with the Newcastle fans before they have even revealed the shirts for next season.