Why stadium name change sticks in my throat


London Stadium set for name change

The news that the LLDC (London Legacy Development Corporation) is close to agreeing on a deal for the naming rights to the London Stadium has got me thinking – does it really matter what a modern football stadium is called?

I was lucky enough to get tickets to watch the Olympic Games in 2012. Back then, the main stadium for the games was a 90,000-capacity venue. However, it was very much ‘The Olympic Stadium’. I remember my cynicism and reticence when it was announced that the name would be changed to The London Stadium.

West Ham-London Stadium_stadium name change

Stadium name change is on the way

I was quite adamant that I would never call it by its new name – how could I? I had seen Usain Bolt, Mo Farah, Jessica Ennis, and Greg Rutherford win gold in the Olympic Stadium, so how could I ever call it anything different? That being said, I am somewhat stubborn. I still object to calling a Marathon a Snickers, and don’t even get me started on ‘Opal Fruits’.

My point is that even stubborn old me eventually started calling West Ham’s rented home ‘The London Stadium’, albeit through gritted teeth. So, the news that Allianz is emerging as the leading contender to secure the naming rights for West Ham’s ground is interesting.

My initial reaction was my default setting of “I’m not calling it that,” however, I most likely will eventually. Whether the name change has any benefit to West Ham is unknown. The Hammers would only profit from a stadium-only deal if it exceeded £4m per season.

The truth is that any sponsorship deal for a stadium is dependent on people using the name. It remains to be seen whether West Ham fans will take easily to the enforced change of language.

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Hammers Chat video blogger @Gonzobignose


  • hammerpete6 says:

    Doesn’t matter to me. London stadium doesn’t affiliate to West Ham for me, whereas West Ham stadium obviously would. No offence to Allianz any more than other stadium names like Etihad, Amex as sponsored names for example.

  • FleaTamer says:

    I still call them Opal Fruits and use Jif to clean the kitchen.

    I live near the KCOM stadium, oh wait, now its the MKM stadium now. But I still go to Walton Street or to West Park if I watch the football locally.

    Personally I think its all a bag of wind and makes no difference.

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