Chairman Pip's Railway Thoughts

UK’s number 1? Er…no

Posted in America, Business, Great Britain, Metro by Chairman Pip on 12 November 2011

I wrote not long ago about the plan that the new Metrolink station intended to serve the City of Manchester Stadium was to be renamed as Etihad Campus (having been called Sportcity-Stadium and Eastlands City Stadium), following the decision of Manchester City’s owners to build the “Etihad Campus” facility around the stadium. I’ve also written elsewhere about the idea of naming rights of sports stadia, and how this leads to both ridiculous names and fans’ ire. You may well have heard in the past week the decision by the owner of Newcastle United to rename St James’ Park as the “Sports Direct Arena”, in lieu of finding a company to provide naming rights. To suggest this has caused a degree of ire in and around Newcastle is an understatement. So we must be glad to hear both the city council and Nexus have refused to spend money altering their signage to incorporate this new name that has met with almost universal derision in Newcastle.

The football club is part of the beating heart of the city, and while the council values its relationship with the club, it has no plans to change any existing wayfinding signs which bear the name St James’ Park. As far as the fans and Newcastle City Council are concerned, the home of Newcastle United will always be known as St James’ Park.
Councillor Henri Murison, Cabinet Member for Quality of Life

It is perhaps fair to say that the local railway station can be synonymous with the stadium, so the fact that Nexus, the owner of Tyne & Wear Metro, have said that St James station will also not be renamed is doubly welcome.

We are not renaming St James’ Metro station.

While I accept that sport is becoming bigger and bigger business, and that there have been many instances of naming rights being purchased, these have been for new arenas. The same goes for the stations that serve them. New Jersey Transit should be congratulated for not taking the option of renaming Meadowlands Station when the Meadowlands Sports Complex, containing the new home of the New York Giants and New York Jets, was renamed after MetLife. Here’s hoping that such municpal gumption goes on.

“Olympic and council bosses rebuff St James’ Park name change”


St James Metro station stands underneath St James' Park - Nexus are to be congratulated for standing firm over the renaming of the stadium


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