Canberra Stadium is the latest Australian venue to sell its soul to a
commercial naming rights sponsor with GIO purchasing the rights. It joins a host
of other venues with naming rights seemingly the norm these days.
It’s the commercial reality of the world we now live in and while it may
cause some confusion with the general public out there, venues need to maximise
revenue as best they can. Selling your name is the ultimate and the fact is, all
but a handful are prepared to go down that road.
Canberra’s primary outdoor stadium had been searching since June 2011 for its
first ever naming rights sponsor. It was originally hoped the rights would
attract a price tag of between $500,000 and $1million per year, but it’s
understood that amount has reduced significantly.
The money will help fund maintenance and upgrade costs. The aging Canberra
Stadium is set to be replaced by a new stadium at some point in the future and
the deal ensures the new venue will carry the GIO name also.
Of the 332 Australian and New Zealand stadiums listed on Austadiums, 57 of
them currently have a naming rights sponsor – 51 of those in Australia.
In the NRL, just one Australian stadium doesn’t have a naming rights sponsor
– Newcastle’s Hunter Stadium, however it previously did. Parramatta Stadium was
the most recent venue to sell, with Pirtek buying the first ever naming rights
to that venue. It’s a similar story in the A-League, with Newcastle the only
venue with a traditional name after Adelaide’s Hindmarsh Stadium became Coopers
Stadium during the offseason.
The Coopers agreement means there are now two Coopers Stadiums in Adelaide –
the rectangular stadium at Hindmarsh, and the SANFL ground at Norwood. AAMI has
the rights to two venues (AAMI Park in Melbourne and AAMI Stadium in Adelaide),
while WIN has the rights to three (WIN Stadium and WIN Entertainment Centre in
Wollongong, as well as WIN Jubilee Oval at Kogarah).
For the sake of sports fans around the country, hopefully the ever-increasing
regularity of changing stadium names won’t create too much ongoing confusion.
Sydney’s Olympic Stadium, currently ANZ Stadium and formerly Telstra Stadium,
shouldn’t be confused with Brisbane’s (previously known as) ANZ Stadium – the
former home of the Broncos, and now known as the Queensland Sport and Athletic
Centre (also formerly QEII Stadium).
Austadiums now has a list of all venues which currently have a naming rights
sponsor to try and help the general public keep up with what’s what. In
regards to what we officially call each venue, that will vary with many smaller
venues and less significant naming rights deals retaining the original name on
this site, but making mention of the commercial name. If we’re missing a few or
have some incorrect, please get in touch with us.
VIEW THE LIST OF
STADIUM NAMING RIGHTS HERE >>
Luckily, some prestigious venues will never sell their souls. The famous
Melbourne Cricket Ground and Sydney Cricket Ground head the list. The Adelaide
Oval and the Gabba in Brisbane probably belong there also as may a few
On the other end of the scale, we believe Cronulla’s home ground was the
first venue in Australia to have a naming rights sponsor. The home of Rugby
League on Sydney’s Sutherland Shire was originally Endeavour Field and became
Ronson Park in 1985. Since then, it has been known as Caltex Park, Toyota
Park/Stadium as well as Shark Park. It’s now known as Remondis Stadium in the
most recent agreement signed in July 2013. We don’t believe a stadium in this
country has had more names than the Cronulla venue.
A number of newer venues have never had a traditional name such as
Melbourne’s Etihad Stadium which opened as Colonial Stadium and was also Telstra
Dome for a period of time. It’s sometimes referred to as Docklands Stadium.
Hisense Arena at Melbourne Park opened as Vodafone Arena but its name during
planning and construction was simply the Multi Purpose Venue. Across the road,
AAMI Park was referred to as the Melbourne Rectangular Stadium before it
Stadium names will continue to change but hopefully the tradition of venues
can be retained. Naming rights should only be sold at a premium price tag and
more importantly, for long term contracts to help to avoid confusion out there.
If the increase in revenue does result in improved spectator facilities for
fans, then there’s at least one positive gained.