Earlier this week Arsenal announced an extension to their shirt sponsorship with Fly Emirates. The deal is believed to be in excess of £200 million and will run until the 2023-24 season. This deal I don’t have a problem with, but it did get me thinking about the stadium name. The Emirates stadium will be named as such until 2028, this I do have a problem with. I hate that clubs are selling the naming rights to their stadiums to corporate sponsors and leaving us with some frankly ridiculous names. I understand that clubs need the money and for some it could be the difference between playing football and bankruptcy. Below I have selected 6 stadiums from both types of football that I think have the worst names in the game.
Hard Rock Stadium, Miami Dolphins and Miami Hurricanes. This stadium was opened in 1987 as Joe Robbie stadium, one of the founders of the Dolphins. It has come to be known as several names since opening including Pro Player Park, Pro Player Stadium, Dolphins Stadium and Land Shark Stadium. From 2010-2016 it was known as the Sun Life Stadium and considering Florida is the Sunshine State, I think this name worked. That name certainly wouldn’t have made this list.
The bet365 Stadium, Stoke City. In 1997 the doors opened at the Britannia Stadium where Stoke City would now be playing their football. Like the Emirates this stadium opened with a sponsor’s name thanks to the Britannia Building Society. Unfortunately this deal ended and in June 2016 and the stadium was given its new, horrendous name.
New Era Field, Buffalo Bills. In 1973 the Bills moved to a new home, the Rich Stadium. This is one of the earliest examples of stadium naming rights in the US. The deal lasted 25 years but when Rich Products did not want to pay a greatly increased rights fee the stadium was renamed the Ralph Wilson Stadium after the Bills founder and owner. However this name only lasted until August 2016 when New Era Cap Company purchased the naming rights.
Wham Stadium, Accrington Stanley. The Crown Ground opened in 1968 and currently is the smallest ground in English League football with just a 5,000 capacity. To put that in perspective, New Era Field holds 71,000! The ground has had a few names since opening including Fraser Eagle Stadium and Interlink Express Stadium. In 2015 it was announced that a sponsorship deal with What More UK Ltd had been agreed and the ground was renamed the Wham Stadium.
Oakland–Alameda County Coliseum, Oakland Raiders & Athletics. Yes I know the Raiders will be moving to Vegas soon but for now their stadium makes the list. Doesn’t it just roll off the tongue? The stadium is the only remaining stadium to host football and Major League Baseball. Opened in 1966 the original name lasted until 1998 but since then it has had a variety of questionable names; Network Associates Coliseum, McAfee Coliseum, Overstock.com Coliseum and O.co Coliseum. From 2016 the stadium took back it’s original name but it’s fair to say it’s never had a good one.
AESSEAL New York Stadium, Rotherham United. The New York Stadium opened in July 2012. The stadium takes it’s name as the area of land it’s built on is called New York island. Personally I don’t think it is the greatest name anyway but Rotherham’s chairman was hoping the name would bring investment from New York City. In November 2014 it was announced that local company AESSEAL had bought the naming rights for the stadium, unfortunately we’ve been left with this mouthful of a name.
Let us know your thoughts on our Facebook or Twitter page, what stadiums would you put in this list?