The MCC has denied a report in The Times of London that it plans to follow the lead of Premier League football clubs like Arsenal by selling the naming rights to Lord’s to fund a £400 million redevelopment of the famous cricket ground located in south London.
The MCC plans to expand capacity at the 195-year-old ground, from 30,000 to 38,500 and build an underground training complex and brasserie. In an interview with BBC radio, MCC chief executive Keith Bradshaw denied The Times’ story.
“There’s no way we would rename Lords. It’s the home of cricket, the hallowed turf. It’s not an option at all.” Bradshaw added that they will not sell rights to the ground nor to the Compton, Edrich and Warner stands.
“They are very famous names and I couldn’t see the day, certainly not in my time, when we’d want to be naming them after a sponsor.” Lords’ near neighbour, The Oval, was rebranded the Brit Insurance Oval in 2006.
Selling the naming rights to stadia has been an issue in Britain of late. A move by Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley to rename St James’ Park as Sportsdirect.com@StJamesPark provoked a backlash from fans.