With speculation rising that Cheltenham Town’s Whaddon Road stadium will be renamed the LCI Rail Stadium next season for their return to the Football League, we took a look at some of the other unusually named football stadiums…
Sports Direct Arena – Newcastle United, England
When much-maligned Newcastle owner Mike Ashley announced that the historic St James’ Park would be renamed the Sports Direct Arena in 2011, the move caused widespread anger amongst Geordie fans angered by Ashley’s perceived ignorance to the tradition of the famous North-East club.
A name that never really rolled off the tongue quite as well as it’s predecessor, the club claimed the change was a necessary move to “showcase sponsorship opportunities to interested parties”, with the St James’ Park tilt being dropped for not being “commercially attractive”.
Thankfully for Newcastle fans the name didn’t last long, with loan company Wonga becoming the club’s main shirt sponsor in 2012 and having also purchased the stadium naming rights reverted back to the more popular traditional name.
Arnold Schwarzenegger Stadium – SK Sturm Graz, Austria
In homage to the country’s most famous actor, Austrian club SK Sturm Graz named their new stadium after the Terminator star when opened in 1997.
However when the then-US Governor of California refused to prevent the execution of notorious American gang leader Stanley Tookie Williams amid fierce debate over the death penalty, city officials decided to remove his name from the stadium and eventually rename it the UPC-Arena in 2006.
Dick’s Sporting Goods Park – Colorado Rapids, USA
Arguably the most amusing stadium name of them all, the popular US sports retail chain signed a 20-year naming rights agreement on the Colorado Rapids’ new stadium in 2006 following construction of the 18,000-seater soccer stadium.
The MLS side have gone on to achieve success at their comically named home, having won the MLS Cup in 2010.
By Jon Davies