Sunderland confirmed this week that they are considering changing the name from the Stadium of Light but is it a good idea?
Since the stadium was built in 1997 it was named the Stadium of Light, but its time may be coming to an end.
The main problem I have with this is what the name will be if it’s named after something controversial like a betting company which would send the wrong message. It’s reasonable that the club would want to make as much money as possible, but it must come up with a name that the fans agree on. If a stadium name change could add that extra revenue to help the club push on and potentially make the club more sustainable it makes sense.
With the Netflix documentary boosting the profile of the club on an international scale, this is the time to take advantage and companies will be eager to add their name to such a big club. If there is another season of Sunderland ‘Till I Die, then the new name change could be part of the series which is shown to millions of people across the world.
While no name is going to be universally popular, if there is a clear favourite from the fans then I suppose it’s not the worst idea in the world. After all the ‘Stadium of Light’ was never an incredibly popular name and wasn’t exactly original with claims that we’d just copied Benfica’s stadium.
I don’t think many people actively dislike the name currently as people have got used to it over the last two decades and it all hinges on what it could be. I’d thoroughly expect the club to involve the fans because, in the end, we’re the ones who go every other week.
This season we’ve seen the seats change and the South Stand turn into the Roker End - it’s been a period of change under the owners. While it’s still at preliminary stages, it’s nice to see that the owners are trying to modernize the club and develop the club further.
There’s a generation of people who have known nothing else than the Stadium of Light and with the nickname the SOL - if it does change then it’s going to upset some people. I was born in 1995 while Roker Park was still there, but I’ve only ever been to the Stadium of Light and it will be a sad day if it were to be changed.
We’ve seen examples of stadiums change in the past with Bolton changing from the Reebok Stadium and Manchester City to the Etihad. Stewart Donald may see as this a similar venture to potentially gain a new sponsor for the stadium name. We’ve seen Utilitia added on the back of the shirt and Eleven sports media added to the back of the shorts its shown that the owners aren't afraid to gain more advertising to make some money and from a business sense it's understandable.
A new stadium name could signify a new era at the club and with the team on the rise a new name for the stadium could spell a new future of the club. The Stadium of Light almost represents the negative times of the past, but we now have the chance to move on into the future.