The WRU has recently confirmed that Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium will be renamed the Principality Stadium as part of a 10-year sponsorship deal. The new name will be used from January 2016 with Wales vs Scotland set to be the first match played under the new name.
However, the deal has come under some criticism amongst the public. Principality are the largest building society in Wales with assets of over £7bn. The deal with the WRU is said to be worth £15m across a 10 year period.
We polled 114 people, including Cardiff University students and die hard rugby fans to see what they really thought about the change.
Some felt that the change wouldn’t be recognised by fans who have grown up with the Millennium Stadium name.
Eddy North said: “It won’t have any effect on the fans, they still call it what they want to call it, the companies involved won’t mind what the fans call it, as long as they get their publicity through the media and association.”
Current Cardiff student Beau Brennan saw the funny side of the change: “It’s comparable to the name change of ‘The Lash’ to ‘YOLO’, it will always be called ‘The Lash’”.
Meanwhile there were some who saw the positive side of the renaming. Former Cardiff student James Brawn expressed this view: “Principality is probably one of the best fits you could have for the naming rights for the stadium.
“If you look at Ireland, when they rebuilt Landsdowne road, it was renamed the ‘Aviva Stadium’. It is only a part of the modern world of sports. The money will benefit Welsh Rugby as will the sponsorship of the stadium.”
Former Cardiff Cobra Brawn, evidently an expert on such matters, pointed out: “For the record, the reason why the stadium is known as the ‘Millennium Stadium’ is due to the fact that a significant portion of the funding for construction was paid for by the Millennium Commission (the same people who funded the ill fated Millennium Dome & Millennium Bridge).”
Whatever the reason, the vast majority of people clearly still want to see the Millennium retain its historic name.