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Last Updated: Monday, 26 July, 2004, 11:50 GMT 12:50 UK
Fans' petition over stadium name
White Rock Stadium
Swansea Council says the name was always a temporary one
Football fans have launched a petition calling for a change of heart over the name of Swansea's new sports stadium.

The working title of White Rock was dropped last week as efforts are made to find a sponsor for the 27m arena.

An online-petition has started on the Jack Army website run by Swans fan Phil Sumbler who says the name White Rock has grown on supporters.

But Swansea Council says it was always intended as temporary and naming the stadium after a sponsor will maximise income.

White Rock Stadium is a name that has grown to be known, not just in Swansea but outside the city as well
Phil Sumbler

Mr Sumbler said the feeling of most fans visiting his site over the weekend seemed to be in favour of keeping White Rock.

The 20,000 seater ground, due for completion early next year, will be home to both the Ospreys regional rugby side and Swansea City football club.

Mr Sumbler said: "Swansea fans had the title White Rock imposed on them last October.

"It was a split then on the title but many, myself included, have felt it grow on them over the past nine months.

"White Rock Stadium is a name that has grown to be known, not just in Swansea but outside the city as well.

"The petition has only gone live this morning. About 100 or so commented on the message board on the weekend.

Friends Provident St Mary's Stadium, Southampton
Fans say Southampton's new stadium has both a name and a sponsor

"The feelings seem to be quite strong about this one."

Stadium backers want a sponsor to name the development in the same way Reebock and Walkers have done with the football grounds in Bolton and Leicester.

But Mr Sumbler said the BT Cellnet Riverside Stadium in Middlesbrough and the Friends Provident St Marys Stadium in Southampton show a stadium can have a name and a sponsor.

The name White Rock on signs around the site has been covered over since last week's announcement.

A spokesman for Swansea Council said: "It has always been made clear from the outset that White Rock was only a temporary working title, and that the title would need to be sold to complete the capital funding package for the structure.

"Our marketing experts have advised us that a "clean" stadium is more attractive to potential sponsors, and so the name change has both the full support of both the clubs and the council.

"We have received widespread support in our efforts to generate the best possible deal to the benefit of both the football and rugby clubs and their respective supporters."

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06 Jun 03  |  South West Wales


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