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Last Updated: Wednesday, 21 July, 2004, 17:17 GMT 18:17 UK
Stadium name puzzle for fans
White Rock
The back of a stand at stadium, which is due to open for the 2005/06 season
Fans are puzzling over what to call Swansea's new 20,000-seater sports stadium as the name White Rock has been dropped.

The stadium owners are looking for a company to sponsor the 27m arena which they can then name.

In the meantime the Ospreys regional rugby side and Swansea City football club are asking people to stop calling their future home 'White Rock'.

They say it was always meant to be a temporary name and it would be easier to find a sponsor if the stadium was 'clean'.

It needs a name so we can talk about and discuss it
Glen Donnachie

The clubs, along with Swansea Council, have employed marketing specialists to try to find a big name company for the stadium.

They would sponsor the development in the same way Reebock and Walkers have done with the football grounds in Bolton and Leicester.

Ospreys' chief executive Andrew Donald said: "The new stadium is a fantastic opportunity for the Ospreys and the city of Swansea.

"By offering a clean stadium we will enhance our ability to attract a large corporation and maximise the sponsorship opportunities."

Swansea council said White Rock, due to open in August 2005, was always intended as a working name until building work had progressed to a stage where a sponsor could be sought.

Gwilym Joseph, technical director of the Swans, said: "We have taken expert advice in this area and have learned from the experience of other new stadia around the country.

White Rock Stadium
The 27m rugby and football ground will offer seating for 20,000.

"We hope the media, both locally and nationally, will no longer refer to it as White Rock in order to help us to secure the best possible deal."

When the name White Rock was first announced in November fans' opinion seemed to split.

A poll run on the Jack Army website, which is run by Swans fan Phil Sumbler, found an almost 50-50 divide between those in favour or against.

Mr Sumbler said the decision to drop White Rock now seemed bizarre as it had taken a while for supporters to adopt it.

"I have always accepted there was going to be a commercial element to the name," he said.

"People have only just got used to calling it White Rock."

Fellow fan Glen Donnachie said: "It took long enough for people to stop calling it the Morfa Stadium.

"It needs a name so we can talk about and discuss it.

"It's accepted it's going to be named after a sponsor so why they can't they wait until they have one?"

There had been calls for the stadium to be named after Swansea-born football legend John Charles who died earlier this year.

But an appeal has been launched to raise money for a statue to the Leeds United and Juventus great which will be erected at the stadium instead.


SEE ALSO:
Stadium work ahead of plan
22 May 04  |  South West Wales
Morfa Stadium gets go-ahead
06 Jun 03  |  South West Wales
Baby named after Vetch
09 Apr 04  |  South West Wales


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