Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium to get a new name

The rebranding of the Wankhede Stadium might as well happen pretty soon.

MS Dhoni World Cup six
Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni (L) hits a six to win against Sri Lanka as teammate Yuvraj Singh reacts during the Cricket World Cup 2011 final at The Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on April 2, 2011. India beat Sri Lanka by six wickets. (Photo by INDRANIL MUKHERJEE/AFP/Getty Images)

The historic Wankhede Stadium situated in the heart of the Mumbai city is set to get a new name as corporates have shown interest. A rebranding of sorts is on the cards as some of the big names in the industry are trying to get their names attached to the ground. The stadium will become the first in India to be associated with a brand while it is a common practice in other sports like football and baseball.

In England, the Surrey have already renamed The Oval as The Kia Oval after signing a sponsorship deal. In football, the Arsenal team has named their stadium as Emirates Stadium and Manchester City have their stadium named after Etihad Airways. Eden Gardens in Kolkata was also set to be renamed back in December 2015 as Reliance had shown interest in tying up with the Mecca of Indian cricket but the members of the association had turned down the offer.


IMG-Reliance and DDB Mudra in line

According to the senior official of the Mumbai Cricket Association, the talks with the few industries are at an early stage but the rebranding of the stadium is definitely in the pipeline. The corporates like IMG-Reliance and DDB Mudra are in line for what will be a 5-year contract. It has also been informed that the transparent bidding process will take place to hand over the rights.

“We have got requests from a few corporates like IMG-Reliance and DDB Mudra and while talks are on, rechristening is definitely in the pipeline this time round. The rights will be sold for a 5-year span and it should help in raking in money to promote the game in the grassroots level. We will have a transparent bidding process to hand over the right. Things didn’t fall in place when Mudra proposed using their name as prefix or suffix, but this time round we are confident of going ahead and getting the deal finalised with one of the corporates after looking into the financial viability and other areas,” the official informed speaking to CricketNext.

The final decision on the rebranding is likely to be taken by next week. There is also a possibility that the deal of a whopping Rs 100 crore could be cracked. But nothing is clear as of now and the exact amount would be known only after the bidding process is conducted.