A WEEK after announcing that the top tier of stadium:mk is set to be completed by the start of next season, MK Dons have confirmed that the club are now hoping for a huge cash windfall by selling the naming rights of their home ground.
Chairman Pete Winkelman last week spoke of his joy at sealing a deal with various retail giants to build a new shopping park next to stadium:mk which will also see the top level of the ground finished, increasing the capacity from 22,000 to 32,000.
The completion of that deal has now paved the way for Dons to sell the naming rights of the stadium which opened almost exactly four years ago.
It’s not yet known how much any proposed deal would be worth to the League 1 club, or who the highest bidder for the rights could be, but it is likely to provide a much needed boost to the Dons coffers.
Marketing director Andrew Cullen told the Citizen: “It’s no secret that the club would be seeking a naming rights deal, especially as revenue generated from such a partnership would enhance the competitiveness of MK Dons Football Club.
“That search has been very much on the back burner until we knew we had that certainty regarding the completion of the stadium as this would increase the attractiveness of naming rights to any potential partner.
“Now we have that certainty we will be increasing dialogue with organisations who in turn would be willing to commit both to a long-term partnership, and to supporting Milton Keynes with one of the most exciting and dynamic stadium partnerships on offer in the sports industry.”
No time scale has yet been put on when stadium:mk will no longer be known by that name, but it is thought the club would like a deal to be in place by the time the top tier opens ahead of the 2012/13 season.
Newcastle United made the headlines earlier this month when the Premier League club confirmed they would be selling the naming rights to St James’ Park after 119 years. However, by not selling their naming rights until now, Dons have been the exception to the rule when it comes to new stadiums, with most new builds in the Football League opening under various different company names.
Whatever stadium:mk is to be known as in the future, the hope is that the football played there will be at Championship level.