Soccer City to keep name for now

2010-07-29 13:40

The iconic 2010 World Cup final stadium, Soccer City, will keep its name until the high court makes a decision on its naming rights, the stadium’s management company has said.

Brescia Bianco-Badenhorst, sales and marketing manager of Stadium Management SA, said the company has decided to refer to the Nasrec stadium as Soccer City until August 3, when the Johannesburg High Court was expected to rule on who owns the naming rights.

The stadium was called FNB Stadium before the World Cup, referring to the main sponsor, First National Bank, but its name was changed to Soccer City as Fifa did not want corporate brand names in any of the World Cup stadiums’ names.

FNB launched an urgent application at the high court to keep the naming rights of the stadium, while National Stadium (Proprietary) Limited – part of Stadium Management SA – said it was granted the naming rights by the City of Johannesburg, after the company was appointed manager of the stadium.

Bianco-Badenhorst said: “In the interim (until the court decision), we intend to use the name ‘Soccer City’, when referring to the stadium.”

The stadium was scheduled to be officially renamed National Stadium at the Springboks’ first ever rugby test there against the All Blacks in the Tri-Nations tournament on August 21.

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