MRS to be called AAMI Park

Austadiums   |  Tuesday 16th March 2010

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Melbourne's new $270 million "bubble" stadium will be christened AAMI Park in an eight-year naming rights deal with the insurance company.

The insurance giant has signed a multi-million-dollar deal for the stadium, which will be home to Melbourne Storm, Melbourne Victory and new rugby union side the Melbourne Rebels.

But the stadium design does not allow AAMI's signs to be attached.

They will appear on adjacent stand-alone 18m towers. Three are planned; two on the Swan St side and one overlooking the Yarra River.

A spokeswoman for AAMI refused to be drawn on the exact cost of the deal, but experts believe it could be worth up to $10 million.

Sports Minister James Merlino said adding AAMI Park to the sports precinct would give the city an edge in attracting big sporting events.

He said AAMI Park would be one of the world's finest stadiums to watch soccer and rugby, and was "the latest addition to a first-class suite of sporting infrastructure that is the envy of any city in the world".

The first match at the 30,000-seat stadium will be a rugby league Test showdown between Australia and New Zealand on May 7.

NRL premier Melbourne Storm will play Brisbane Broncos two days later.

Another game already locked in is the Australia v England rugby league international on October 31.

AAMI is the major sponsor of racing's Victoria Derby and tennis's Kooyong Classic, and has naming rights to Adelaide's AAMI Stadium, home to the Crows and Port Adelaide.

Naming rights for sports stadiums have been a controversial issue since the conversion of Telstra Dome to Etihad Stadium prompted a battle between the AFL and the ground's operators.

The AFL was so annoyed it referred to the ground as Docklands Stadium for almost a whole season.

Stephen McMahon
Herald Sun

 

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