Talks to rename iconic Wankhede Stadium underway; decision expected within 10 days
What's the story?
The Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) is currently assessing proposals from three firms for selling the naming rights of the iconic Wankhede Stadium stadium. The firms, IMG-Reliance, DDB Mudra and Baseline, will be sold the rights for a duration of five years.
MCA secretary PV Shetty stated that the name of the sponsor will either be used as a suffix or a prefix to the original name - Wankhede.
“The agencies have made their proposals for the sale of naming rights of the stadium,” confirmed Shetty. “The stadium’s original name will be retained while the sponsor’s name will be added as a prefix or suffix. The discussions are in the initial stages and nothing has been finalised.”
He further added that the association is expecting a bid of around Rs 100 crore, a sum which will be distributed across the five years. A meeting for the same will be held within 10 days.
“Through the deal, the MCA is expecting a sum to the tune of Rs 100 crore over the course of five years,” Shetty said.
In case you didn't know...
This is the second instance in a year when the MCA has invited proposals for the renaming of the Wankhede Stadium, which is named after former BCCI and MCA president SK Wankhede.
Mudra were the first one to table a bid for the naming rights in 2016, but a deal didn't materialise then.
The heart of the matter
According to reports in India Today, Mudra have quoted a sum in the vicinity of Rs 45 crore per year, while IMG-R are ready to invest Rs 12-15 crore and Baseline Rs 5-6 crore per annum.
With a decision set to be taken within 10 days, it remains to be seen which one of the three firms will see its name written alongside written alongside 'Wankhede'.
Situated in South Mumbai, the historic stadium has witnessed India win the ODI World Cup in 2011 and hosted matches of the World Cups in 1987 and 1996 along with the World T20 in 2016.
While quite a few stadiums in India have tried selling their naming rights in the past, they have been stopped in their tracks for one reason or another. However, the cricket-loving crowd of Mumbai and the regularity of cash-rich visitors make this an interesting proposition for the firms involved and it remains to be seen whether MCA decides to go ahead with the deal or not.