Amsterdam Arena could get name change; Ajax City to cost millions
With reporting by Zack Newmark. The Amsterdam Arena may get a name change in the coming years, says stadium boss Henk Markerink. He thinks a sponsorship deal could bring in four million euros, he told broadcaster BNR. "It is obvious to choose a more commercial name for the stadium, since it can bring in a lot of money," he said. "For a moment, I really thought it was April Fool's Day," said D66 Amsterdam politician Jan Paternotte in response to a suggestion that the city of Amsterdam pay to keep the city as part of the arena's name. "If they prefer to call it the Kentucky Fried Chicken Arena, they really need to do so," Markerink said. "We are not going to pay the airport to call it the "Amsterdam Airport Schiphol." I think Schiphol has a very strong interest to keep the name of the city in place; it is very well known all over the world. And that goes for the Arena." "There are many stadiums in the world with a title sponsor. This brings money. The money is usable for investment in property, such as the stadium that should be updated continuously," the manager said. He expects that a commercial renaming could bring in up to four million euros. "Yes, it would be a shame, because Amsterdam Arena is a name that really works well," Paternotte added. "It's much better than Duivendrecht Arena, and certainly much better than Kentucky Fried Chicken Arena. But it is totally up to the stadium." Separately, Markerink also said plans for a new Ajax training complex, called "Ajax City," could reach into the tens of millions of euros in costs. Ajax City could be built next to the Amsterdam Arena as a replacement for the club's current training facilities, with the club's hope to eventually have a training complex like the massive facility FC Barcelona has at Camp Nou. The club may find its present-day training grounds outdated and aim to build a new complex, the broadcaster reported. In the area surrounding the stadium, the municipality is planning to build new residential houses.