Clubs and backers defend name changes

The renaming of two of West Yorkshire's most famous rugby league grounds has been defended by the businesses and clubs involved.

Castleford Tigers' stadium will now be known as the Probiz Colliseum, as part of a sponsorship deal with a nationwide marketing concern.

And Wakefield Trinity Wildcats have rebranded their ground as the Rapid Solicitors Stadium, following an agreement with a local accident compensation business.

Tigers' Wheldon Road ground was previously called the Jungle – a legacy of a previous sponsorship with a computer company – while Wildcats' Belle Vue had been Hearwell Stadium, named after another local business.

Probiz founder Feisal Nahaboo admitted the change was controversial, but he insisted his firm's sponsorship can only benefit the club.

In a statement, he said: "Some fans have expressed some disappointment in the new stadium name 'Coliseum'.

"Most fans anywhere in the world dislike change unless it guarantees a better outcome, so it's not surprising mixed feedback exists.

"We chose the name 'Coliseum' to assist with all the club developments. We believe we have made the correct choice, but only time will tell."

The statement added: "New investors are likely to be attracted to the 'Coliseum'. We pledge to all fans to join the expedition towards success."

Meanwhile, Wildcats' new backers are also confident of a successful link-up. Rapid Solicitors' commercial manager Martin Ward said: "We are keen to develop partnerships of this type and we hope to continue with this for the long term.

"We hope our sponsorship will encourage Wildcats fans to choose us over other firms. The most successful this partnership is, the more we will be able to invest going forward."

Wakefield chief executive James Elston said: "I would like to thank Rapid Solicitors for their sponsorship of Belle Vue stadium in its final year.

"The stadium is full of history and is bound to give Rapid Solicitors fantastic exposure over the coming year.'

Liam Sutcliffe.

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