Stoke & Staffordshire

Stoke City to rename Britannia stadium

Britannia Stadium Image copyright Reuters
Image caption The Potters moved from the Victoria Ground to the Britannia Stadium in 1997

Stoke City Football Club have announced they are to rename and expand the Britannia Stadium.

It will be known as the bet365 Stadium from August after the club agreed a naming rights deal with the betting firm, who own the club.

Capacity will rise to more than 30,000 with the filling in of the corner between the DPD and Marston's Pedigree Stands, creating 1,800 new seats.

The Britannia building society name ceased to exist in 2013.

The Potters moved from the Victoria Ground to the Britannia Stadium in 1997.

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Chief executive Tony Scholes thanked Britannia and the Co-operative Bank for their "tremendous support" over the past 19 years, but said it wanted to maximise income.

"The Premier League is constantly evolving and to ensure that Stoke City remain as competitive as possible it's important we explore as many ways as possible of generating revenue."

Image copyright Stoke City
Image caption Stoke City chief executive Tony Scholes (l) with bet365 joint chief executive John Coates said it was time the club evolved

The football club has agreed a six-year stadium naming rights deal with its owner, who has also extended its shirt sponsorship for a further three years.

The redevelopment of the stadium will be completed in time for the start of the 2017-18 season, the club confirmed.

John Coates, joint chief executive of bet365 and vice chairman of Stoke City, said there was "no doubt" the gambling company, based in the city, had benefitted from the shirt sponsorship agreement.

"We have been looking to extend our portfolio of sports sponsorship and entering into a stadium naming rights agreement with Stoke City seemed a natural fit, especially as the city of Stoke-on-Trent is home to bet365."

The Potters are currently ninth in the Premier League, with four games left until the season finishes.

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