Saracens agree £8m naming deal for new stadium

Saracens have agreed an £8m deal which will see their new ground at Barnet being named Allianz Park.

The six-year agreement with the German financial services company will defray part of the £20m cost of redeveloping the former Copthall Stadium.

The ground is currently being transformed into a 10,000 capacity venue with a synthetic pitch.

And the club plan to play their first Premiership fixture there against Exeter Chiefs on 16 February.

Prior to the move, they will play matches at a number of different venues, including their current home in Watford, Twickenham, Wembley, Stadium MK, a yet-to-be-confirmed central London venue, and twice at grounds "further afield" - which could mean playing abroad.

Meanwhile, the new agreement will also see Allianz become the team's shirt sponsor.

"Over the past three years, the club has made outstanding progress in terms of team performance on the field, building a strong global profile and securing a home ground.

"We are now starting to realise our commercial potential. This deal represents a massive step forward for Saracens," said club chairman Nigel Wray.

The new stadium will also be used as a community sports hub and be available for use by local schools free of charge.