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15th May 2010

Durham CCC invites North East to deliver name for the future

The Chester le Street home of Durham CCC is often referred to as the Riverside, but its current official name is the County Ground.  Now, as the club aims to continue to deliver its development plans in partnership with Emirates, local people have the opportunity to share their ideas on what name will suit the ground and club going forward, and will best represent the aspirations of North East cricket on the world stage.  The name of the new ground will incorporate Emirates as main club sponsor and the airline’s six year commitment to the club is set to make a powerful impact upon its already impressive position in the game.

Durham CCC’s recent success on the pitch has been very impressive and the team is currently defending its LV= County Championship title for the second season in a row.  Durham also has an enviable record of bringing through outstanding local talent into its first team and the national side, with stars such as Paul Collingwood, Stephen Harmison and Graham Onions now inspiring the next generation of North East cricketing greats.

Off the pitch, Durham CCC has a long record of breaking new ground.  Only a few years ago, the stadium became England’s first new Test Match venue in over 100 years and the club is now pressing ahead with plans to increase the permanent capacity to 20,000 ahead of hosting its first Ashes Test Match in the summer of 2013.  The ground is widely regarded as one of the best in cricket – the media centre is truly world class and recent additions such as the replay screen help to ensure an excellent match day experience for all visitors.  It is also a thriving conference and event venue.  It regularly hosts major business events and music concerts that have featured international stars such as Elton John and Jamie Cullum. 

In the community, the Durham County Cricket Foundation uses the club’s players as role models and the power of sport to help raise people’s self esteem and aspirations, delivering a programme of activities to over 20,000 individuals in the North East each year.  The foundation delivers projects within its key activity pillars of health, education and skills, social cohesion and grass roots sport and is now also drawing up new initiatives to help tackle environmental issues.

David Harker, chief executive of Durham County Cricket Club, said: “We are delighted to welcome Emirates as our main club sponsor and I think this competition is a great way to explore a range of options for the name of the stadium.  The people of the North East are very passionate and knowledgeable about sport and I know that they will come up with some really interesting ideas.

“Durham County Cricket Club is ambitious – we’d like to earn a reputation as the most respected and admired club in world cricket and working toward that starts close to home.  We represent the whole of the North East on the national and international cricket stage and we want the people of this region to play a big role in the club’s ongoing development.  Between us, Durham CCC and Emirates believe that there isn’t a better set of advisers to help us name the home of cricket in North East England.”

The competition has now closed. The winner and runners up will be notified by Thursday 3rd June.  With an official announcement made on Friday 4th June at 2.30pm as part of Emirates Day that finishes with the Durham Dynamos home twenty20 game against Lancashire Lightning, starting at 6.00pm.