Monday, 7 October 2013
Heritage and Naming Rights: What's in a Name?
Is the name of a building part of its heritage? The Guildhall in Southampton, a grade II listed building, has been renamed the O2 Guildhall Southampton, to the consternation of some local residents. The focus of historical building conservation and listing is (unsurprisingly) on the material fabric of the structure. Yet the name can have special significance for the local community. We see this most starkly in sports stadia. In 2011, Newcastle United renamed their stadium the Sports Direct Arena, in a sponsorship deal with the sports clothing company, a move which some supporters described as "abysmal" and "a nightmare".