Old Trafford Naming Rights Worth £26m per Season Says Study

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Manchester United are forsaking additional income for the honor of tradition by refusing to sell out Old Trafford naming rights. It’s a move that is almost universally popular, hasn’t changed, and likely won’t change any time soon, but it’s also one that could be potentially be costing them £26 million per season, a new corporate finance study says.

Duff & Phelps, a corporate finance firm, believes that the value of the stadium naming rights market “has risen by 80 percent from £74.6m in 2013 to £135.6m last year, with the league’s ‘big six’ accounting for more than three quarters of that sum.”

The £26m per year sum is £7m more than neighbors Manchester City receive annually from their Etihad Airways partnership and £11m more than Arsenal make each year off their deal with Emirates Airways. Rounding out the rest of the big six, the same study also says that Chelsea could make £18m per season by renaming Stamford Bridge and that Tottenham Hotspur’s new White Hart Lane ground could have a valuation of £15.5 million.

Anfield would be worth £11m, and if that figure seems low it’s because older grounds, with names that have been around for a long while aren’t worth as much as newer grounds. That’s because the primary value of naming rights comes from people having to say the name over and over and over again, and that’s much less likely to happen when the venue has a long established name that people already identify with.

Obviously that applies to Old Trafford as well, a stadium that has been around so long and seen so much history, it was even bombed by the Nazis in WWII!

Of course, any product is only worth whatever you can find someone willing to pay for it, and thus Duff & Phelps remind us that their study is not an exact science.

All valuations are of course subject to the whims of the market. It’s a very fluid situation.

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net and TheBank.News, which is partnered with News Now. Banks, a former writer for the Washington Times, NBC Chicago.com and Chicago Tribune.com, currently contributes regularly to WGN CLTV and the Tribune company’s blogging community Chicago Now.

Follow him on TwitterInstagramSound Cloud, LinkedIn and YouTube.

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