London, Nov.18 (ANI): The naming rights to the home of cricket - Lords-could be sold to help pay for a 400 million pound redevelopment of the ground.
The 195-year-old venue is regarded as the most prestigious in the sport, and efforts are on to convert to into a super-stadium fit for the 21st century.
The proposal is, according to reports, part of Marylebone Cricket Club's Vision for Lord's programme and would be part-funded by the selling of flats around the stadium in north-west London, which estate agents have estimated could reach up to 1.2 million pounds each.
According to The Guardian, the redevelopment would involve the demolition of Victorian housing behind the pavilion, and lead to the creation of an underground cricket academy, a significantly larger museum and a brasserie.
But as welcome as the modernisation may be to some, traditionalists are sure to become enraged by the idea of branding the ground itself.
"That [securing naming rights] is obviously an option but you reach a point at which you do not want to sell your soul," said Keith Bradshaw, the MCC chief executive, who also hopes to sell sponsorship packages to India.
As well as securing a name for Lord's, the modernisation plan could see naming rights secured for each of the seven stands. The international investment group, Investec, already sponsors the media centre there, one of the finest in the world.
The Vision for Lord's plans will first have to be approved by MCC members before being submitted to Westminster City Council. The design work has been placed in the hands of the Swiss architects Herzog and de Meuron, whose work includes Beijing's "Bird's Nest" stadium, the Tate Modern and the Allianz Arena, home of Bayern Munich football club. (ANI)