THE CORK Business League have backed Cork City's plan to sell the naming rights to Turner's Cross.
While the League of Ireland season is currently on hold during the Covid-19 lockdown, Cork City, in conjunction with the Munster Football Association who own the ground, are looking for a sponsor to lend their name to the Cross.
The MFA and the club would both benefit from such a move. The Cork GAA previously mooted the idea of renaming Páirc Uí Chaoimh, while there are high-profile examples nationwide such as Kingspan Breffni Park in Cavan and Aviva Stadium in Dublin.
The Cork Business League is now urging interested companies on Leeside to come forward and have their name on Turner’s Cross. Nearby Musgrave Park, the home of Cork rugby is already officially titled Irish Independent Park.
The Cork Business League is often known as the Shipping League and was established in 1952.
Peter Travers, honorary secretary of the Cork Business League, told the website, CorkBusinessLeague.ie, they are "100% behind the commercial opportunity that is the sale of the stadiums naming rights, which would go towards funding the maintenance, upkeep, and improvements that are planned for the stadium.”
He added: "Therefore, the CBL would like to prompt any current club or company playing in the league to think about offering their name to the 7,500 all-seated stadium. We as a league and all our clubs collectively have benefited from playing in the Cross over the years."
Cork City are currently waiting to see how the coronavirus impacts soccer in Ireland, especially as they were already struggling financially coming into the 2020 campaign. The group that won the title and FAI Cups under John Caulfield came with a high price and new manager Neale Fenn was forced to assemble a new cut-price squad over the winter.
City revealed in February they had struck a deal with Preston North End to cancel sell-on clauses included in the transfer deals for Alan Browne and Seán Maguire. That raised a figure in the region of €450,000 to keep the club floated.
Preston shareholder Trevor Hemming, who has strong Rebel links through businesses including Trabolgan Holiday Village, expressed his interest in taking over Cork City. The MFA ownership of Turner's Cross was set to be an issue there, along with opposition from the Foras fan group that run the club.
The Cross hosts cup finals for the Munster Senior League, the AUL, the Cork Women's and Schoolgirls Soccer League, the Cork Business League and the Cork Schoolboys League each year, which offers a huge incentive for local soccer players to grace the hallowed turf.
City chairman Declan Carey stated: “It’s great that an organisation of the stature and prestige of the Cork Business League are supportive of this commercial initiative.
"Turner’s Cross is the home of football in Cork and we feel this is the next step in the stadium’s life to help move it up another level. We’re proud to work with the MFA on this project and look forward to what the future holds for the Cross.”
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