The Penrith Panthers have played their last game on the Panthers Stadium. From now on, the Sydney-based side will host teams at the BlueBet Stadium.
Of course, the Panthers have only changed the name of the stadium with that of their sponsor, but the renaming of the club’s home ground has raised concerns among Panthers’ supporters that their club is getting associated with betting operators all too often.
Renaming Deal Effective Immediately
The Panthers played at the Panthers Stadium since 2018, as their previous deal with Pepper Group expired the year before.
The club thought that they would keep their name going into the future, but have had to reconsider their decision when the COVID-19 outbreak depleted their match revenue.
The negative financial impact of the pandemic was so pronounced that it forced the Panthers to make a deal with the betting company and to make the BlueBet agreement effective right away. The Panthers’ home ground will now bear the name BlueBet Stadium until at least 2023.
Bright Future Ahead
Panthers CEO Brian Fletcher said that the club had intentionally retained the stadium naming rights until recently. However, they couldn’t have predicted the negative financial impact COVID-19 would have had on their business model.
Those negative financial implications coupled with the lucrative BlueBet deal meant that there was only one decision to be made when the BlueBet people made their stadium approach.
The Panthers CEO welcomed BlueBet to the “Panthers family” and said that they were all hoping they would have plenty to cheer about at the renamed stadium.
BlueBet founder and chairman, Michal Sullivan, was equally satisfied to take the betting company’s partnership with Penrith Panthers one step further.
Mr Sullivan said that they were thrilled to be on the journey with the Sydney club for 2021 and beyond as the Panthers had a young side that could go places in the future.
He added that to show how serious they were about their commitment to the club, they were putting their money where their mouth was and they were backing the club to go all the way with their BlueBet Stadium investment.
BlueBet will be the fifth sponsor to have its name on the Panthers’ home ground. From 2006 until 2010, Penrith Panthers played on the Credit Union Australia (CUA) Stadium. The stadium was then called Centrebet from 2011 to 2013 and Sportingbet in 2014. Those two companies were also in the sports wagering business, making BlueBet the third betting operator to put its name on the Panthers’ home.
Fans Aren’t Happy with the New Name
Fans will get to see the new name of the stadium first-hand on Thursday when the Penrith Panthers play against the Melbourne Storm in their Grand Final rematch.
However, lots of Penrith Panthers supporters have expressed their dismay with the club for once again opting to go with a betting company when it comes to the name of their club’s home.
Panthers’ fans went to Twitter to vent their anger saying that with gambling a significant problem in Australia, the club should stop supporting and being associated with betting sites.