Hampshire chairman Rod Bransgrove has defended the club’s decision to re-name The Rose Bowl.
The home of Hampshire cricket is now known as The Ageas Bowl following the completion of a naming rights deal with Ageas Insurance, from nearby Eastleigh.
It is worth £2m over the next six years to Rose Bowl plc, a figure that will increase when the ground is complete.
“We’re incentivised as part of this arrangement to make sure we complete the development,” said Bransgrove, who also revealed the deal is the result of lengthy negotiations.
“Even before we moved, my predecessors tried to secure a naming rights sponsor but had never found the right company,” he said.
“What we have found is a company interested in more than just the financial implications. This involves investment from a very significant local company and employer.”
The removal of the Hampshire ‘Rose’ from the title has come in for criticism, but Bransgrove believes it is worth it.
“I’m very happy our partners get proper recognition from The Ageas Bowl and I’m very happy with the naming outcome,” he said.
Ageas Insurance chief executive Barry Smith said: “What was clear in our mind was that we wanted ‘Bowl’ to remain to retain some continuity. Hopefully The Ageas Bowl will become well known to everyone.”