London:Lord's could be rebranded as part of a 400-million-pound redevelopment of the home of the cricket, a London-based newspaper reported on Wednesday.
Lord's could be turned into a super-stadium and the naming rights of the sport's most famous ground sold to a sponsor, a move that risks sparking scorn from cricket enthusiasts, The Times said.
Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC), which owns Lord's in northwest London, is considering the revamp which is designed to increase seating by about 7,500 and create an underground cricket academy, a brasserie and a bigger museum.
The redevelopment, the biggest in the 195-year history of the ground, would be funded partly by selling luxury flats around its periphery for up to 1.2 million pounds (1.3 million euros, 2.0 million dollars).
Although sponsoring sporting grounds is not new, the idea of renaming historic Lord's is almost certain to upset some fans, the newspaper said.
"That (naming rights) is obviously an option but you reach a point at which you do not want to sell your soul," MCC chief executive Keith Bradshaw said.
The move comes after Newcastle football fans reacted with anger this month after it emerged that the club's St. James' Park stadium is to be rebranded with the name of a dotcom sponsor.
The revamp could also offer naming rights for the ground's seven stands, which are currently named after famous cricketers.
"They have to be very careful about the brand they choose. Even then, I think there would be a negative reaction. The disadvantages outweigh the gains," Tim Crow, of Synergy Sponsorship, said.
The new design is in the hands of Swiss architects Herzog & de Meuron whose works include Britain's Tate Modern art gallery and the "Bird's Nest" Olympic stadium in Beijing.
The plans must be submitted to the local Westminster City Council after approval by MCC members.