Council scraps Warwickshire cricket sponsorship plan

Artists impression of City of Birmingham Edgbaston stadium The sponsorship deal plans included the rebranding of Edgbaston stadium

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Birmingham City Council has ruled out sponsoring Warwickshire County Cricket Club, in a deal which would have led to the renaming of its Edgbaston ground.

The club had been in talks with the council about a 10-year sponsorship deal worth £4m.

It included plans to change the arena name to the City of Birmingham Edgbaston Stadium.

The council said its current financial situation meant it could not afford to be discussing sponsorship deals.

A 48-page partnership proposal document was due to be discussed by the council at a meeting next week.

'Challenging financial position'

It included plans for Warwickshire's one-day team to be rebranded from the Warwickshire Bears to the Birmingham Bears.

The team also would have worn the logo of tourism organisation Visit Birmingham on their shirts.

The document said the exposure Birmingham would have got in terms of tourism would have been worth about £1m a year.

The deal would have also seen £1m-worth of match tickets given away to Birmingham schools, voluntary groups and cricket clubs to encourage children to play more sport.

Last month the city council approved the budget for 2013-14, which meant cuts of £102m. Council leaders have warned up to 1,000 jobs could go over the next two years.

In a joint statement between the city council and the cricket club, they said they were still committed to working together.

The cricket club said it recognised the council's "challenging financial position" and said the two parties were looking at ways to promote cricket across the city's communities and also in marketing the city.

The council loaned the cricket club £20m in 2009 to help fund stadium redevelopment.

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