London: QPR naming rights against knife crime
source: StadiumDB.com; author: michał
Starting 2019/20, Loftus Road's name will change for the first time, to Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium. The foundation is tackling anti-social behaviour and violence among local youth.
Ever since its inauguration 115 years ago, the home of QPR has been named Loftus Road. Now the very first naming rights contract is here, changing it to Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium from the 2019/20 season.
The shift comes as the outcome of a unique community initiative. Back in April QPR had announced giving their stadium name to a charity of supporters' choice. Fans were ale to submit nominees until May 3, then a shortlist of 5 finalists was selected and subjected to public vote. 63% of all votes went to the Kiyan Prince Foundation.
Why such strong support? Kiyan was a youth QPR player. In 2006 he was trying to stop a fight outside his school, ending up stabbed fatally. Since the tragedy his father has been campaigning to change attitudes among London youth, where cases of such violence aren't rare. Only this year in the British capital there were 39 fatal stabbings.
“I can't tell you what this means to Kiyan's mum, to me, his brothers and sisters, his friends and people who have been supporting the work we have been doing,” said Mark Prince.
“Kiyan was a very special young man. We hear many stories about his kindness and good nature so to have the Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium at a place where his skills were honed is a dream come true.”
Another change in the air?
By the way, we should mention that today the first phase of public consultation ends on what might end up being QPR's new stadium. Linford Christie Stadium (LCS) future is being decided. Once all feedback is evaluated, more detailed proposals will be drawn and subjected to a second public review.
QPR's dream is to transform LCS into a 30,000-capacity football stadium. However, a feasibility study for the site delivered by Populous sees other options more favourably. The options analysed were status quo with renovation only, expansion of the athletics stadium by further leisure and commercial features or delivery of a new 35,000-45,000 stadium with varying levels of non-sporting features.