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September 11, 2009
St George's Park in Port Elizabeth, South Africa's oldest Test venue, has been renamed Axxess DSL St Georges following a R9.8 million (US$1.3 million) sponsorship deal with Eastern Province, the host association.
The tiered sponsorship deal (stadium naming rights and amateur cricket) with the internet services company covers a 5-year period.
"The sponsorship is unique because while having a commercial base it is much more than that." Dave Emslie, chief executive of the EP Amateur Cricket Board and Jumbo's Cricket, said. "Our business model is designed in such a way that one of the roles of our commercial company, Jumbo's Cricket, is to generate sufficient funds to maintain the stadium and to provide funding for amateur cricket."
The venue has hosted Tests since 1889, making it the world's seventh oldest Test venue. It was earlier known as Crusaders Ground, before being renamed the Sahara Oval. Several venues in South Africa have undergone name changes in the recent past. Sahara already has two stadiums in its control - Newlands (Cape Town) and Kingsmead (Durban). Others are Liberty Life (Wanderers), Senwes (Potchefstroom), OUTsurance (Bloemfontein) and SuperSport (Centurion).
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