EnergyAustralia stadium to change name

THE Newcastle Knights will play at Ausgrid Stadium for the 2011 National Rugby League season.

But the New Lambton headquarters could undergo three name changes in as many years.

Current sponsor EnergyAustralia was sold by the state government to TRUenergy but the electricity network will remain in government hands and operate under the new name Ausgrid.

Power bills will carry the new name from March 1 as the firm remains in charge of power lines, sub-stations and electricity cables.

EnergyAustralia became synonymous with Newcastle sports fans in 2002 when it took over naming rights of the International Sports Centre ground from tyre company Marathon which enjoyed 11 years as sponsor.

EnergyAustralia had the naming rights to the stadium until the end of 2011 in a deal with the Knights and a spokesman for Ausgrid said that deal would be honoured but the name would change to Ausgrid Stadium.

The state government operated Hunter Venues Authority is set to take over management of the stadium from the Knights on April 1 which could open the way for a new naming rights sponsor in 2012.

EnergyAustralia announced last month it would not be renewing its sponsorship deal with the Knights beyond December 31, 2011, but would hold talks with Hunter Venues.

"That is still definitely the case but the only difference is now Ausgrid will be holding talks with Hunter Venues," the Ausgrid spokesman said.