New commercial deal could lay the foundations for Sheffield Sharks’ community arena plans

Sheffield Sharks hope that a new commercial deal, which has involved the club handing out naming rights, could pave the way for it to build a community arena.

Wednesday, 12th June 2019, 2:27 pm
Updated Wednesday, 12th June 2019, 5:19 pm

A press conference was held at the Mercure St Paul's Hotel to reveal the basketball club will now be known as B Braun Sheffield Sharks as part of the three-year deal.

A new logo was also unveiled and chairman Yuri Matischen said the club remained 'determined' to build a 2,500-seater arena on the Olympic Legacy Park.

He said: “Our focus is on building a community arena. We're moving to Ponds Forge in the interim and this deal gives us the consistency and platform to be able to do it.”

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How the arena on the Olympic Legacy Park could look

Sharks' hopes of building the arena were dealt a blow when Sheffield Council said it would provide sports facilities for schoolchildren at Oasis Academy Don Valley – due to start in September – at the English Institute of Sport rather than pursue the Sharks' arena idea.

But Hans Hux, chief executive of B Braun, said he hoped the deal would help the club pursue its own proposals.

How the Park Community Arena could look.

He said: “We, as a company, invested lots of money into the city. We also want to see the city support teams like the Sharks because they carry out a huge responsibility in terms of keeping youths off the streets.

“I don't fully understand why there hasn’t been more support forthcoming for building the new arena.”

He added: “I will do everything in my power to make it happen.”

Sheffield Sharks' Mike Tuck in action

The deal will see medical company B Braun continue to work with the club on its community programme in schools.

Head coach Atiba Lyons said he was 'excited' about the partnership.

He said: “It’s incredible from the club's point of view. Sport is such a volatile industry so when you have a company like B Braun that's supporting us like this it means so much.

“When I was here previously [2006-2007] we did stuff in schools but it was not targeted the way we do it now.

Hans Hux, Yuri Matischen and Atiba Lyons at the press conference.

“It's a lot more impactful, we get a lot students through the system and B Braun have enabled us to gear up what we do in the community.”