A row has broken out between the Railway Procurement Agency and the O2 Venue after the RPA refused to change the new Luas route name from 'The Point' to 'The O2'.
Phone company 02 paid over €20m for naming rights to the venue, changing it from its original name of The Point to the provider's name in 2008. However, Dublin's new Luas route, which opened last month, refers only to the venue as The Point.
According to one well-placed source, the issue has been brought up with the RPA which was responsible for the construction aspects of the new Luas line.
"Management in the 02 venue brought this issue up with the RPA a number of times, and the response they received was that they didn't want to name a stop after a commercial provider. But it is what it is, The O2, and it is no longer The Point.
"We expect that the issue will be resolved and the fact that the venue is now The 02 will be acknowledged by the end of the year," said the source. However it is understood the RPA further argued it also named the stop after the Point Village Development which the stop also serves.
The extension from Busáras to The Point incorporates four stops at Georges Dock, Mayor Square, Spencer Dock and the disputed stop at The 02. The extension itself is expected to bring in a further 1.8 million passengers a year, at a total construction cost of €90m. A spokesperson for the RPA was unavailable for comment.
The Point Depot was renamed in December 2008, after the phone company won a major sponsorship deal. As part of the deal, 1.6m Irish customers gained fast-track access to the venue, which holds up to 13,000 people. The deal was done in conjunction with worldwide music promoter Live Nation.
O2 has already secured the naming rights to the former Millennium Dome in London, and has a venue in Prague.
The refurbishment was part of the Point Village redevelopment in the Dublin Docklands.
There is a precedent.
Arsenal persuaded/paid London Underground to change the name of Gillespie Road Tube Station in the 1930s to Arsenal Tube Station.
RPA perfectly entitled to ignore O2 unless O2 make it worth their while,
via a contribution to charity or similar.