SBD/December 15, 2010/Facilities

Facility Notes

Crowd For Michigan-Michigan State Outdoor Game Goes Into Record Books At 85,451

In Louisville, Dan Klepal reports the Kentucky State Fair Board “stopped booking events at Freedom Hall from November through April as part of an agreement to help bring” an NBA franchise to Louisville. Three “long-running events already booked at Freedom Hall during that period will proceed.” The memorandum “runs through November 2011, but can be extended for a year, including the anticipated first season for any new NBA franchise” (Louisville COURIER-JOURNAL, 12/15).

NOT SO FAST: In Detroit, James Jahnke notes the Big Chill at the Big House “appears to be going into the books as a much smaller crowd than anticipated.” Guinness World Records certified that the crowd for last Saturday’s Michigan State-Michigan outdoor hockey game at Michigan Stadium was 85,451, “far short of the announced attendance of 113,411.” It “still was enough to beat the previous attendance mark of 77,803, set during the opening game of the IIHF world championships in May” (DETROIT FREE PRESS, 12/15).

TAKING A STAND: In London, Rick Broadbent notes some of Britain’s “most successful athletes have entered the fray over the fate" of the '12 London Olympics stadium. Sixteen Olympians and Paralympians signed an open letter “that calls for the athletics track to be retained” after the Games. The athletes said that the “Tottenham plan would betray a campaign promise to keep an athletics legacy.” They insist that “any legacy would not only serve elite athletes, who could revisit the Olympic Stadium for Diamond League and international championships, but also the grass roots.” LOCOG Chair Sebastian Coe “is believed to be a driving force behind the letter, but his role on the board” of LOCOG “means his name is absent” (LONDON TIMES, 12/15).

IT'S GETTING HOT IN HERE: In Chicago, Philip Hersh noted with Qatar winning the right to host the ’22 World Cup, “some of the sport’s leading figures are calling for the event to take place in January rather than June, when temperatures above 110 degrees are common.” Hersh offered his reasons why “cooler heads should prevail because a January World Cup in Qatar is a workable idea” (CHICAGOTRIBUNE.com, 12/14). 

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