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SBD Global/October 25, 2012/Events and AttractionsPrint All
Negotiations for MLB L.A. Dodgers Owner Earvin "Magic" Johnson to bring his team to Sydney to open the 2014 MLB season "are well advanced," according to Adrian Proszenko of the SYDNEY MORNING HERALD. The Dodgers' "likely opponent" will be the Arizona Diamondbacks "for a historic clash" at the Sydney Cricket Ground. The proposed three-game series "will be a huge coup for Australian sport." The games will be televised to an audience of almost 300 million viewers across 81 countries. Furthermore, it is estimated that the event "will attract up to 25,000 overseas tourists and generate A$80M ($82.8M) for the New South Wales economy." Destination NSW, MLB and Australian Baseball League officials "have been working on the project for several years, but the identity of teams has been a heavily guarded secret." However, Sydney Blue Sox Chair Bob Turner "let it slip at his team's season launch." Turner said, "If we can get Major League Baseball's season opener, which we're working on, in a couple of years' time at the SCG, it will really put the game on the map." Sports event marketing firm Moore Sports Dir Jason Moore "has been in negotiations to make the series happen for six years." He "hopes the deal will be signed by the end of the year" (SMH, 10/25).
Bulgaria will host a European Tour event "for the first time" when the 2013 World Match Play Championship is staged at the Black Sea resort of Thracian Cliffs, according to Tony Jimenez of REUTERS. Organizers said that the move from Andalucia, Spain to Bulgaria was "part of a plan to rotate the venue of the championship" that has been in operation since '64. The Gary Player designed Thracian Cliffs course has been described as the "Pebble Beach of Europe." Tournament sponsors Volvo Event Management President Per Ericsson said that future venues for the tournament "would be announced at a later date." Ericsson said, "While our focus is firmly on delivering a magnificent '13 championship at Thracian Cliffs, we then plan to rotate the World Match Play between a few very special venues around the world" (REUTERS, 10/22).
Hungaroring Managing Dir Zsolt Gyulay "wants to talk to F1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone about extending the racetrack's contract until '21," according to Rencken & Haidinger of MOTORSPORT-TOTAL.com. The Hungarian F1 Grand Prix "is one of only three races that have been part of the F1 calendar for 28 consecutive years." The Hungaroring's contract with F1 ends in '16. To make sure the track does not lose its F1 race, track execs "try to set the course for a contract extension." As part of this attempt to secure F1 in Hungary, operators "consider changing the circuit's layout as well as replacing its asphalt." Gyulay "will talk to Ecclestone during the Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi race weekend at the beginning of November." Gyulay is confident F1 will stay in Hungary. Gyulay said, "I think we have good chances to be one of the European circuits that will stay on the the calendar. However, we have to find the right extent of investments because the track is already highly occupied" (MOTORSPORT-TOTAL.com, 10/24).
Tour de France organizers unveiled the route of the 100th edition of the event Wednesday morning in Paris, according to LE PARISIEN. For the "first time in the history of the Tour," the riders will start from Corsica on June 29. The Mediterranean island will host the first three stages of the 2013 Tour (LE PARISIEN, 10/24). L'EQUIPE wrote that for its 100th edition, Tour organizers relied "on the elements that made the Tour legendary." The route is 100% in France, with passages through historical sites including the Mont-Saint-Michel and Versailles. But, "more importantly," it relies on the "mythical mountains of the Tour, which will be magnified for the occasion." The Mont Ventoux is back for the first time in three years and the Alpe d'Huez will be climbed on two consecutive days (L'EQUIPE, 10/24). LE MONDE reported that the last four winners of the Tour (Contador, Schleck, Evans, Wiggins) were present for the announcement. Tour Dir Christian Prudhomme said, "From the first minute of broadcasting, viewers will quickly understand why we are starting in Corsica. It will be extraordinarily beautiful, the mountains and the sea." The last stage will start in the park of the Palace of Versailles "before finishing in the most-famous avenue in the world" the Champs Elysees at dusk, with the podium ceremony being held at night (LE MONDE, 10/24).
A CLIMBER'S DREAM: REUTERS' Julien Pretot reported that next year's route is "expected to suit top climbers" with Spain's Alberto Contador and Briton Chris Froome the likely favorites. Defending champion Bradley Wiggins might find it "tough to contain the attackers throughout." Next summer's Tour will feature four mountaintop finishes and "some 65 km of individual time trial compared to this year's 101.4 km." Froome even suggested that Wiggins "could concentrate on the Giro d'Italia next year while he would be Team Sky's leader on the Tour" (REUTERS, 10/24). The London TELEGRAPH reported that Wiggins was asked at the ceremony if he would defend his title and responded with an answer that suggests he will play a supporting role for Froome instead. Wiggins said, "It's more than likely I'll ride in a supporting role for Chris. I just want to be in a successful team, and if that's Chris (who is going to be the leader) then so be it. He'll have to grow some sideburns though" (TELEGRAPH, 10/24).