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EPL club West Ham United is "willing to share" the London Olympic Stadium with American football, according to Joe Ridge of the London DAILY MAIL. NFL franchises have held "encouraging" talks with Mayor Boris Johnson to become the "anchor tenants." The NFL interest was believed to "potentially scupper West Ham's ambitions," and it has put the club's "chances at risk." However, with the NFL only scheduling a maximum of ten games, West Ham is reportedly considering exploring "the prospect of working together." There may be issues with damage done to the playing surface, but West Ham is "confident they can make it work." Sources close to West Ham said: The club is open to all considerations. They remain positive and confident that a stadium built in east London should be used by a football club in east London" (DAILY MAIL, 11/1).
FOOTBALL FEVER: In London, Tom Hunt wrote that the NFL has enjoyed an "unprecedented surge in U.K. viewing figures, a 154% rise since '06, and multiple channels now showing live games throughout the week." However, the league currently "lies about seventh or eighth, alongside darts." Hunt goes on to write, "Leaving aside the obvious logistical difficulties briefly, would such a franchise or team really be a success or even sustainable on U.K. soil? The team would most likely be an expansion franchise. Meaning, most importantly, they would have to find players, and would be given special dispensation in the following draft of college players, but they would most probably struggle for the first 10 years or so and hence be difficult in terms of marketing and revenue." Although, as NFL Analyst Steve Wyche said, "If the monies flowing a teams going." The NFL "might just ignore the naysayers and follow the dollar signs." Hunt continued and said, "Having a London-based NFL team to cheer on would certainly be exciting. It would face tremendous difficulties, but the thought of a team with the Union Jack emblazoned upon it, running out in the ‘Greatest Showpiece on Earth’ should certainly have a number of U.K. NFL fans dreaming" (INDEPENDENT, 11/1).
Plans were unveiled Wednesday "for a £250M ($404M) Circuit of Wales near Ebbw Vale," according to Tom Cary of the London TELEGRAPH. FCC Construcción, the Spanish firm behind the tracks in Jerez and Valencia, Spain and local company Alun Griffiths Ltd. "have been appointed to deliver a mountaintop 3.5-mile circuit," built to motorsports governing body FIA and motorcycle governing body FIM standards, near the Brecon Beacons National Park in South Wales. While F1 "has not yet been mentioned," the Heads of the Valleys Development Company released a statement that said the Circuit of Wales will be designed to host "international events such as MotoGP, World Superbikes, World Motocross and World Touring Car." If the plans become reality it would threaten Silverstone racetrack's control of elite motorsport events in the U.K. The statement added that a contractual agreement with the construction partners would ensure that a "significant number" of building jobs would go to local workers. The touted figure of £250M "would likely be the largest lump sum ever spent on a racing circuit in the U.K." (TELEGRAPH, 10/31).
The Brazilian senate approved an authorization for the government of the state of Rio de Janeiro to loan $120M for the construction and reforms of the Maracanã, according to UOL.com.br. The stadium is scheduled to host the opening match and final of the 2014 FIFA World Cup (UOL.com.br, 11/1). ... Pakistan Chief Minister Punjab Mian Shahbaz Sharif will inaugurate the newly-constructed field hockey stadium at Johar Town, while an exhibition field hockey match between Pakistan Whites and Greens "will mark the formal opening of the 1,500-capacity venue" (PAKISTAN TODAY, 10/31).