SBD Global/February 17, 2017/Facilities

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  • Circuit Of Wales Developer Awarded £1M Contract To Firm Owned By CEO Of Developer

    The company developing the "controversial" Circuit of Wales racetrack paid £969,000 ($1.2M) in consultancy fees to another company controlled by its frontman, Michael Carrick, according to Martin Shipton of WALES ONLINE. An MP said that it was "absolutely appalling" that the Heads of the Valleys Development Company, which has received a total of £9M ($11.2M) in a grant and a loan from the Welsh Government, had paid the money to another company controlled by Carrick. Documents disclosed to Monmouth Conservative MP David Davies under the Freedom of Information Act revealed that HOVDC said that it brought in Carrick’s other company as it needed "fund-raising and equity structuring" services which it could not "undertake internally." Davies said, "I am not convinced that this was the best way to achieve value for money and look forward to the report being prepared on the use of taxpayers’ money so far on the Circuit of Wales project." Davies has been "raising concerns" about the project to build a £425M ($531M) motorcycle racetrack on moorland above Ebbw Vale. Its supporters said that "it could create up to 6,000 jobs, but its progress has been delayed by difficulties in raising enough private finance to take it forward" (WALES ONLINE, 2/16).

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  • Aberdeen Execs Defend £50M Stadium Plans Despite Planning Chiefs' Concerns

    Scottish Premiership side Aberdeen execs have "defended plans" for a £50M ($62.5M) new stadium as a force for "positive change" -- despite northeast planning chiefs highlighting a "string of concerns," according to Blair Dingwall of the PRESS AND JOURNAL. Aberdeenshire Council's planning service has conceded that the application to move the Dons from Pittodrie to Kingsford could provide "considerable benefits to the nearby community." However, they warned there were still "a number of issues which needed to be addressed." Aberdeen Exec Vice-Chair George Yule said, "All major planning proposals have some challenges associated with them." Despite accepting that the proposed 20,000-seat Dons stadium will add "considerable benefits" to the surrounding area, Aberdeenshire planners have also "tabled a list of concerns arising from the planning application." These include "the affects of noise pollution, loss of greenbelt land and the impact on local roads and walkways." Issues were further raised over whether early kickoff times would affect "peak traffic periods" (PRESS AND JOURNAL, 2/16).

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  • Facility Notes: Result Of Muirfield Ballot Expected Mid-March

    The result of a second ballot on admitting women members at Muirfield is "expected to be announced by the middle of next month." A press release issued on behalf of the Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers, which owns and runs Muirfield, read, "The postal ballot will be independently scrutinised and the outcome is expected to be announced in mid-March 2017." After the first vote "narrowly failed to achieve the two-thirds majority required" last year, the R&A announced that the Scottish course would "no longer be considered to host the Open Championship" (London DAILY MAIL, 2/16).

    Rome Mayor Virginia Raggi warned "there is no agreement" for the Stadio della Roma but "we're working to find a middle ground." AS Roma is "looking to build a new arena in the Tor di Valle area of the city, but the project is meeting with political resistance." Having submitted a reduced plan for the stadium, the club is awaiting a response. Raggi said, "We're doing our best to harmonize our vision with the project" (FOOTBALL ITALIA, 2/16).

    The National Rugby League is prepared for a "small and hopefully temporary reduction in capacity" at Suncorp Stadium when "two bigger, clearer video screens are installed this year." Stadiums Queensland on Thursday said that "an announcement was imminent on the projects," but declined to say when the Suncorp Stadium installations would be carried out in a "busy calendar of events at the ground." The installation of two screens on the lower-tier spots at Suncorp Stadium where existing screens have been since '03 would mean a "small number of the 52,500 seats would have to be removed permanently" (Brisbane COURIER-MAIL, 2/16).

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