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Volume 25 No. 26

Facilities

FA officials have already been approached by at least three other potential buyers for Wembley
Photo: GETTY IMAGES

Although Jaguars Owner Shad Khan has confirmed that he intends to buy Wembley Stadium, the English FA team "leading the talks are keen for the sale not to be seen as 'a done deal,'" according to Prynn & Olley of the London EVENING STANDARD. FA officials have "already been approached by at least three other potential buyers" since it was revealed last month that they "have been in talks" with Khan. It is understood that the FA’s adviser, investment bank NM Rothschild, has been "instructed to 'actively make it clear we are open to offers' after the summer." The FA will "insist on a 'golden share' type mechanism in any sale agreement so that it can block a resale to another owner thought to be an unsuitable custodian of the national stadium." FA officials led by CEO Martin Glenn are "locked in detailed discussions" with Khan’s team about "legal safeguards that will allay fears that the sale could leave English football locked out of its traditional home ground." Other “non-negotiable” conditions include "keeping a royal box, a 'natural' playing surface and a capacity of at least 80,000." The FA "must also be allowed to keep its headquarters at the stadium." The FA makes almost "all its money from its ownership of the stadium through its 'Club Wembley' hospitality and corporate box business, which will not form part of the sale (STANDARD.co.uk, 6/11).

The U.S. Open starts Thursday at Shinnecock Hills Golf Club on Long Island, and in N.Y., Bill Pennington notes the USGA reached an agreement with the Shinnecock Indian Nation that will "allow the tribe to reap some parking revenue and will also establish a permanent golf facility on the Shinnecock tribal grounds." The Shinnecock will "offer parking for spectators on their territory adjacent to the golf course." The golf training facility, constructed by the USGA, will "include driving bays, a short game area and putting greens for adults and children" (N.Y. TIMES, 6/12).

DID YOU SAY UTES? Univ. of Utah football coach Kyle Whittingham on the renewed talk of Rice-Eccles Stadium expansion said, "We’re excited to see it happen. That’s something that I think would really be a nice touch to that stadium." He added that "redoing the south end zone would be a good recruiting tool." Whittingham said that the expansion would also "help address the demand for tickets" at the 45,807-seat venue. The school has 51 "consecutive sellouts" dating back to '10, including 48 "standing-room-only crowds" (DESERET NEWS, 6/12).

PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT: The Univ. of Illinois said that it will spend $30M on "renovations to its 20-year-old basketball practice facility." UI said that the project will "more than double the building's square footage and benefit both the men's and women's teams." The school said that money for the project will "come through a fundraising campaign" (AP, 6/11).