Frankel's final race in the QIPCO Champion Stakes at Ascot next month "will unfold in front of a sell-out crowd of 32,000 after the creation of an extra 1,500 spaces for spectators in a marquee alongside the track's main grandstand," according to Greg Wood of the London GUARDIAN. However, with "no further increases to the capacity planned," some fans who would have wanted to attend are likely to be locked out. Ascot is "licensed to hold crowds of up to 80,000" and frequently does so at its showpiece Royal meeting in June each year, but "many are accommodated in temporary hospitality facilities." These are in place for the full five days of the meeting and are not cost effective for a single Saturday afternoon in mid-October. Tickets for the new temporary facility, to be called the Champions Bar, will be on sale from Monday. Henry Cecil's colt has since gone on to establish himself as a great champion, and he is long odds-on to extend his unbeaten record to 14 races in his final start. British Champions Series CEO Rod Street said, "We have worked closely with Ascot to decide on the final capacity. The priority for us is that racegoers have an enjoyable and comfortable day and want to come back" (GUARDIAN, 9/23). In London, Will Hayler writes fans hoping to see Frankel run better call Ascot "quickly with the track announcing on Monday that the extra 1,500 tickets released for Frankel's appearance on Champions Day are expected to sell out by Wednesday" (GUARDIAN, 9/24).
Events and Attractions
European Club Rugby revealed that France "will host the 2014 Heineken and Amlin Challenge Cup finals," according to the LONDON TIMES. The games will mark the fourth staging of the Heineken Cup final, and the sixth of the Amlin Challenge Cup final, on French soil. The last time France hosted the Heineken Cup final was in '10, when "Toulouse overcame Biarritz in an all-home nation showdown." The '14 season could be the last Heineken Cup of its type due to an ongoing "dispute between English clubs and their European counterparts over TV rights." Aviva Premiership sides "face exile from the competition after brokering a lucrative deal with BT Vision" to screen their European matches from the '14-15 season (LONDON TIMES, 9/24).
The 14,000 National Rugby League grand final tickets reserved for members of Monday's Melbourne Storm and the Canterbury Bulldogs were expected to sell out overnight, "leaving supporters facing the prospect of buying from scalpers," according to Dominic Bossi of the SYDNEY MORNING HERALD. On Tuesday, two seats near the coach's box traded for close to A$3,000 ($3,125) on eBay, and now "many sellers on the website are holding out for A$1,000 a ticket." The official price of adult tickets ranged anywhere between A$65 and A$200. Selling tickets for inflated prices at the ground is considered an illegal practice, but trading them for a profit online is a "breach only of the conditions of the original sale." The NRL has attempted to stop such trade by "monitoring online ticket sales for the grand final and cancelling multiple orders from the same credit cards." ANZ Stadium management said that "sporting venues have only limited control of tickets." A stadium spokesperson said, ''We'll work to identify them and notify Sydney Olympic Park authorities and the police" (SMH, 9/25).
The board of FIBA Europe has approved the Celje Arena in Celje and Hala Tivoli in Ljubljana as the two alternative First Round venues for EuroBasket 2013 in Slovenia. The two venues will replace Novo Mesto and Ptuj sports halls, which withdrew from hosting the tournament. The other two EuroBasket 2013 First Round venues are Koper and Jesenice. The Second and Final Rounds will be played in Ljubljana's Stozice Arena. EuroBasket 2013 is scheduled from Sept. 4-22 (FIBA Europe). ... Wales rugby team "will face Asian champions Japan in a two-match test series next June." Warren Gatland’s men will travel to Japan to face the Brave Blossoms in Osaka on June 8 and in Tokyo on June 15 (London DAILY MAIL, 9/24).
IN CAMBODIA...: Siem Reap's Angkor Wat temple complex will host a double-header for charity during the first weekend of December. The seventh annual Angkor Wat Bike Race & Ride serves as a "dress rehearsal" on Dec. 1 for the Angkor Wat Int'l Half Marathon the following day. Interest worldwide for the cycling event has grown steadily over the years, and organizers Village Focus Int'l, which implements human rights programs in Cambodia and Laos, "are expecting a turnout of around 1,000 riders this year" (PHNOM PENH POST, 9/24). ... The Traditional Dragon Boat and Canoe/Kayak Championships will return to the riverfront of Takhmao town in Kandal province with races beginning at 8am Tuesday. This year, 756 participants "have signed up to compete" (PHNOM PENH POST, 9/24).