The Brazilian federal government approved a R$212.4M ($104.6M) Plano de Turismo (Tourism Plan) for the 2014 World Cup, according to PORTAL2014.org.br. The money will be spread across the 12 World Cup host cities. The largest investment will go to Rio de Janeiro, which will receive R$25.9M ($12.8M) (PORTAL2014.org.br, 9/21).
Singapore said that its F1 race will "cost less to host in the coming five years and draw more visitors," according to Chen & Amin of BLOOMBERG. Singapore, the first to stage a night race for the Grand Prix, expects expenses to drop about 15-20%, according to the Ministry of Trade and Industry. The cost of the race is about S$150M ($122M), with the government co-funding 60% of the amount. CIMB Research Pte Economist Song Seng Wun said, "Singapore is careful where it spends its money. F1 costs the taxpayers a ton of money. It wants the race to stay but it doesn’t want to be taken to the cleaners by the F1 group." The event "will help boost tourists" as Singapore forecasts arrivals to rise to 17 million, and tourism spending to reach $30B ($24.4B) by '15. F1 has attracted more than 150,000 int'l visitors over the past four years and generated more than $140M ($114M) annually from the event. Sinapore Trade Minister S. Iswaran said, “For the extended term, we expect benefits to remain at least at this level." He added that lower costs will come from "optimization of infrastructure, operational efficiencies in race organization and revised terms with the race promoter and Formula One administration” (BLOOMBERG, 9/23).
MOTIVES QUESTIONED: In Dubai, Gary Meenaghan reported that Singapore is "only an example of recent decisions" that indicate F1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone is still "searching for the winning formula that blends big money venues with breathtaking manouvering." Many believe he "values the prestige and the pound more than he does the on-track action." Look at the '13 provisional calendar: For the second successive season, a track close to the sport's European base has been removed. Last year it was Turkey, which was "unconditionally loved, it seemed, by everyone except Istanbul's residents." This year the European Grand Prix in Valencia was removed despite "having finally produced a race worth watching" in June when Fernando Alonso won from 11th place on the grid. Neither could "afford the fees that Asia and the Middle East can offer," and so the result is the sport's traditional hub "has never been as poorly represented on an F1 schedule for more than 40 years" (THE NATIONAL, 9/24).
The Wellington Rugby Union confirmed its bid to "buy the licence to run the Hurricanes franchise," according to Toby Robson of THE DOMINION POST. The New Zealand Rugby Union revealed this week it has "moved into the final phase of negotiations" after opening four of its five Super Rugby teams up to private investors. NZRU CEO Steve Tew said that successful applicants would be announced next month. However, he will not say "how many expressions of interest have been received or by whom." For his part, Wellington Rugby Union CEO James Te Puni was "happy to confirm" on Friday that the union was "keen to take control of the franchise's affairs." Puni: "Wellington Rugby has put in a bid for the Hurricanes Super Rugby licence that NZRU opened to tender earlier this year" (THE DOMINION POST, 9/22).
Invicta Fighting Championships and India-based Super Fight League revealed that the two Mixed Martial Arts promotions have formed a strategic alliance to develop women’s MMA talent out of India. The relationship is intended to support Invicta FC’s goals of identifying the best women’s fight talent around the globe and producing the best possible matchups between women’s mixed martial artists while, at the same time, providing Super Fight League with a means of promoting MMA to a broader demographic in its homeland. Invicta FC President Shannon Knapp said, "Super Fight League has done a great job of pioneering the sport of MMA in India and has helped demonstrate that there is fight talent everywhere on the planet." In June, Invicta FC announced the formation of a similar strategic partnership with Japan-based women’s MMA promotion Jewels (Invicta FC).
The Automobile and Touring Club of the UAE signed an agreement with its counterpart in Moscow to "train and prepare senior motorsport officials and volunteers for the inaugural F1 Grand Prix of Russia" in '14. The on-the-job training "will be delivered during the staging of the 2012 F1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in November" (GULF NEWS, 9/24). ... The World Federation of the Sporting Goods Industry has launched its new corporate design and website www.wfsgi.org. It was designed by Swiss-based creative agency Republica.ch (WFSGI). ... The Int'l Cricket Council has "replaced the bottled water provided to match venues at the World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka after it was linked to a gastric illness that affected at least three teams" (SYDNEY MORNING HERALD, 9/25). ...The West Indies Cricket Board has "approved an increase in the number of male players who are to receive annual retainer contracts." The WICB said that an additional five players "will receive contracts, increasing the number from 15 to 20" for the period '12-13 (IANS, 9/22).