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Volume 10 No. 25

Events and Attractions

Next summer's Ashes cricket series is "heading for a record-breaking sell-out," according to Andy Wilson of the London GUARDIAN. Nottinghamshire, which will stage the first Test at Trent Bridge starting on July 10, put its 23,500 remaining tickets on general sale on Monday morning. The tickets were "snapped up within six hours" in the busiest and most-lucrative day in the club's history, ensuring a capacity 22,000 crowd for each of the first four days. Lancashire "experienced a similar rush" when it put tickets on general sale for the third Test of the series last week. All 25,000 tickets for the redeveloped Old Trafford sold for the second and third days. Durham has "also reported rapid sellouts" of all the tickets that have so far been released for the first Ashes Test in the northeast. Surrey County Cricket Club is "already guaranteed to sell out" The Oval for the last Test of the series later in August. A total of 26,500 people have signed up for the "public ballot of the tickets that remain after they go on sale," initially to members only, on Dec. 1 (GUARDIAN, 10/16).

Fans will have "little opportunity to watch county cricket" at weekends if a controversial draft schedule for the '14 season onward is approved by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), according to Paul Bolton of the London TELEGRAPH. County chief execs were told at a meeting last week that Championship matches would be played from Monday to Thursday with the one-day competition "being moved from its traditional Sunday slot to two blocks in midsummer." The number of one-day games will also be reduced from 12 to eight per county, "leaving them with two fewer home matches." The ECB claims that the schedule for '14 has been produced "in response to customer research and tailored to meet the needs of supporters, 25,000 of whom responded to an online survey during August" (TELEGRAPH, 10/16).

Manchester City fans "have blasted the club after dozens of tickets for a sold-out match went on sale online with a hefty booking fee on top," according to Mike Keegan of the MANCHESTER EVENING NEWS. More than 25 seats in one section of the Etihad Stadium "were made available" for the Tottenham Hotspur match on Nov. 11 by online ticket firm viagogo. Fans said that tickets with a face value of £51 ($82) were being sold with a £12.24 (19.76) booking fee on top. Buyers also need a £10 ($16) Man City membership card. Man City signed a partnership with the firm earlier this year saying that "it would allow fans to sell tickets to other supporters." However, most of the tickets available for the Spurs clash on the website "are in the same section of the Colin Bell Stand – leading some supporters to claim the club had sold a block of seats to viagogo in a bid to profit." Viagogo Head of Marketing Ed Parkinson said, "The seller sets the ticket price. Viagogo charges 10% to seller and 15% to buyer. This covers the cost of maintaining the secure platform and providing customer service. Above all it covers the cost of upholding the viagogo guarantee." A Man City spokesperson said that as part of its contract with viagogo "the website received a small ticket allocation," which it is entitled to sell at face value. The row comes after a Man City ticket exchange site on Twitter was closed down by the club (MANCHESTER EVENING NEWS, 10/17).

Bundesliga club SV Werder Bremen "is currently evaluating the option of relocating its winter training camp from Turkey to Qatar," according to the WESER KURIER. Bremen has "traditionally held its winter training camp in Belek on the Turkish Riviera." The team has been preparing for the second half of the Bundesliga schedule in Turkey since '01, with one exception: when it held its training camp in Dubai in '10. Bremen Sports Dir Klaus Allofs and assistant Frank Baumann are currently in Qatar to inspect the conditions for a German Football League (DFL) supported training camp. The DFL wants to increase the awareness of its Bundesliga product in the Gulf Region. In regard to foreign marketing, the German league is far behind the English league. Bremen Head Coach Thomas Schaaf, who valued the conditions in Belek, wants to wait for the result of the inspection of training fields, infrastructure, possibilities of exhibition games and catering in Qatar (WESER KURIER, 10/17).

FIFA General Secretary Jérôme Valcke "put in doubt" the realization of the 2013 Confederations Cup in six cities, according to REUTERS. The stadium in Recife "is the one that has caused the most worry" amongst the six scheduled to host the competition next summer. The company in charge of construction for the stadium revealed that 64% of the work is finished. Valcke said, "At the moment, we are not at the level of having six stadiums ready for the Confederations Cup." The arenas in Fortaleza and Belo Horizonte are the two most advanced, both "more than" 80% finished (REUTERS, 10/16). In São Paulo, Marcel Rizzo reported that the "main problem" for the Arena Pernambuco in Recife is the fact that the stadium is scheduled to be finished by Feb. 28, three-and-a-half months before the start of the Confederations Cup. The Local Organizing Committee "requires a period of three to four months" once the stadiums are finished to grow the grass, as well as adding the VIP, press and sponsor areas. FIFA said that on Nov. 8 it would announce a decision on the cities that will host the Confederations Cup games (FOLHA DE S. PAULO, 10/17).