Great Britain is "set to host up to five stages" of the Tour de France in either '14 or '15 after race organizers gave the green light to an "audacious Scottish-led bid" under which the race would begin in Edinburgh, Scotland and take in parts of England and Wales as well, according to Brendan Gallagher of the London TELEGRAPH. The route would finish "as close to southeast England as possible" to make it easier to transfer all the equipment back to France. If the British Cycling-supported bid is rubber-stamped, 30 million people in Britain will be "within one hour’s drive of the route, and the biggest crowds in Tour history will be almost guaranteed." A decision is expected from organizer Amaury Sport Organisation before Christmas. UCI board member and British Cycling President Brian Cookson has supported the Scottish-based bid and "was lobbying on its behalf in Paris" on Wednesday. Cookson said, "The Scottish-based bid is in the advanced planning stage, but it is a very positive, well thought of bid. The funding is more or less in place, and it is likely to happen" (TELEGRAPH, 10/24).
Events and Attractions
The NFL Int'l Series will host several events in London over the weekend. On Saturday afternoon, the league will present the third annual NFL Fan Rally at Trafalgar Square, hosted by Sky Sports presenter Neil Reynolds, and featuring the New England Patriots and St. Louis Rams players, cheerleaders, San Francisco 49ers Niners' Noise and Jacksonville Jaguars D-Line. The event will feature musical performances by British rapper Wretch 32 and cover band Soul Symphony. The fan rally is open to the public and lasts from noon to 5pm local time. Shortly after the fan rally at Trafalgar Square, the league will welcome its fans to the inaugural NFL London Bash presented by Virgin Atlantic and Barcalycard, hosted and DJ'd by Reggie Yates. The event features American pop rock band Train and English singer Jess Mills who both will take the stage at Under the Bridge, underneath the Stamford Bridge. A ticket is required for admission to the NFL London Bash, which starts at 7:30pm London time and ends at midnight. On Sunday, the NFL has invited its fans to the official pregame party for the Int'l Series Game at Wembley Stadium, where you can enjoy real tailgate entertainment with food and drink, including smoke pit BBQ and a Budweiser beer garden. The tailgate starts at 11am local time and ends at 4pm. The event is open to all game ticket holders. All NFL Int'l Series events are presented by sponsors PepsiMax, Gatorade, Bud Light, Budweiser, Barclaycard, VISA, Chrysler, Virgin Atlantic, Aon, EMC, Thomson Sport, Papa John's, Marriott Rewards and Foresight Energy (NFL).
Paul Ricard Circuit Dir Stéphane Clair revealed that a France F1 Grand Prix in '13 has "a 90% chance" of taking place, according to Matthieu Lauraux of TF1.fr. The possible withdrawal of the New Jersey race and new private investments could help F1 "return to France next year." Clair revealed that the track in Castellet is currently following two leads to finance the organization of a Grand Prix and the "small construction work that needs to be done." The first lead involves "an int'l sports promoter," and the second "private int'l investors." The current uncertainty regarding the New Jersey F1 race "gives an opportunity for June." However, Clair said, "This would cut our preparation down by two months, and on top of this the track is already reserved for the month of June." He said that the best date would be "the first weekend of September before the Italian Grand Prix" (TF1.fr, 10/25)
Fewer than 1,000 tickets have been sold for Friday night's ITM Cup Championship rugby final in Pukekohe, New Zealand, according to NEWSTALK ZB. Counties Manukau CEO Andrew Maddock said that it is "no concern." Maddock said, "I'm happy with that. We have virtually no presales because we never get to capacity, most people just buy the tickets at the gates. It's just the way it is down here'' (NEWSTALK ZB, 10/25).
The "second edition of the Kerala Premier League, with more teams and bigger prize money," was launched Tuesday, according to K.R. Nayar of GULF NEWS. The KPL is "UAE’s richest domestic cricket tournament." The event was launched by "conducting the draw for the tournament," which has a total prize money of Dh 185,000 ($50,300). The "winning team can pocket Dh 70,000 ($19,060)." The second edition of the KPL "will be held from Nov. 2 to Dec. 2 at the Dubai Sports City Stadium and Int'l Cricket Council Global Cricket Academy grounds like last year in a festival atmosphere with cheerleaders." This year’s event "will usher in more entertainment with a cinema cricket match between Directors XI and the Actors Kerala on Dec. 1." Each team "must have three local players from Kerala with UAE residence visas, and one U22 player from UAE" (GULF NEWS, 10/24).
The Bangladesh Cricket Board has "reportedly agreed to send its cricket team" to Pakistan for three one-day internationals and two Twenty20s in December. BCB President Nazmul Hasan will chair a meeting on Wednesday after which the tour will be announced (AP, 10/24). ... The Football Federation of Cambodia released details for the upcoming seventh Samdech Hun Sen Cup tournament, "including an earlier start and a lengthened finals phase." The preliminary stage will be held on Dec. 3-11, while the finals, involving the top eight finishers in the 2012 Metfone C-League and eight provincial qualifiers, will be played at the Olympic Stadium from Dec. 20 to Feb. 16 (PHNOM PENH POST, 10/25).