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Volume 6 No. 233


F1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone "has started negotiations with Hockenheimring officials, but the struggling Nürburgring still has a shot at hosting the 2013 German F1 Grand Prix," according to Dietmar Brück of the RHEIN ZEITUNG. Pietro Nuvoloni, a spokesperson for the financial recovery experts currently in charge of the Nürburgring racetrack, said, "This possibility isn't off the table." Nuvoloni described the fact that Ecclestone is also talking to Hockenheimring officials as simply "regular business practice." So far motorsports governing body FIA has only set a date, July 14, for the Grand Prix of Germany. It is still up in the air where the race will be hosted. There have been various rumors that Ecclestone "could move the '13 race to the Hockenheimring due to the ongoing insolvency proceedings of the Nürburgring racetrack." The negotiations of where the German F1 Grand Prix in '13 will be hosted are reportedly "in the final stretch" (RHEIN ZEITUNG, 10/30).

The Scottish Rugby Union is seeking a sponsorship deal "that could see Murrayfield renamed," according to CEO Mark Dodson said that a sponsorship "could generate million of pounds a year." Dodson said, "The single biggest piece of our inventory is our national stadium. We would like to see if we can monetise that." Increasing revenue for Scottish rugby "was one of the aims laid out in Dodson's four-year strategic plan, which was released in June" (, 10/29). The SCOTSMAN reported the SRU "will attempt to raise a seven-figure sum from allowing private firms to bid to have their name added to the national stadium." Negotiations with commercial parties "are already under way as the governing body seeks to pay off a £13M ($20.9M) debt." When EPL club Newcastle United "went down a similar route by calling St. James’ Park the Sports Direct Arena there was uproar amongst fans." Dodson admitted that "there is likely to be a similar backlash regarding a stadium, which opened in '25, and which, over the years, has played host to a range of high-profile events" (SCOTSMAN, 10/30).

Zurich's newly planned CHF 230M ($247M) football stadium has led to criticism and astonishment in other Swiss cities, according to Peter B. Birrer of the NEUE ZÜRCHER ZEITUNG. The history of Zurich and its football stadium "is long, painful and expensive." The "millions pile up like nowhere else in Switzerland -- solely on the back of taxpayers." The recently presented "Hypodrom" project on the Hardturmareal (the selected area for the new stadium) will cost the public CHF 230M. In addition to the building expenses, the public "will also pay for the stadium's operation, which will cost a maximum of CHF 8.3M ($8.9M) annually." Looking at those numbers, "other Swiss cities rub their eyes in disbelief." Werner Müller, who was in charge of the construction of the St. Jakob-Park stadium in Basel and the Stade de Suisse in Berne, said: "First of all, you have to able to afford spending CHF 230M. But if there is a place that can afford it, then it is Zurich with its economic power." In Geneva, where the stadium built for Euro 2008 has become an expensive burden, a source familiar with the Stade de Geneva asked: "Is money falling from the sky in Zurich?" Zurich, which is Switzerland's biggest and richest city, "is simply a special case" (NEUE ZÜRCHER ZEITUNG, 10/28).

Donnafugata Golf Resort & Spa has become the first Italian course to be invited to join IMG Prestige, a collection of some of the world's most-celebrated golfing venues. Donnafugata was recently named the top golf resort in Italy in '12 by Condé Nast Traveller magazine, while it was also included in Rolex World's latest list of top 1,000 courses (IMG). ... The Majlis course at Emirates Golf Course in Dubai "has installed a massive new irrigation system from Toro." As part of the upgrade, "a new pump station that allows up to 6,500 gallons of treated sewage effluent water per minute to travel through the network, has been installed." The added pump capacity allows watering time to be "significantly shortened" (GOLF COURSE ARCHITECTURE, 10/30). ... With construction almost complete at Laguna Lang Co. in central Vietnam, work on the Faldo Design golf course is now moving into the final phases of landscape planting and fine detail work. The ocean-side project is still on track for a soft opening before the end of the year. Faldo’s 18-hole course will form the centerpiece of a luxury integrated resort complex situated on a 280-hectare beachfront site that when fully developed will have approximately 2,000 hotel keys under the management of int'l, branded hotel and resort operators, award-winning spas and resort residences (Faldo Design).