The first outdoor game of the German Hockey League (DEL), the DEL Winter Game between Nuremberg and Berlin, which attracted 50,000 fans to a sold out Frankenstadion in Nuremberg, "has whet the appetite of DEL club Eisbären Berlin," according to the BERLINER KURIER. Berlin "wants to host the Winter Game." Former Eisbären player Sven Felski said, "Everybody has seen what a great game it was. I hope, it has left its mark." Berlin's Olympic Stadium or the Alte Försterei, home of 2nd Bundeliga club FC Union, could host such an event. Olympic Stadium spokesperson Christoph Meyer said, "It's all a question of planning, expense budgeting and finally the execution. In principal this also would work at the Olympic Stadium. From our side, there aren't any problems" (BERLINER KURIER, 1/7).
Events and Attractions
The South African Local Organising Committee insisted that the opening 2013 Africa Cup of Nations finals match between South Africa and Cape Verde will be sold out despite selling more than 45,000 tickets to date, according to Ramatsiyi Moholoa of SOWETAN LIVE. The match, which is "starting to generate huge interest," will be played at the National Stadium (Soccer City) on Jan. 19. LOC Chief Competitions Officer Sipho Sithole said that they were encouraged by the growing number of tickets sold for the tournament. Sithole said, "We have sold just over 300,000 tickets, the majority of which were purchased by the host cities. Just over 45,000 have been sold for the opening match. The sales are encouraging as many of the tickets were purchased in various parts of the country during the festive season holidays." He added: "We are confident the 500,000 tickets put aside for the tournament will be bought in the next few days" (SOWETAN LIVE, 1/8).
The prize money at this year’s new-look Grand National meeting "will rise by more than 7% to a record level approaching £3M ($4.8M), but that the big race itself will again be worth just short of a magical seven-figure sum," according to Andy Stephens of the LONDON TIMES. When the 40 runners "are dispatched for the National on April 6, a total of £975,000 ($1.56M) will be up for grabs for the second year running." The long-term intention of John Smith’s, the race sponsor, "had been to help stage a £1M ($1.6M) National." However, that plan "has been shelved because it is ending its nine-year association with the race after the next renewal." Total prize money at the three-day festival "will be a record £2,7M ($4.3M), which represents an increase of £185,000 ($297,000)." Thirteen of the 21 races at the meeting "have been given a monetary boost, with the Aintree Hurdle chief among them." It "has been given a £40,000 ($64,000) injection, raising its value to £200,000 ($321,000)" (LONDON TIMES, 1/8).