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Volume 10 No. 22


EPL West Ham "moved one step closer to being handed the keys to the Olympic Stadium on Monday night after resolving the last" of its major issues with London 2012 legacy chiefs, according to Ben Rumsby of the London TELEGRAPH. Several weeks of "intense negotiations between the two parties bore fruit on Monday." The big sticking point was the demand by London Mayor and London Legacy Development Corp. Chair Boris Johnson "for a cut of any profit" if West Ham was sold, something the club is understood to have conceded to." Sources at Upton Park "refused to comment on what had been agreed but there was optimism the approval of the LLDC board would be given, despite there being small hurdles still to clear." An LLDC spokesperson said on Monday night: "Things are going well, but we’re not quite there yet." West Ham was "caught off guard" when Johnson made it clear that he "wanted a cut of any profit" if the club was sold after moving into the stadium. An "agreement in principle was reached over this, and although thrashing out the precise details took longer, West Ham is understood to feel Monday's offer represented fantastic value both for them and the taxpayer" (TELEGRAPH, 2/11).

The French Rugby Federation (FFR) has chosen the joint project from architectural companies Populous and Ateliers 2/3/4 for its new stadium. FFR President Pierre Camou said, "Today we have reached a milestone that embodies a strong ambition and a project essential for the FFR, allowing it to be independent and in control of its future." FFR VP Serge Blanco said, "The proposal made by Populous and Ateliers 2/3/4 proved to be the most appropriate to meet the objectives that we set for the medium and long term. It fits perfectly with the idea that we are creating a multi-purpose stadium for excellence" (FFR).

MORE DETAILS: FRANCE TV SPORT reported the project is expected to cost around €600M ($808M). The stadium, to be located 25km south of Paris in Evry, "will have more than" 80,000 seats, a fully retractable roof and a pitch that slides outside to allow other events to be held in the facility. Initially, 21 architectural firms presented their project for the stadium. Now that Populous and Ateliers 2/3/4 has been retained, "the construction company still needs to be named." A decision is expected "before the end of March." The means of financing the stadium "have not been revealed, but the final decisions will be taken" at the end of '13 or start of '14 (FRANCE TV SPORT, 2/8). LE NOUVEL OBSERVATEUR noted Populous was responsible for designing the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, the Aviva Stadium in Dublin and the new Wembley in London. The "big goal" of the new stadium for the FFR is to allow it to "reap the rewards" of owning its own stadium rather than incurring the cost of renting the Stade de France.  (LE NOUVEL OBSERVATEUR, 2/9).

Inter Milan has "reportedly found a location for a new 60,000-seat stadium" as it looks to leave the San Siro, according to Sunni Upal of the London DAILY MAIL. Italian newspaper Tuttosport revealed that club President Massimo Moratti "is keen on a plot of land in San Donato," but any proposed development "would not be completed" until '17-18 season at the earliest as the site "is currently under the ownership of energy company Eni." The plans, which include building shops and restaurants at the site, "are still at a draft stage" and San Donato Sports Councillor Matteo Sargenti said: "The Inter project will be not just be a stadium, but a project that provides services for our city" (DAILY MAIL, 2/11). SPOX reported before constructions can start, citizens "have be consulted in the decision over the proposed plans." Sargenti said, "Before we decide, we will ask local citizens about their opinion" (SPOX, 2/8).

The South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL) has made the decision that Brasileiro club Grêmio will need to close the north stand of its stadium for its Copa Libertadores match against Chilean side Huachipato, according to GLOBO ESPORTE. The decision was made after the incident that took place in the first phase of the Libertadores. After Grêmio scored to take a 1-0 lead against Ecuadorian side Liga de Quito, seven fans were hurt during the "avalanche celebration" when a fence collapsed and people fell into a ditch. CONMEBOL also fined the club $35,000 and threatened to "close the stadium" if another incident occurs within two years." The north stand is the only area "without seats" in the new Grêmio Arena. Grêmio President Fábio Koff "has already said" he wants seats to be inserted in this section to stop the "avalanche celebration" (GLOBO ESPORTE, 2/12).

The Berlin Olympic Stadium received an upgrade during the winter break as 193 high tech-TV sets manufactured by Samsung were installed. Now, guests and athletes alike can view all broadcasts and additional information in HD inside the stadium restaurant in the eastern end of the stadium, all VIP areas and lounges as well as locker rooms and other athlete areas (Berlin Olympic Stadium). ... India cricketer Harbhajan Singh on Monday met with Mumbai civic body officials "in connection with his plan to start a cricket academy" at the Andheri Sports Complex. He said, "I have found Andheri Sports Complex the most suitable place. Students from BMC schools will be trained in the academy free of cost" (PTI, 2/11).

NEW GOLF COURSE PLANS: Surat, India "has approved plans to build a destination-worthy convention center" that will include an 18-hole golf course. The Tourism Development Centre's golf course will be designed by David Hemstock, a British architect "with a growing portfolio in India" (GOLF COURSE REPORT WORLD EDITION, 2/12). ... U.K.-based Swan Golf Designs "has been appointed to design" Lebanon's second golf course. The new course will form part of a residential and commercial development just outside of capital Beirut (GOLF BUSINESS NEWS, 2/12). The Trump Organization "has submitted preliminary plans for the second course at its new Scottish resort in Aberdeen." It will be named the Mary MacLeod Course, after Donald Trump's Scottish-born mother. The 18-hole course has been designed by Englishman Martin Hawtree (GOLF COURSE ARCHITECTURE, 2/11).