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Volume 10 No. 22


The planned renovation of Roland Garros is on hold after a Paris tribunal "sided with local residents who complained the development could harm the environment," according to the AP. The home of the French Open is "undergoing an expansion" that was scheduled to be completed in '17, with plans including a retractable roof over the center court. However, the Administrative Court of Paris "ordered the plans to be stopped, ruling in favor of three local associations who had expressed concern about the impact on the environment, especially a nearby botanical garden." In a statement on its website, the French Tennis Federation (FFT) said it remained determined to carry out the modernization of Roland Garros, calling it "vital for the sustainability" of the French Open (AP, 3/1).

EPL West Ham United Co-Chair David Gold said that the club "could be days away from agreeing a move the Olympic Stadium," according to the London TELEGRAPH. The club's long wait to secure a move to the £429M ($646M) venue "has reportedly moved closer this month following talks with the the London Legacy Development Corporation." Gold revealed that an agreement "could by secured as early as March 16." Gold: "I think we're close. It's only what I'm being promised. As we speak I'm being promised March 16. We would sign the agreement then." Gold stressed the date "was not set in stone though after the potential agreement -- that would see West Ham move to the stadium in 2016 -- had suffered late glitches before." Gold said, "I'm embarrassed because I've tweeted 10 times that it's going to be next week or next month and here's a date. The date comes and goes and then I give another date. But I think we are close" (TELEGRAPH, 3/4).

BE SEATED: The BBC wrote negotiations with the LLDC "included talks on West Ham's share of the costs of converting the London 2012 venue." Retractable seating is set to be installed for West Ham matches and Gold said, "We will only go there if it is fit for use. I won't go there if I have to look over a running track. But I believe we are in a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Let's face it. They've built a stadium -- albeit wrong shape and size" (BBC, 3/4).

Investigators said that "a builder has been killed after a piece of metal fell on him" at Russian Premier League side Zenit St. Petersburg's new stadium. The unnamed man "is the third worker to die at a World Cup 2018 arena in the last six months." A statement by investigators said: "According to preliminary findings, during the undertaking of work to lift a fitting, a break occurred in the securing rope, as a result of which the fitting fell on the deceased, whereby the aforementioned man died" (R-SPORT, 3/4). ... England Rugby 2015, the organizing committee for Rugby World Cup 2015, can confirm that Sandy Park, home of Premiership Rugby side Exeter Chiefs, has been added to the long list of match venues for Rugby World Cup 2015. The addition of Sandy Park follows the recent announcement by Bristol City Football Club of a complete redevelopment of Ashton Gate. After discussion with the club, it was agreed that the redevelopment timetable will prove challenging for the staging of matches in fall '15. In order to ensure the tournament utilises venues all over the country, an additional stadium in the South West of England has been identified (England Rugby 2015). ... The troubled Islamic Solidarity Games "hit another roadblock on Monday as construction workers sealed the Riau Main Stadium," in Pekanbaru, Indonesia "over allegations that they had not been paid." The workers locked the doors hung a banner reading: "We do not permit PT PP-Adhi-Wika use our asset facility before [they] settle up the payment. No more fake promises." The workers claim that they are owed Rp 30B ($3M) in backpay. The money "is allegedly held up by the local government" (JAKARTA GLOBE, 3/4).