The green light is flashing for British speedway team Belle Vue’s "long awaited new stadium to be given the go-ahead," according to the MANCHESTER EVENING NEWS. New East Manchester Ltd. CEO Eddie Smith revealed the £6M ($9M) Belle Vue Sports Village complex "will be on the agenda" at the next meeting of Manchester City Council’s exec committee. Smith said, "Commercial negotiations aren't easy at the best of times and these are not easy times. Getting things financed is a challenge and this has taken a little longer than we would have liked. We have reached a point where, in the next few weeks, we will be making a recommendation to the City Council that there is a commercial deal which will underpin a new stadium." Belle Vue is anticipating the committee will approve the project at that meeting so it can "go for planning permission and then the normal construction programme can begin." The Aces "are targeting an opening date" for the start of the '14 season (MANCHESTER EVENING NEWS, 3/5).
Rugby World Cup organizers have added club side Exeter Chiefs to the list of possible venues for the '15 tournament in England, "helping allay concerns that the showpiece event" would be held predominantly in football stadiums, according to Martyn Herman of REUTERS. Exeter's Sandy Park stadium "joins a list which includes Wembley, Old Trafford, Newcastle United's St James' Park and Leeds United's Elland Road." Eighteen venues are now on the list "but only one other, Gloucester's Kingsholm ground, hosts regular club rugby." Bristol City's footbll stadium, on the original list, is set to undergo redevelopment which will "prove challenging for the staging of matches in autumn 2015." Exeter's possible inclusion "will be unlikely to placate" England's best-supported club side Leicester Tigers whose 24,000-capacity Welford Road ground was overlooked (REUTERS, 3/4).
The int'l governing body for track and field has listed the Bahamas' Thomas A. Robinson National Stadium "as a Class 2 facility," according to Kelsie Johnson of the NASSAU GUARDIAN. The 15,000-seat facility that has an estimated cost of $30M was certified last week by the Int'l Association of Athletics Federations. According to the Certified Athletics Facilities list, posted on the IAAF's website, the Bahamas is "among 416 countries in the world with a Class 2 certification." Only 97 facilities in the world are considered Class 1 by the IAAF. Jamaica's and Trinidad and Tobago's facilities are "slated in the top list" (NASSAU GUARDIAN, 3/2).