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Volume 10 No. 25

Facilities

Essex County Cricket Club CEO Derek Bowden has said that "the club are keen to play Twenty20 fixtures" at London's Olympic Stadium, according to the BBC. EPL West Ham "will be the main tenants of the venue" from '16. But the Chelmsford-based club "are eager to discuss the possibility of hosting T20 games at the Stratford arena." Bowden: "We regularly sell out at Chelmsford. We'll sell 7,000 for a Twenty20 game on a Friday night. There's an opportunity to take cricket down to East London." The decision over whether to allow cricket to be played at the venue "is likely to lie with the London Legacy Development Corporation." There "are also plans to host rugby matches" at the London '12 site, with the Rugby World Cup in '15 an aim. A LLDC spokesperson said, "The Stadium will become a multi-use venue so we are open to additional uses including cricket provided they can fit alongside other concessionaires such as West Ham United and UK Athletics" (BBC, 4/5).

The Seoul, South Korea Olympic Stadium, the venue for the 1988 Summer Olympics, "has suffered a five-year deficit" of 52.3B Korean won ($46.5M), "forcing the city's government to consider selling it to Chinese investors to redevelop the venue," according to Swan Qiu of the WANT CHINA TIMES. The proposed move "triggered complaints from a ruling party legislator, saying such a move would be badly received by the public." Seoul officials responded by saying that "it is a purely economic issue and there is no need to invoke nationalist sentiment." The Seoul-based Korea Joongang Ilbo reported this week that the city's government "is considering selling land in the sports complex to Chinese investors." An official said that "the plan has faced strong opposition from athletics circles, and it will not be easy to put the plan into action without offending local sensibilities." Seoul Metropolitan Council member Kim Yong-seok said, "The city government must provide a specific development plan before they decide to sell off the areas to foreigners" (WANT CHINA TIMES, 4/6).

Authorities in Salvador, Brazil said the Arena Fonte Nova "has passed its first test for the Confederations Cup" after it hosted a local derby "without major glitches," Sunday, according to the AP. Local organizers in Bahia state said in a statement that there were "no incidents'' during the match between Bahia and Vitoria. The Fonte Nova is one of six stadiums which will be used in June's Confederations Cup. The venue will hold 50,000 fans, but only 40,000 tickets were sold for Sunday's match (AP, 4/7). Germany-based Schulitz Architekten is the lead architect, while São Paulo's Tetra Arquitetura is the local partner (Schulitz). A 10-year naming rights deal with beer brand Itaipava was signed last week. The contract with Itaipava's parent company, the Petropolis brewery, is worth a reported R$100M ($49.5M). However, under FIFA regulations, the stadium will be unbranded during the World Cup itself (SBD Global).