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Volume 6 No. 214


German insurance company Allianz "is in talks to buy the naming rights to a football stadium under construction in Brazil's largest city São Paulo, in what may become the first major football sponsorship deal in the country hosting the World cup next year," according to Guillermo Parra-Bernal of REUTERS. Allianz said "negotiations with Grupo WTorre, the building company in charge of the construction of the venue, are 'in an advanced stage.'" The stadium, which "is expected to be completed by the end of this year, will host games for eight-time Brazilian title winners Palmeiras." A spokesperson for Allianz in Brazil "declined to comment on the potential size of the deal, saying terms remain under discussion" (REUTERS, 4/18).

Bundesliga club Hannover 96 "has found a new naming-rights sponsor for its stadium," according to the SID. Germany-based insurance company HDI "acquired the naming rights for the stadium." The club and HDI "have signed a seven-year contract with an option for three additional years." Hannover 96 President Martin Kind said, "HDI-Arena sounds great and is memorable. I'm very satisfied with the new naming-rights contract of our modern and beautiful arena. HDI has been a very reliable and important partner of Hannover 96" (SID, 4/19).

Libyan Deputy Prime Minister Awad Ibrahim Elbarasi has said the country plans to invest 400M dinars ($314M) this year on "developing stadiums for its staging of the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations," according to SOCCEREX. Elbarasi’s comments come after the "Libyan government this month revealed plans to develop a new 60,000-seat stadium in the Tripoli suburb of Tajoura as part of its efforts to host the Cup of Nations." A second stadium for the tournament, seating 23,000 fans, will be developed in Misrata, "while games will also be played in Benghazi." Elbarasi said, "Just like Nelson Mandela unified South Africa, we hope to unify Libya under this cup. We will resume construction of these stadiums in June and have asked the government for a budget of 400M dinars to build 11 stadiums this year.” Libya "was originally scheduled to host this year’s edition of the Cup of Nations" before the Confederation of African Football made the decision to switch the event to South Africa in Sept. '11 amid security concerns (SOCCEREX, 4/19).

The FA of Wales has opened a new £5M ($7.6M) development center in Newport, Wales, according to the BBC. FA of Wales CEO Jonathan Ford hopes the new national football center "will produce future stars for the national side." The facility, called Dragon Park, "includes three training pitches, and will be a base for the Welsh Football Trust." Ford: "For the first time we have our own centre of excellence, our own national development centre and a facility which will be home to all the best coaches and players."  The first phase of Dragon Park, situated at Newport Int'l Sports Village, "has been funded with investment" from UEFA, the FA of Wales, Sport Wales and FIFA programs. Newport City Council "has provided a 125-year lease for the development of the project on its land" (BBC, 4/20).