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Volume 6 No. 217


La Liga side Atlético Madrid "is attempting a pioneering initiative in Spain," according to Alberto R. Barbero of MARCA. An Atlético director announced plans for a family section at the team's home stadium for the next season. The intention "is to demand respectful behavior." The area will prohibit insults, will be smoke-free and will offer "special services." The club has worked on this project for more than a year, and it revolves around two foundations: helping fans fund their tickets in "an especially delicate economic situation" and testing the future ahead of the team's new stadium, which is currently under construction. The "idea is organized: with a young section for those that want to be on their feet, a family section and a visitors section with special security measures" (MARCA, 6/6).

Champions League-winning Bundesliga side Bayern Munich has sold out 16 of its of 17 league "home games for next season as demand remains high" following its treble-winning exploits, according to Karolos Grohmann of REUTERS. Bayern Board Dir and former UBS Germany CEO Jan-Christian Dreesen said, "We have already had between 80,000 to 140,000 orders for each of the 16 games. Only for the game against Hoffenheim there are only 68,000 orders and a few remaining tickets available." The run on tickets for matches at the 69,000-capacity Allianz Arena "comes only five days after the end of the season and nine weeks before the start of the new campaign in August" (REUTERS, 6/6).

National Rugby League club Parramatta Eels board "is entertaining the option of moving more games away from Parramatta Stadium, with ANZ Stadium in line to host a greater number of fixtures" beginning in '14, according to Josh Massoud of the Sydney DAILY TELEGRAPH. Eels CEO Ken Edwards "sought legal clarification on the club's tenancy" at Parramatta Stadium before the issue of transferring more games to Olympic Park was raised at a meeting of the newly-elected board late last month. The development has emerged "amid the biggest clean-out in the club's 66-year history," which began on Wednesday when Edwards and coach Ricky Stuart told 12 players that they "weren't in the club's plans beyond this season." Under their current agreement with Parramatta Stadium, which runs through '15, the Eels "are permitted to move four of their 12 games away." The deal is yet to be signed off, with both parties currently respecting a Heads of Agreement based on a Memorandum of Understanding that was drawn up last November. The agreement allows the Eels "to transfer further games to ANZ Stadium should their ticket and membership sales forecast a crowd in excess of 20,000." However, the club must compensate Parramatta Stadium Trust A$70,000 ($67,000) for any further fixtures that are moved to Olympic Park (DAILY TELEGRAPH, 6/7).

La Liga side Athletic Bilbao on Wednesday "bid a final farewell to its iconic San Mames Stadium with an emotion-filled friendly match in which three of the team's legendary players took the field shortly before the final whistle," according to the EFE. The "big surprise of Wednesday evening's contest, which pitted Athletic Bilbao against a group of players from the northern Spanish province of Biscay, came when 70-year-old Jose Angel Iribar," suited up and entered the game in the closing seconds. Former Athletic Bilbao greats Daniel "Dani" Ruiz Bazan and Julen Guerrero also came on as late-game substitutes and were warmly received by the fans, as were two of the team's other former standouts, Genar Andrinua and Pablo Orbaiz. San Mames Stadium will begin to be demolished on Thursday and the Spanish first-division club will play at a new stadium known as San Mames Barria in the '13-14 La Liga season (EFE, 6/6). Stadium DB wrote the Bilbao stadium was opened in August 1913, "which means it won’t formally live a whole century." Next season, Athletic will hold its games "at 70% finished new San Mamés," while the remaining 30% of the stadium will be built "only after the old ground is removed, as it will be built on the very same spot" (STADIUM DB, 6/5).