Group Created with Sketch.
Volume 6 No. 215

Events and Attractions

League Championship newcomers Bournemouth "have pulled off a considerable coup" by enticing La Liga's Real Madrid to play a "prestigious" preseason home friendly on July 21, according to Peter Mason of the London GUARDIAN. Bournemouth, which is "about to embark on their first season in the second tier of English football for 23 years," will face Real Madrid in a Sunday evening kickoff. The fixture will be Madrid's first match of its preseason schedule, and will be followed by a trip to the U.S. to compete in the Int'l Champions Cup "against clubs of a decidedly more prestigious stamp, including Juventus and Internazionale" (GUARDIAN, 7/2). The BBC reported Bournemouth Chair Eddie Mitchell hopes the match "will benefit the Cherries both on and off the field." Mitchell said, "Life is about building relationships and hopefully there will be further communications with them down the line" (BBC, 7/2).

FANS FUME: EUROSPORT wrote Bournemouth's fans joy "quickly turned to astonishment" after the Cherries announced ticket prices for the match were an "astonishing" £60 ($92). Mitchell had described the fixture as, "a well-earned gift to our fans for their unwavering dedication." It also appears to be an "opportunistic chance for the club to rinse their supporters for a huge chunk of cash." The £60 ticket price is "three times the cost of the cheapest adult ticket for a Championship match next season." Fans have been taking to social media and the club's online forum "to vent their feelings," with some describing it as "absolutely disgusting," complaining that "£60 to see the Real reserves is 'a joke,'" and calling it "the epitome of greed" (EUROSPORT, 7/3). On the London GUARDIAN's Football League blog, Paul Wilson opined Mitchell is "unrepentant." Mitchell: "I don't think that's a big price to see a team like Real Madrid in action." Actually, "Mr. Mitchell, yes it is." Sixty pounds "is a big price to see anyone in action. Sixty quid is a lot to pay for any friendly when you can see most competitive football in this country much more cheaply, though it is the pre-season bit that is the dead giveaway." Preseason "implies sub-season, and therefore sub-standard." By definition "it will not be a premium game, so there is no justification for charging premium prices" (GUARDIAN, 7/3).

The Australian Open of Surfing will return to Sydney's iconic Manly Beach. ASP Australasia, Hurley, IMG and Destination NSW on behalf of the New South Wales Government in partnership with the support of Manly Council, made the official announcment on Wednesday. The event, taking place from Feb. 8-16, will see Hurley become the title sponsor, marking a two-year deal with the event being rebranded as the Hurley Australian Open of Surfing. The event is expected to attract an audience in excess of 175,000 people over the nine-day event. The inaugural event held in Feb. '12, which included surfing, skateboarding, art and concerts, attracted crowds of more than 166,000 people to Manly Beach and showcased both Manly and Sydney to a global audience (ASP).

Germany "wants to host the 2019 Int'l Handball Federation Men's World Championship," according to SPIEGEL ONLINE. The German Handball Federation (DHB) "has submitted an official bid." The IHF "confirmed the official bid from Germany." The other candidates are Denmark, Norway, Poland, Macedonia, Slovakia and Sweden. Germany hosted its last men's handball world championship in '07. Handball Bundesliga (HBL) Füchse Berlin Manager Bob Hanning said, "To secure the success of handball in the future, we have to show international presence. Bids to host world and European championships are an important part of it. The world championship in '07 showed what excitement is possible." Germany "will also host the 2017 IHF Women's World Championship" (SPIEGEL ONLINE, 7/2).