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Volume 10 No. 22


AEG Facilities successfully opened three stadiums on two continents. Joining AEG Facilities’ global roster of venues are two stadiums located in Brasil; Estádio Maracanã (Rio de Janeiro) and Itaipava Arena Pernambuco (Recife) along with Stockholm, Sweden’s Tele2 Arena that each hosted sold out events to unveil their new world-class venues. Officially opening their doors this week with a special concert featuring Swedish artists Robyn, Lars Winnerbäck and Kent was the outdoor, open air Tele2 Arena. In front of a record audience of 39,714, this was the first of four events to take place at the Stockholm site that also includes a 16,000-seat arena. Other highlights of the Grand Opening celebration, attended by more than 100,000 guests, included a concert with Swedish Pop Band Gyllene Tider and three football matches. The venue is home to the Djurgårdens IF Fotbollsförening and Hammarby Fotboll clubs (AEG Facilities).

Former Queensland Rugby Union Chair Peter Lewis believes that "it is crazy for the Australian Rugby Union to redevelop T.G. Milner Field in Sydney as a centre of excellence instead of Ballymore in Brisbane," according to Bret Harris of THE AUSTRALIAN. The opposition has made a A$10M ($9M) election pledge to help the ARU "build a base for the Wallabies and Australia's men's and women's sevens teams at T.G. Milner." Lewis argued that the ARU "should be trying to reclaim" the A$25M that the Howard government promised to redevelop Ballymore "into a centre of excellence, which would house the ARU and several Olympic sporting bodies." Lewis said, "John Howard gave us A$25 million and Kevin Rudd cut it. I'm annoyed that no one seems to be agitating for the reinstatement of it. There is a purpose-built office building sitting there at Ballymore and they [the ARU] could move in tomorrow. Ballymore is 28 acres of prime inner-city land. There is ample room for development. It's crazy that Ballymore is just sitting there" (THE AUSTRALIAN, 9/4).

La Liga side Athletic Bilbao on Wednesday held its first practice at the team's new San Mames stadium, "the stadium that takes over from the legendary Cathedral." Before the practice, the team "posed for a photo for posterity." Former Bilbao player Julen Guerrero was present, and current striker Kike Sola said, "It is our first practice [here], with great excitement" (AS, 9/4). ... The South African Premier Soccer League on Wednesday named Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban, South Africa as the "venue for the Sept. 28 MTN8" cup competition final, in an unusual move of announcing the venue before the semifinals have been completed (SAPA, 9/4). ... Scottish Premiership Celtic is "weighing up a shock plan to play next season's Champions League qualifiers" at Murrayfield, the "home of Scottish rugby." Celtic Park is to "host the opening ceremony of the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow on July 23" and will be handed over to organizers starting in the middle of June. With Celtic "overwhelming favourites" to recapture its Scottish Premiership title, Celtic admitted on Monday that it "will be forced to find a temporary home" if it is crowned for a third successive year (London DAILY MAIL, 9/3).