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Volume 6 No. 212

Events and Attractions

The BMW Open tennis tournament is looking for a new organizer after license holder Iphitos Sportveranstaltungs GmbH decided to terminate the contract with current organizer Charly Steeb GmbH on Sept. 31. The reason for Iphitos' decision is that the Charly Steeb GmbH filed for bankruptcy at the end of August. The Charly Steeb GmbH expects to open insolvency proceedings on either Oct. 1 or Oct. 15.  The contract between Iphitos and the Charly Steeb GmbH, which organized the tournament for the first time this year, was expected to run until '15. Iphitos Managing Dir Fabian Tross said that the license holder is in talks with three to four agencies. According to German sports business magazine Sponsors, Hamburg-based agency SPORTFIVE is one of the interested agencies. The BMW Open is an annual ATP World Tour 250 event and takes place in Munich, Germany (SPONSORs).

Formual E CEO Alejandro Agag said that London will likely not host a race in '14 and "now looks like it is going to be the closing race in 2015," according to Christian Sylt of the London INDEPENDENT. The new Formula E electric racing series "will launch in September next year and has cars with a top speed of 150mph." All of the races will be held on city streets, and Agag said "he is looking at Wembley as well as Westminster and the Olympic Park in Stratford." However, the decision on where to host the London race "is taking longer than anticipated and when Formula E announces its inaugural calendar on Friday next week it will reveal that London is not the season-opener as expected." When the list of host cities was announced in March, London Mayor Boris Johnson said, "Zero-emission world-class motor racing is a scintillating concept, and I am hugely keen that London be involved in the birth of Formula E." Formula E "is ready and able to hold its first race in London." But Agag said that progress "is very slow because there are so many layers." He added, "It is not the Mayor who controls this, it is the borough. For logistical reasons, it is better to start in a continent and stay in the same continent, so we are putting together all of the races in Europe. London now looks like it is going to be the closing race in 2015." Agag said that "the curtain-raiser will instead take place in Beijing" (INDEPENDENT, 9/22).

The NFL will hold a Block Party on London's Regent Street Saturday, one day before the 2013 NFL Int'l Series game at Wembley Stadium between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Minnesota Vikings. The free event will run from noon until 6pm local time and will feature performances by the Vikings cheerleaders, American food, music, NFL-themed activities and the chance to see the Vince Lombardi trophy. On Sunday, the NFL will open the Game Day Fan Plaza to ticket and non-ticket holders from midday until 5pm. The event will feature American-themed outlets, food and beverages, including a Budweiser beer garden. This year marks the first time two games will be played in London in the same season as part of the Int'l Series. The San Francisco 49ers and Jacksonville Jaguars play Nov. 1 (NFL).

The National Rugby League "faces a scenario where it hardly matters who loses; they still win," according to Glenn Jackson of the SYDNEY MORNING HERALD. Whichever way it looks from here on in, it "will be blessed with promotional dreams on both the penultimate weekend and then the final one." With four teams remaining, the prospects "are mouth-watering whichever combination comes up." In a season dogged by the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority's "investigation into supplements in the sport," and also "poor attendances," a crowd of 50,000 is anticipated for Friday night's first preliminary final between South Sydney and Manly at ANZ Stadium. Meanwhile, it is "also hoped that Allianz Stadium will be sold out a night later" when the Sydney Roosters take on Newcastle. In fact, "if the sold-out sign is not placed outside the ground on Saturday night, the NRL would be given its most visible signal that the code does have a serious problem when it comes to its crowds" (SMH, 9/23).

V8 Supercars' season-ending Sydney 500 in December "will preview the introduction of several twilight races in next year's new-look series," according to Mark Fogarty of the SYDNEY MORNING HERALD. As well as adopting three standardized event formats, the 14-event 2014 V8 championship "will include at least five Saturday races that finish in the early evening." As a precursor to next year's more regular twilight races, the first 250-kilometer leg of the Sydney 500 at the Sydney Olympic Park street circuit on Dec. 7 "will be run from late afternoon to the approach of sunset." V8 Supercars "confirmed the Saturday race's switch to a dusk finish this year with the release on Monday of next year's series schedule, which will feature up to seven Saturday races finishing near nightfall" (SMH, 9/24).