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Volume 10 No. 22

Events and Attractions

Organizers of the 2014 Commonwealth Games have "revealed demand for Glasgow 2014 is the highest of any Commonwealth Games in history," according to Martyn McLaughlin of the SCOTSMAN. The organizers hailed the "record" and "unprecedented" sale of "92% of tickets available to the public for next summer’s sporting spectacle." Spectators have "snapped up 854,614 tickets" for the 11-day event so far. Officials said that figure "exceeded their expectations, and was the equivalent of 'shaving a second'" off the 100m record. In a sign of the Games' "appeal at home, more than half of the tickets (57%) were bought by Scots, according to preliminary research, with 22% purchased by those in the Greater Glasgow area." Of the tickets sold, 40% went to U.K. residents (SCOTSMAN, 11/4). In Glasgow, Fraser Wilson reported Glasgow 2014 CEO David Grevemberg "hailed the drive for tickets as 'phenomenal.'" With "more than 364,000 ticket requests, athletics is by far the most in-demand event at next summer's Games." But 11 of the 17 events have "sold out to the public already with cycling, swimming and gymnastics also proving popular" (DAILY RECORD, 11/4). The BBC's Jane Lewis reported "the remaining 76,000 tickets go on sale to the general public on Tuesday." The tickets cover "limited sessions and price categories in badminton, boxing, lawn bowls, rugby sevens, weightlifting and para-sport powerlifting and squash." Tickets to Commonwealth nations are from an "additional pot, sold through the various Commonwealth Games around the world" (BBC, 11/4).

London's "stunning" 02 Arena will stage the ATP World Tour Finals for the seventh year in succession in '15, but defending champion Novak Djokovic said that will "already be four too many," according to Martyn Herman of REUTERS. Djokovic, like most of the players who have contested the eight-man season-ender at the "distinctive domed venue beside the River Thames, is a huge fan of the gladiatorial-like arena." However, Djokovic feels the tennis authorities "should continue the policy of taking the tournament around the globe." Djokovic: "I think this tournament should definitely be organised at different places more often. I think it should not be held in one city for more than three years. That's my opinion because this is the tournament of the eight best players in the world and this is the tournament which is not fixed for one city or one country. It is in the ATP's hands" (REUTERS, 11/4). In London, Simon Briggs reported Rafael Nadal also "called for the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals to be moved from London." Nadal "dislikes playing under a roof." On a windy day, he "is the best in the world by far, because his booming top-spin gives him a huge safety margin, allowing him to power his dipping forehand three feet over the net." But indoor tennis is "about being more ambitious, about lining up the glory shot and pulling it off for a clean winner." Nadal: "Something that would be a little bit more fair for the players -- I think for the fans it would be interesting too -- would be to change surfaces" (TELEGRAPH, 11/4).

Spanish Formula E CEO Alejandro Agag is "so enamoured" with Hong Kong that when he heard the city "wanted to become part of the inaugural FIA Formula E world championship, he had no hesitation in bumping off another city already pencilled in, and inviting 'Asia's World City' to join the 10-race street series," according to Alvin Sallay of the SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST. Agag: "Hong Kong was a last-minute inclusion in our [provisional] calendar. They only confirmed they wanted to host a leg a couple of weeks before we announced the 10 cities in late September, but we had no hesitation in accepting them." Rome, Rio de Janeiro and Bangkok had been on the "original list, but when Formula E released its provisional calendar for the series starting in Beijing next September, they had been replaced by the glamorous harbour of Monte Carlo, Uruguay's picturesque beach resort of Punte del Este and Hong Kong." It is not F1, but in the "eyes of Agag, it will be even more significant" because it is "the future." Motorsports governing body FIA is setting its "hearts on environmentally friendly races to target the younger generation." It costs Singapore more than $100M annually to "put on Formula One's showpiece night race around Marina Bay." In contrast, it will cost $5M -- "most of it borne by the promoters" -- to bring Formula E to Hong Kong. Money, however, is not the most "pressing issue for organisers, including the Hong Kong Automobile Association, the local partners of the concern." Right now everything is focused on "identifying the circuit with Lung Wo Road in Central at the centre of discussions between government, Formula E and FIA officials." The proposed 2.4km circuit is "ideal." Bordering the harbor, it will be a "fantastic backdrop for the race." More than 40,000 spectators will be "catered for on grandstands, while VIPs and corporates will be wined and dined elsewhere." The race will be "broadcast live to more than 90 countries around the world" on Fox TV (SCMP, 11/4).