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Volume 6 No. 212


Barcelona has announced a 6,000-seat stadium for the club's second team will be built on the land the club recently purchased near its training facility, according to Javier Giraldo of SPORT. Barcelona's Jordi Moix, who "leads the club's sponsorship department," announced that the new stadium will be "located at the site currently occupied by the Tennis El Forn complex." Barcelona B's new stadium will measure 100x63 square meters. It is believed that "the stadium's move is being done with the future and freeing up of land in mind, in addition to taking into account public attendance at the current Mini Estadi." There are "no calculations of the cost of the new stadium, but it was assured that it will be at a market price." The new Mini Estadi is "expected to open in two-and-a-half years" (SPORT, 11/14).

The possibility of naming Singapore's National Stadium or Singapore Indoor Stadium after personalities was raised by Acting Minister for Culture, Community & Youth Lawrence Wong on Monday, following OCBC Bank sealing a $50M, 15-year naming-rights deal with the Singapore Sports Hub, according to May Chen of the STRAITS TIMES. While the deal allows OCBC to "carry its brand on venues" within the 35-hectare park, "both the National Stadium and SIS are off limits to commercial branding." They could, however, be "named after individuals the nation wishes to celebrate and remember." As far as "former sprint legend C. Kunalan is concerned, only an individual who has made a huge impact should be accorded the honour of having a national stadium named after him or her." Kunalan said, "He or she must have really influenced the progress of sport in Singapore and, until now, we haven't had anyone who's done that." Sports historian Nick Aplin said, "You'd want someone who had made an impact after independence because of national identity. At the moment, I can't think of a good one" (STRAITS TIMES, 11/14).

COMMUNITY OVER 'BIG BANG': In Singapore, Lim Say Heng reported the Singapore Sports Hub "may soon be a magnet for world-class international events, but its debut next April will feature a community event instead of a 'big bang' opening." Singapore Sports Hub CEO Philippe Delavaud said, "It will have all types of sports at all the venues ... we want to open (the Hub) with community events and sports experience type of events." Wong added that the $1.33B facility's official opening "may take place" when Singapore hosts the biennial Southeast Asian Games in June '15. Wong: "You can't have an official opening on day one. We are going to phase in all the systems and make sure the operations work well over time because it's such a big venue" (THE NEW PAPER, 11/14).

League Championship club Derby County has sold naming rights to its Pride Park stadium to the "new global sports drink company, iPro," according to the PA. The deal, which is believed to be "one of the biggest independent deals by a club in Football League history," will net Derby £7M ($11.3M) over 10 years. It will see "the renaming of Pride Park, which has been the club's home for the past 16 years" since moving from the Baseball Ground, to the iPro Stadium (PA, 11/13). The BBC reported Derby County CEO Sam Rush said, "We are all aiming to take this club to the Premier League and to do that we need significant revenue to invest in the club and playing staff." Rush "defended the change and said supporters had been consulted." Rush: "Over the last 10 months we have talked about this with supporters extensively. We have done a lot of tours and generally people have been supportive" (BBC, 11/13).

Sao Paulo's Itaquerao World Cup Stadium is 94% complete, "easing fears the venue could miss the December construction deadline" set by FIFA, according to XINHUA. Brazilian construction firm Odebrecht, which is "responsible for the project," said that the "roof's steel structure has already been mounted and the pitch laid." The stadium -- also known as Arena de Sao Paulo and Arena Corinthians -- "will hold 68,000 fans during the World Cup." It will "stage six World Cup matches, including the opener on June 12 featuring Brazil and an undetermined opponent" (XINHUA, 11/13).

English fifth-tier side Barnet Chair Tony Kleanthous has "held talks" with Super League side London Broncos over the Broncos "moving to The Hive," according to the BBC. The Broncos "announced their intention to leave the Twickenham Stoop in January but the club have not secured a home venue for next season." Kleathous said, "They talk a lot, that is for sure. I don't know whether something will or won't happen. At the moment I can assure you there is no deal. But who knows?" Kleanthous is "eager to make sure the north London facility is utilised as much as possible but has warned it is close to capacity." However, despite being "open to talks with the Broncos, he says they face competition for the space." Kleanthous: "It is them and others. Let's be clear -- it is not unique to them. We have spoken to other people, organizations and other sports that want to get involved here" (BBC, 11/14).