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Volume 6 No. 211

Events and Attractions

Golf may have been first introduced in Indonesia more than a century ago with the first golf course built in Rawamangun, East Jakarta, "but the sport has failed to catch on across all sectors of society," according to the JAKARTA GLOBE. Course owners "have been struggling with major obstacles for decades and the common perception that golf is a rich person's sport has pretty much jeopardized the sport's development." Indonesia Golf Course Owners Association (APLGI) Secretary General Christine Wiradinata said that "owners had long faced discrimination when it came to taxes." Christine said that though struggling, "Indonesian golf courses are showing progress." Indonesia, with 149 courses nationwide, 72 on Java alone, "was appointed the second Best Golf Destination in Asia Pacific after Thailand at this year's Asia Pacific Golf Summit." A ray of sunshine has come from the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy announcing that "it would promote sports tourism including golf." Wiradinata: "It's a breakthrough that needs supports from us. We thank the government for that" (JAKARTA GLOBE, 11/27).

The most expensive seats at the 2015 Rugby World Cup Final at Twickenham "will cost" a record £715 ($1,100) as organizers bid to generate the £80M ($130M) they have "guaranteed to pay the International Rugby Board," according to Chris Jones of the London EVENING STANDARD. Prices for the 2.3 million tournament tickets and kickoff times were revealed in London Wednesday, leading to comparisons with the '11 final in New Zealand, "where a seat cost between" £170 and £545. The tournament "will be staged in 13 stadia including the Olympic Stadium, Wembley and a host of football grounds." England 2015 "appointed Ticketmaster to sell the tickets" (EVENING STANDARD, 11/27). The BBC reported the cheapest tickets will be priced at £150 ($245). Tickets for some pool stage matches will cost as little as £7 ($11). All England's pool matches will kick off at 8pm local time, including the opening match at Twickenham on Sept. 18. A total of 1 million of the 2.3 million available tickets will go on sale at £100 ($163) or less, with 500,000 selling at £50 ($82) or less. Adult ticket prices start at £15 ($24)for pool matches and child tickets will be available from £7 at 41 of the 48 matches. The first wave of tickets -- around 500,000 -- "will be distributed through clubs affiliated to the Rugby Football Union next May and will include some for the final" (BBC, 11/27).

Thai officials said on Tuesday that the Southeast Asian Games risk decreasing in value "with more traditional sports represented at next month's Myanmar tournament," according to Kittipong Thongsombat of the BANGKOK POST. Thailand has spent more than 300M baht ($9.3M) "preparing its athletes for the Games," to be held Dec 11-22. Sports Authority of Thailand Deputy Governor Sakol Wannapong said that "the biennial tournament may struggle to attract investment as the standard drops, along with its popularity." Sakol: "Some say that the Games is just to strengthen the relationships among the member countries. If so, we do not need to spend that sum of money. It costs a lot with a Thai athlete getting 900 baht per day in preparing for the Games. It is better to spend money on development." Thai National Olympic Committee VP Charoen Wattanasin agreed that "there are too many sports at the Games." Charoen: "Among the gold medals, about 35 percent are from combat sports. Some of the sports, you've never heard of them before in your life" (BANGKOK POST, 11/27).

Organizers of the Soccerex global football convention "hope to reschedule the event for early next year," according to XINHUA. The six-day conference, which had been earmarked to begin on Nov. 30, was canceled earlier this month "due to concerns over security." Soccerex officials claimed that "the decision by the Rio de Janeiro government represents a breach of contract and have sought compensation." Uol reported that a lawsuit against the government "has not been ruled out, although it is seen as a last resort." The report said, "Soccerex thinks that it can carry out the event in mid-March or April next year, before the World Cup" (XINHUA, 11/27).