A plan is under way to stage an int'l road race next year, which, if successful, "may pave the way for Hong Kong as host of the Asian Championships," according to Chan Kin-wa of the SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST. Hong Kong Cycling Association Chair Leung Hung-tak said, "Road racing is always popular in cycling and we haven't had an international race since the last Tour of the South China Sea in 2010." The proposed route would be a criterium race of 12km per lap and the HKCA" is planning an initial 10- to 12-lap race." Leung said that with the imminent opening of the HK$600M ($77M) Hong Kong velodrome in Tseung Kwan O, "the HKCA could consider staging the Asian Championships, which involve track and road races." Leung: "The world-class facilities in Tseung Kwan O will be good enough for international track races, but a road race is always a problem in a compact city like Hong Kong" (SCMP, 12/16).
Events and Attractions
V8 Supercars is "beating all the football codes when it comes to average attendances," according to James Phelps of the Sydney DAILY TELEGRAPH. V8 Supercars CEO James Warburton has declared the "sport is the best it has even been." Thought by some to be a "minnow when up against the footballing giants," Warburton has revealed V8 Supercars has a better average attendance than the National Rugby League, Super Rugby, the A-League and, "for the first time," the Australian Football League. A 5% rise in average crowds has seen V8 "climb to first with 33,178," topping the AFL's 32,163 in '13. Warburton: "We've had record attendances, increased ratings including being shown in prime time last Saturday night and a huge uplift in web and social media. More people are consuming V8 Supercars than ever across multiple platforms." The sport is "nowhere near the AFL (6,368,346) and still a long way behind the NRL (2,888,760)" when it comes to total crowds. But with 1,459,824 coming in for their 14 events, "V8 Supercar have easily accounted for the other two codes" (DAILY TELEGRAPH, 12/14).
The WTA Brussels Open "has folded after three years because it became too expensive to stage" (AP, 12/12). ... La Liga side Granada offered up to 10,000 free tickets for the Copa del Rey tie against Alcorcón, hoping that it can fill its 23,000 capacity stadium, "to give the game a real cup atmosphere." The club announced that the first 5,000 ticket holders that collect their match tickets, "which are included as part of their annual season ticket renewal at no extra cost, can collect two free tickets each for the game" (INSIDE WORLD FOOTBALL, 12/16). ... The European Handball Federation has announced that Europe's biggest handball event, the Velux EHF Final4, is to remain in Cologne, Germany for two further years, and until at least '16. The decision was made on the fringes of the Women's World Championship taking place in Serbia, as the EHF Exec Committee gave the green light to the agreement at its meeting in Belgrade on Saturday (EHF).