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Volume 10 No. 22


São Paulo-based newspaper O Globo reported the cost of the 12 stadiums for the World Cup has reached approximately $3.7B, "a figure three times greater than the initial budget" presented in '07, according to the EFE. The budget for the stadiums that was "turned in to FIFA" in Oct. '07 indicated a cost of $1.1B, a budget that was then "considered 'well-prepared,' which did not create doubts about Brazil's agreement to host the tournament." The increased stadium costs and "accusations of corruption sparked massive protests during the Confederations Cup in June" (EFE, 1/27).

Hong Kong sports officials said that the government's decision to foot the total estimated HK$19B ($2.5B) cost of the Kai Tak sports complex "will save time and money," according to Alvin Sallay of the SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST. Hong Kong CEO Leung Chun-ying "also earned praise for reiterating the importance of the project in his January policy address." Hong Kong Rugby Football Union Chair Trevor Gregory said, "It is excellent to hear that the government has sorted out the financing model to build it and fund it themselves. This is fantastic that things are now starting to move ahead." It can't happen quickly enough. At least things are starting to move forward." Hong Kong FA CEO Mark Sutcliffe "was delighted." Sutcliffe: "It is best to use public funding if the government can afford it and it is good to hear they will fund the project." Home Affairs Deputy Secretary Jonathan McKinley said that "swift progress was being made now that the funding mechanism had been determined." Earlier in January, "the Legislative Council was briefed on the Kai Tak sports complex and that it was consistent with the government's sports policy." But there had been a few dissenting voices among legislators, "some of whom had wanted to delay the project by a year over costs and that the government was solely responsible for funding" (SCMP, 1/27).

The Estadio Mextenis in Acapulco "has completely changed," according to Juan Pablo Sánchez of LA AFICION. In '13, Rafael Nadal and David Ferrer competed on the venue's clay courts, "but today the new asphalt court is awaiting its final layer to complete the transformation into a hard surface." This "has met the wishes of the organizers." Four months of work "have concluded with a distinct tone for the new era of the Mexican Open." Mexican Open Dir Raúl Zurutuza said, "This change began at the end of November. It is a change we had been looking for for five years. In fact, the four tournaments of the Latin American tour tried to change to a hard court, but the ATP Player Council did not allow it, saying that they needed to take care of clay courts" (LA AFICION, 1/27).