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Volume 6 No. 212


Plans to add more than 14,000 seats to Manchester's Etihad Stadium "are expected to be approved," according to Adam Jupp of the MANCHESTER EVENING NEWS. Man City wants to add an extra 6,250 seats at both ends of the ground, as well as a further 2,000 seats around the pitch, taking the Etihad's capacity from 47,620 to 62,170. Papers "have been submitted" to Manchester council's planning committee and a report released Thursday "recommends they are approved." A decision "will be made at a meeting" on Thursday. The document says 160 temporary jobs "will be created in the construction of the extension," while 110 extra matchday staff "will be needed on matchdays" at the enlarged arena. The document states, "The expansion of the stadium will provide enhanced facilities which will help to create a stadium of national and international profile and improve the visitor experience" (MANCHESTER EVENING NEWS, 2/6).

Austrian Bundesliga side Austria Vienna will invest €2.5M ($3.4M) "to upgrade its Generali Arena," according to Alexander Huber of KURIER. Starting in April, the club "will install handicap-accessible buffets and toilets, including elevator, access road, order and seating possibilities." In addition, the club's board "has already agreed to an even higher budget for the construction of new west and north stands." Austria CFO Markus Kraetschmer will use several million euros from the Champions League to invest in its infrastructure. He said, "The major constructions have to be completed with the opening of the new subway station in close proximity to the stadium in September 2017" (KURIER, 2/6).

The Hong Kong FA is "set to join up" with the Hong Kong Rugby Football Union and the government to "start work on an interim version of the proposed National Football Training Centre at Tseung Kwan O," according to Alvin Sallay of the SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST. The Hong Kong national team and First Division clubs "will have to continue sharing facilities with the public next season" because the Tseung Kwan O facility "continues to be delayed" as a Hong Kong Jockey Club-commissioned consultancy "study to prepare a master plan for the site remains unfinished." HKFA CEO Mark Sutcliffe said that the center "would not be ready for the start of the new professional league in September." The plan is for four pitches -- two artificial, two grass -- "to be built on the site as soon as possible," but Sutcliffe said that even this interim solution "may not be sorted out for next season" (SCMP, 2/6).