Organizers of the Russian F1 Grand Prix have insisted that "their race will go ahead despite the threat of sanctions being imposed on the country in the wake of the Ukraine crisis," according to Kevin Eason of the LONDON TIMES. Fears are growing that the inaugural race in Sochi "will be abandoned as Russia becomes embroiled in the turmoil in Crimea and eastern Ukraine." Commons Foreign Affairs Select Committee Chair Richard Ottoway said a grand prix held against a background of war in the Ukraine would be "wildly unrealistic." However, organizers in Sochi said that "preparations are on target and will be ready for the scheduled October 12 date." Team buildings and the medical center "are already operational and the main grandstand is almost completed." A statement said that ticketing details "will be published on May 20." The confidence of the organizers "is in stark contrast to the fears of diplomats." The Russian round of the world championship also comes immediately before the grand prix in the U.S. "and it is understood American officials are concerned at the juxtaposition at a tense time when they are pushing for sanctions" (LONDON TIMES, 5/7).
Events and Attractions
The ticket presale for the second German Hockey League (DEL) Winter Game "will start on Friday," according to the SID. The league's second outdoor game "will feature Cologne and Dusseldorf and will take place on Jan. 10 at the Esprit Arena in Dusseldorf." There will be a total of 54,500 tickets "available for the game, including 10,000 standing room tickets." A sellout "would set a new European record" (SID, 5/6).
The "final" word on the Indian Premier League "is not yet out," according to Vijay Tagore of the MUMBAI MIRROR. The Board of Control for Cricket in India is "contemplating moving the two play-off matches," allotted to the Wankhede, out of the stadium. The Mumbai Cricket Association, the owner of the stadium, is still not aware of the BCCI plans but "the moves are afoot to give one of the two matches to its arch-rival, Brabourne Stadium, in the city." Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore "is the favourite to host the final." The exact reasons behind the BCCI's thinking on the matter "could not be immediately confirmed" but the board officials "are unhappy with the way matches have been conducted at the Wankhede." A BCCI official said, "There are quite a few issues with the Wankhede like logistics and conduct of the matches. We've had discussions with the MCA officials in this regard." BCCI has already contacted the Cricket Club of India and has promised it the May 30 qualifier to the Brabourne Stadium. This development "was confirmed by the president of the club" (MUMBAI MIRROR, 5/7).
The World Club Challenge will return to the U.K. in '15 "after being staged in Australia earlier this year." Sydney "hosted the traditional annual clash between the champions of Super League and Australia's National Rugby League in February" (BBC, 5/7). ... Tickets for the Liverpool vs. Serie A side Roma re-match at Fenway Park on July 23 will go on sale on May 16 at 10am. Tickets range from $30 to $120 and will be available at redsox.com/footballatfenway, lfctour.com, or by calling (877) RED-SOX9 (FSM).