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Volume 6 No. 215


Perth's new sports stadium will cost more than A$862M ($806M) to build, and "more than half of it will be funded by the taxpayer," according to Emily Moulton of PERTH NOW. The final cost for the five-tiered facility was revealed as Western Australia Premier Colin Barnett and Sports Minister Terry Waldron "unveiled the official design." Barnett said that "all issues" relating to the stadium "had been resolved and that the contract with Brookfield's WestStadium would be signed within days" (PERTH NOW, 7/17). WA TODAY reported details of the design have been revealed, "and cup holders and better toilets are just part of the plan." The stadium's features will "include LED lights to show home team colours by night and more than 70 food and beverage options." About 85% of the 60,000 seats in the stadium will be "undercover and all seats will have cup holders." It will have a "halo" style roof and the toilet facilities are "expected to be an improvement on those currently at Patersons Stadium." Opposition spokesman Ken Travers said that Barnett was "dazzling taxpayers with pretty pictures to distract them from the real cost of the stadium." Barnett said that the government "would finance the project like a mortgage to relieve the burden on the state's current community." Of the total cost, 60% "will be paid for up front with the remaining amount, including maintenance costs, financed over 25 years." Travers said that "the Premier hadn't fully disclosed the real cost of the stadium." Travers: "What we need to know is what the interest rate on that 40 percent that we're borrowing through this private arrangement is, because that will tell us the real price" (WA TODAY, 7/17).

DESIGN LAUDED: ARCHITECTURE AND DESIGN's Nathan Johnson reported the project will be developed by Westadium, a "consortium led by Brookfield Financial and John Laing." Westadium spokesperson John Flecker emphasized the design's "seating bowl, lightweight fabric roof and tech-heavy facilities as key features." Flecker: "The new Perth Stadium seating bowl will deliver unrivalled sightlines" (ARCHITECTURE AND DESIGN, 7/17). ABC reported Barnett said "the cost of the stadium and the surrounding sports precinct" would be about A$860M, but "that figure does not include" a A$16M ($15M) project management fee. Barnett said that the stadium "will be lit up in the colours of the teams playing on the day" (ABC, 7/17).

Barcelona "will become the first city with a theme park dedicated to sports," according to Cristina Navarro of MARCA. It will be located at the Barcelona Olympic Stadium and is scheduled to open in July '15. The park is expected to attract 7,000 visitors per day and will include areas to play football and basketball, among other sports. Technology "will be featured in each area, from being able to virtually run alongside Usain Bolt to football games controlled by technology." Visitors will pay an entry fee of €28 ($38) (MARCA, 7/17).

Hong Kong Premier League side Sun Pegasus fears Mong Kok Stadium "will be reduced to a 'potato field' when more pressure is put on it after the Hong Kong Stadium closes for renovation," according to Chan Kin-wa of the SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST. The Premier League side, along with champions Kitchee, "will be based at the 6,600-seat Mong Kok facility for the new professional league to kick off in September." But Pegasus Team Dir Chan Chi-hong "is already concerned about the pitch." Chan: "We have already seen how poor the pitch at Mong Kok was approaching the end of last season and if more matches are to be held there in the new season, it will create a big problem." While South China "will have to finish all their home matches at Hong Kong Stadium before March, their cup fixtures in the second half of the season as well as the regional AFC Cup matches are likely to be moved to the Mong Kok ground due to its popularity among the fans." Although the Mong Kok facility "underwent a major facelift before reopening in 2011, the turf was not touched during the two-year renovation" (SCMP, 7/16).

If it "had not been for a change of government at last year's federal election," the official opening of Super Rugby side ACT Brumbies' new home on the University of Canberra campus "would also have been the turning of the first sod" for a proposed A$25M ($23.4M) multisport complex on Thursday as well. But UC vice-Chancellor Stephen Parker was confident the opening "would attract enough interest for stage two of the sporting commons project to go ahead." The proposed stadium "includes nine courts, which could be used for basketball, netball, futsal and volleyball, including one show court with roll-in, roll-out seating for 3,000 people" (CANBERRA TIMES, 7/17). ...  Authorities of three Russian cities have launched "recheck of their existing and prospective stadiums for 2018 FIFA World Cup after the football association hinted it may cut the number of arenas." The double check of the construction projects "will be held in Volgograd in southern Russia" (XINHUA, 7/16).