Cricket "minnows" Bangladesh and Afghanistan are "more popular than two of the world's best teams," and Cricket World Cup officials are convinced three games at Manuka Oval "can attract almost 50,000 people next year," according to Chris Dutton of the CANBERRA TIMES. But football faces a "nervous wait to see if crowds fill Canberra Stadium." Asian Cup CEO Michael Brown is "urging the capital's sport fans to turn out in force to ensure the ACT government continues to invest in premier events." Cricket World Cup CEO John Harnden said that the Asian Cup will "jam seven matches into 14 days at Canberra Stadium in January, and there will be three World Cup games at Manuka Oval in February and March." Tickets for the Bangladesh-Afghanistan cricket contest are "selling faster than respective games for traditional powerhouses South Africa and the West Indies." Brown said that football and cricket would "work together instead of going into a cross-sport battle for fans." Brown: "Too often people think sports should compete, but Australians are sport lovers. There's no battle. John would want everything to go well for the Asian Cup and I wish the cricket World Cup every success ... it's about bringing international sport to Canberra." Harnden, however, is "targeting sellout games at Manuka Oval." He said, "We've got three games in Canberra, we think it's very achievable to get 45,000-50,000 to the ground and we expect full houses" (CANBERRA TIMES, 8/20).
Events and Attractions
CONMEBOL will reward the winner of next year's Copa América with $4M. The tournament will take place in Chile from June 11-July 4. The team that finishes in second place will receive $3M. In addition to 10 competitors from South America, Mexico and Jamaica will also participate in the tournament (AP, 8/19). ... The All India Football Federation announced on Monday that Jammu and Kashmir, India will host the Football Federation Cup in Aug. '15 (JAGRAN JOSH, 8/19). ... Sweden's Artemis Racing "confirmed it is challenging for the America's Cup again" (AP, 8/19). ... The Int'l Cycling Union (UCI) Management Committee has awarded the organization of the next UCI Track World Championships to Saint Quentin, France. The '15 event will be staged in France's new National Velodrome in South West Paris from Feb. 18-22. The National Velodrome of Saint Quentin en Yvelines is located in the Ile de France region, close to the Paris training center for the national teams (UCI). ... The fireworks of the Nanjing Youth Olympic Games, which "lit up the sky at the opening ceremony and will do so again at the closing ceremony, used advanced pyrotechnics technology and environmentally friendly materials to produce far less pollutants than traditional fireworks." Nanjing University of Science & Technology professor and Youth Olympic Games chief of fireworks Pan Gongpei claimed the improved fireworks "reduced the amount of pollutants by 70 to 80 percent" (CHINA DAILY, 8/20). ... The '15 edition of the Aircel Chennai Open tennis tournament will mark 20 years since the "very first game was played in India and the organisers are all set to celebrate the occasion with a host of activities in Chennai." The event is scheduled to be held at Chennai's SDAT Stadium from Jan. 5-11. The celebration "includes the launch of a special logo created to mark the occasion, a renovated SDAT Stadium that has hosted the event" since '97 after it shifted from New Delhi and a "host of special activities targeted at fans and tennis enthusiasts" (INDIAN TELEVISION, 8/20).