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Volume 6 No. 213


Next year's Asian Cup will "leave a legacy" for Canberra football after it was confirmed that Deakin Stadium and McKellar Park will be featured in A$650,000 ($605,350) worth of upgrades to venues in "all five host cities," according to Jon Tuxworth of the CANBERRA TIMES. Canberra will host six pool games and a quarterfinal of the January tournament, "and the upgrades will improve the surrounding facilities and playing surface at the two training venues." It "is understood work will be undertaken on the lighting facilities at both Deakin Stadium and McKellar Park." Asian Cup Local Organizing Committee CEO Michael Brown said, "These developments are an important part of the legacy the Asian Cup will leave for Australian football and have focused on venues that will be used by football into the future" (CANBERRA TIMES, 8/26).

National Rugby League side Penrith Panthers "have threatened to abandon their home ground of almost 50 years because of poor crowds and the NRL scheduling farce," according to Phil Rothfield of the Sydney DAILY TELEGRAPH. The "most exciting young team in the premiership is averaging only 11,273 fans to Sportingbet Stadium this year" -- the second-lowest in the NRL. The Panthers have "not been scheduled even one Sunday afternoon game this year and have had to play on Monday nights four times, mostly in the rain." Penrith Panthers Group CEO Warren Wilson said that the club has "been forced into looking at alternative venues, possibly interstate, to increase revenue." South Sydney "successfully took games to Perth and Cairns this year" and made approximately A$750,000 ($698,300) more than from home games. Wilson said, "Unless the fans of Penrith get to the games and we start getting higher average crowds, the only way to balance the accounts is to take games to other venues. I would prefer to play every game at home but we can’t survive on an average crowd of 10 to 12,000. It just doesn't pay the bills" (DAILY TELEGRAPH, 8/26).

Municipal authorities in Oslo have "approved a plan to build a new stadium" for Norwegian club Valerenga, according to Jaroslaw Adamowski of INSIDE WORLD FOOTBALL. The cost of the new stadium and a neighboring school is estimated to be about €49M ($64.6M), with "related infrastructure investments costing a further" €30.6M ($40.4M). The new facility will allow the club "to move from Ullevaal, the country's national stadium, where it currently plays its home matches." The complex will be "located in Valle-Hovin, in the western part of Norway's capital city." Anders Røberg-Larsen of the city council's urban development committee said, "This is an important step in this project. What needs to be done now is just the transfer of the site." It is expected that Valerenga will be "allowed to acquire the land plot for a symbolic price" of kr1. Club representatives said that the facility "could be opened" in Aug. '16 (INSIDE WORLD FOOTBALL, 8/26).