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Volume 10 No. 25


The 2011 Asian Cup's host nation, Qatar, will "base itself in Canberra in the lead-up to next year's tournament in Australia," with Cup organizers promising the event will "leave a lasting legacy in the ACT," according to Chris Wilson of the CANBERRA TIMES. But while ACT football will "benefit from upgrades to lighting at allocated training venues at McKellar and Deakin stadiums, the bulk of the renovations to Canberra Stadium will only be temporary" during the Asian Cup in January. The ACT government paid A$3.5M ($3.3M) to host seven matches of the Asian Cup, including a quarterfinal, from Jan. 10-23. Tournament organizers are set to "ramp up facility upgrades at Canberra Stadium from next month, including boosting Wi-Fi capacity, renovating corporate facilities for VIP guests and increasing media capacity." The stadium will "also need to be stripped of all sponsorship signage, including naming rights sponsor GIO, during the tournament" (CANBERRA TIMES, 9/2).

The Australian Football League side Sydney Swans "hold the party line on playing at ANZ Stadium," but former Collingwood player Nick Maxwell has no such restrictions and has labelled the controversial surface "disgusting," according to Peter Lalor of THE AUSTRALIAN. Neither the Swans nor the AFL will openly criticize the surface, "but the two bodies who hold a contract with the stadium were assured that the ground would be better for this weekend’s qualifying final than it was for last Saturday’s game against Richmond." While the weather has been wet in Sydney "the patchwork grass on the wings, which are usually covered by retractable seating, was so slippery one of the television commentators reportedly lost his footing before the match." Maxwell indicated that "the surface had always been difficult when he played on it." Asked what it was like, he said "disgusting." Maxwell: "It was no good, it was really patchy" (THE AUSTRALIAN, 9/3).

Snoozebox said on Thursday that "it had struck a deal to supply Saransk in Russia with pop-up hotels for fans attending the 2018 World Cup," according to Kasmira Jefford of CITY AM. The operator of portable hotels at events such as the British Grand Prix confirmed it had signed a preliminary agreement with organizers at the host city and said "a feasibility study and further commercial negotiations" would now take place. The statement "was released after reports in The Moscow Times, which said the company planned to create a hotel complex called Snoozebox Football Village, with around 2,000 rooms made from its modified shipping containers." Saransk "is one of the 11 cities hosting the World Cup," which is expected to draw in 1 million visitors (CITY AM, 8/29). In London, Chris Kitching wrote to keep visitors busy, Snoozebox Football Village "will include restaurants, shops, a large screen that will show World Cup matches, and venues for entertainment and recreation." Snoozebox guest rooms "include two beds, an en-suite wet room, wireless internet access, a safe, flat screen television and key card entry." The portable hotel in Saransk "will be set up 10 minutes from a World Cup stadium" (DAILY MAIL, 8/27).