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Volume 6 No. 234


New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian will "upgrade" the ANZ Stadium and Allianz Stadium, according to Andrew Clennell of the Sydney DAILY TELEGRAPH. Berejiklian said that she is "prepared to commit more money" than the A$1.6B ($1.3B) that is now set aside for projects. She added that both stadiums "could even be rebuilt at the same time, provided sporting codes could find a way to manage their games as work progressed." In her "strongest comments yet on Sydney’s stadium wars," she said that Sydney Olympic Park’s ANZ Stadium remained the priority but she "would consider starting work on Moore Park’s dilapidated Allianz Stadium" before the March '19 election. She said that she was "determined to push ahead" because the presence of world-class facilities "means jobs, it means tourism." Estimates for the ANZ work range from A$900M ($713.5M) to A$1.6B and a rebuild of Allianz from A$400M-A$800M ($317M-$634M). Berejiklian said she was not "wedded" to the A$1.6B price for the work as it did not account for construction of other stadiums. She said, "I'd love to see an outer Western Sydney stadium" (DAILY TELEGRAPH, 8/20). 

Qatar will build a stadium "shaped like an Arabian skull cap" for the 2022 World Cup, organizers said on Sunday, as the Gulf state moves ahead with preparations for the tournament "despite a diplomatic rift with its neighbors," according to Tom Finn of REUTERS. The Qatar 2022 World Cup Committee said in a statement that Doha's Al Thumama Stadium, designed by a Qatari architect in the shape of a traditional knitted "gahfiya" Arabian cap, will host 40,000 fans at a World Cup quarterfinal match. Qatar 2020 Committee CEO Hassan al-Thawadi said, "This symbolic design embodies everything that unites us as Arabs and Muslims, and is a fitting tribute to the first FIFA World Cup in the Middle East." The venue is one of "at least eight air-conditioned stadiums Qatar is building along with a new port and metro system" as part of a $200B infrastructure upgrade (REUTERS, 8/20). In London, Glen Williams reported Al Thumama, situated four miles south of Doha, is "one of seven stadiums now under construction." The site, which was previously home to four training pitches, will feature a boutique hotel, more "state-of-the-art" outdoor training pitches, volleyball, handball and basketball courts, an aquatic center, horse riding, running and cycling tracks as well as community retail spaces to "ensure the stadium is used long after the tournament has finished" (DAILY MAIL, 8/20).