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Volume 6 No. 193


Scottish Premiership side Partick Thistle announced a six-figure naming rights deal that will see the club's Maryhill home renamed The Energy Check Stadium at Firhill, according to the Scotland DAILY RECORD. Partick Thistle signed a three-year deal with TECC Limited -- which is the shirt sponsor of Scottish League One side Alloa Athletic and League One side Shrewsbury Town -- in what the club says will provide a "significant new revenue stream." Thistle's move to "give away naming rights" for its stadium follows Scottish Premiership side Ross County renaming Victoria Park the Global Energy Stadium and Scottish Championship side Livingston's Almondvale becoming the Tony Macaroni Arena. Scottish Championship side Dumbarton has also had "numerous new names" for its home at The Rock (DAILY RECORD, 9/12). In Glasgow, Ryan McDonald reported Partick Thistle CEO Ian Maxwell said, "As a board, we recognize the need to move with the times in order to match the resource available to other clubs. But we also recognize the importance of history and tradition in football. So that meant retaining Firhill as part of the new name and I am pleased that Energy Check understood the significance too" (THE SCOTTISH SUN, 9/12).

Former NBA player Kobe Bryant "joined forces" with NBA China and Chinese resort Mission Hills to set up the country's first NBA Basketball School as well as an "interactive experience and store" in Haikou, Hainan Province, according to the SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST. The school at the "sprawling resort on China's holiday island" will be open to male and female players from junior level to professionals, a statement released by Mission Hills said. Construction will begin this year to be completed in '19. Bryant said, "The Chinese youth will benefit from a complete approach to player development that combines NBA-quality coaching with NBA-level training." NBA China CEO David Shoemaker "and the Chu brothers who run Mission Hills joined Bryant at the announcement." It is the latest partnership of its type at the resort, which recently announced a partnership with Barcelona for a "similar type of project," and a tennis academy in association with Boris Becker (SCMP, 9/12). XINHUA reported the school will include six indoor courts and other professional facilities. Mission Hills Group will be "responsible for designing and building the school," while NBA China will operate and staff the facility with NBA-trained coaches and provide the basketball development curriculum. Current and former NBA players "will visit the school to provide additional instruction and help foster" player development. The NBA interactive experience and store will be located at Mission Hills Centreville, a 240,000-square-meter shopping and entertainment complex located within the 22-square-kilometer Mission Hills Haikou resort. It will be a multimedia exhibition and retail space "celebrating the league's history and providing fans with a broad assortment of merchandise for men, women and kids," including jerseys, fan apparel, basketballs and accessories (XINHUA, 9/12).

India's Salt Lake Stadium, which is owned by the Government of West Bengal, "was officially handed over" to FIFA for the U17 World Cup, which starts on Oct. 6. Salt Lake Stadium, which will host 10 matches, is among six Indian venues that will host games. West Bengal Sports Minister Aroop Biswas said, "I can say 98 percent of the work on the stadium has been completed and the remaining 2 percent will be done well before the tournament starts." The seating capacity of the stadium, which "once recorded a turnout" of 120,000 spectators, has been reduced to around 80,000 after the installation of bucket seats (THE HINDU, 9/11).

South African Premier Soccer League side Cape Town City Chair John Comitis revealed that the club and Cape Town Stadium management have come to an "understanding." Comitis "slammed stadium management" after a match last month. A "host of supporters were not allowed to purchase tickets at the stadium" on matchday and were "turned away" (SPORT24, 9/12).