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Volume 6 No. 213

Facilities

Chelsea "significantly increased the projected cost of redeveloping Stamford Bridge" to more than £1B ($1.32B), which would make it the most expensive stadium in Europe, according to Matt Hughes of the LONDON TIMES. The club has "yet to reveal a price for the ambitious project" but reportedly internal discussions have placed the cost at double the £500M ($660.8M) that was estimated when it received planning permission for the 60,000-capacity stadium from Hammersmith & Fulham Council in January. Chelsea's plans, drawn up by Swiss architecture firm Herzog & de Meuron, are "among the most ambitious and complex stadium-design projects attempted." The cost of building Tottenham's new ground, which is due to open at the start of next season, has "almost doubled" to £800M ($1.06B) and Chelsea's "stunning rebuild" could finish up costing more than £1B. One source familiar with the project said that it "may ultimately cost more than" the NFL Atlanta Falcons' Mercedes-Benz Stadium and the N.Y. Giants' MetLife Stadium, the two NFL "super stadiums" that were both built for approximately £1.2B ($1.59B) and are "thought to be the most expensive in the world." Chelsea attributed the "spiralling cost" to "factors relating to the length and complexity of the build, which at a projected five or six years is considerably longer than Tottenham's two-year project." Chelsea declined to comment on the plans (LONDON TIMES, 11/17).

The America's Cup base row "appears to be heading back to the drawing board" after a series of meetings between the New Zealand government, Auckland Council and Team New Zealand, according to Bernard Orsman of the NEW ZEALAND HERALD. New Zealand Minister for Economic Development David Parker spent four hours visiting the proposed sites on the waterfront before holding two meetings over the weekend with Auckland Mayor Phil Goff and Team New Zealand Manager Grant Dalton, among others. Parker, the minister responsible for the Cup, said, "I don't want to sound dictatorial but I am expecting to see some revised plans." He said that he spoke of the "need to value environmental services and not assume water space will be taken up with more piers." He expects to see some variations on the current themes within the next week, which, he said, "could include" using some waterfront land on Beaumont Street, just south of Silo Park at Wynyard Quarter. The parties' visions for the event -- and the future of Auckland waterfront -- "differ greatly," with Goff favoring the cheaper NZ$137M ($93.4M) option that disperses the bases across three city wharves, while Team New Zealand's preference is to centralize the bases on a NZ$220M ($150M) extension to Halsey Wharf covering 3 hectares of water space at a cost of NZ$190M ($129.5M) (NZ HERALD, 11/20).