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Volume 6 No. 232


National Rugby League side North Queensland Cowboys set its sights on a new multi-million dollar high performance center "in the heart" of Townsville following a fact-finding mission in the U.S., according to Travis Meyn of the Brisbane COURIER-MAIL. North Queensland "has a vision" for a club HQ to be located near the new A$250M ($192M) Townsville Stadium. The Cowboys are now "arguably Queensland’s premier NRL club" after winning the '15 premiership and "making a fairytale grand final appearance this year." The club is determined to secure a new training and administration facility in Townsville following the completion of the stadium in '19. The Gold Coast Titans and Brisbane Broncos "moved into world class new facilities in the past year and the Cowboys do not want to be left behind." Cowboys CEO Greg Tonner, GM Peter Parr and coach Paul Green toured the stadium and training setups of Atlanta, Ga.'s professional teams. Parr said, "We’ve got a really exciting future with the move to the new stadium but we also understand we’ll only get one opportunity to get it right. We have a longer-term plan to set up our own high-performance center. That is still in the very early stages but it’s hopefully something we can do" (COURIER-MAIL, 12/14).

Premier League side West Ham and its London Stadium landlords are "involved in a legal dispute over plans for 3,000 additional seats," according to the London TELEGRAPH. West Ham is the lead tenant of the former Olympic Stadium on a £2.5M ($3.4M)-per-year, 99-year lease. The club wishes to add 9,000 seats to take the capacity of the arena to 66,000, acting London Legacy Development Corp. CEO Gerry Murphy told the London Assembly on Wednesday. West Ham said that its first wish is to add 3,000 seats to its present capacity of 57,000 "to initially reach a capacity of 60,000." The dispute with the LLDC centers on the "operating costs of making the additional seats available for use -- they are already in the arena -- plus the revenue from those seats if they are made available." Murphy told a London Assembly Budget Monitoring Sub-Committee meeting, "There is a dispute with West Ham about what the contract says in terms of capacity. West Ham have absolutely said that they want to increase the capacity to 60,000. And actually they want to further increase the capacity to 66,000. ... We feel that actually if West Ham want to enjoy more seats, then they should commensurately pay more." A West Ham spokesperson said in a statement, "These seats are in London Stadium already, have always been there, and have already been paid for under the terms of our concession agreement" (TELEGRAPH, 12/13).