League One side Shrewsbury Town has "begun work to install safe-standing rail seats at the Montgomery Waters Meadow Stadium," according to the PA. The club will "become the first in England and Wales to provide safe standing," with 555 rail seats being installed in the ground's Salop Leisure South Stand. Shrewsbury Town CEO Brian Caldwell said, "It's going to hopefully help the atmosphere going forward and I think you could see with the south stand that the acoustics worked so well. Hopefully, having that big body of support behind the south stand, cheering the team on, will help us in the long term as well." The pilot scheme "has been supported by the English Football League" and was given "the go-ahead" by the Sports Grounds Safety Authority, the government agency set up to regulate sports stadia after the '89 Hillsborough disaster (PA, 5/15).
EPL side Bournemouth Manager Eddie Howe said that the club will "never see the benefits of the Premier League era" unless it moves to a new ground, according to the BBC. The Cherries, which play at Vitality Stadium, finished 12th in their third consecutive top-flight campaign. In December, the club confirmed it intends to build a new stadium near its current home, within Kings Park. Howe said, "For me, that's the only way we can go now. We must have a tangible, long-term thing to look back at and go, 'That was what the Premier League did for us.' The training ground, the new stadium -- that's where this club has to go for the long-term benefits. Otherwise, we will never see the benefits of the Premier League era" (BBC, 5/15). REUTERS' Aditi Prakash reported Vitality Stadium, formerly known as Dean Court, has been Bournemouth's home since 1910 and has a capacity of 11,464, "well below" the Premier League's biggest ground -- ManU’s Old Trafford, which boasts 75,600 seats. Howe said, "It's tough to recruit players when we're playing in the stadium that we are. The training ground, as beautiful as it is, the size, the lack of space -- again that's a difficulty for us" (REUTERS, 5/15).
La Liga side Levante President Quico Catalán on Monday confirmed the start of construction of a sports facility in the Valencia neighborhood of Nazaret, according to SUPERDEPORTE. Catalán said, "It will be more than 99,000 square meters. It is a gift from Levante to all of you so that you can continue to fulfill your dreams with a ball at your feet and also in your hands." He confirmed that the club is making a request to local authorities "to make the dream a reality." Catalán is hoping construction will begin in '19. Architecture firm Monfort y Corell was chosen to carry out the project. The initial budget is estimated at €11M-€14M ($13M-$16.6M), and construction is expected to take 18 months (SUPERDEPORTE, 5/14).
NFL Jacksonville Jaguars Owner Shahid Khan "is likely to face rival bidders in his quest to buy Wembley," and his £1B ($1.35B) offer for the stadium "is far from a done deal." Sources said that it is expected others "will come knocking on the door" and a formal sale process could be required. Khan's offer has reportedly "sparked interest among other potential buyers." There "might come a point" when a deadline is set for further bids to be accepted, but the door "is still open" (London DAILY MAIL, 5/14).
The Cheshire FA said that a proposed £70M ($94.6M) North West football hub is a "flagship opportunity" to develop the women's game. Women's Super League team Everton Ladies is in discussions to use the site, which is due to open in '20. The plans include a stadium, a hotel, two Premier League-standard pitches, three 3G pitches and a covered 3G pitch (BBC, 5/15).
When the Kamaishi Recovery Memorial Stadium opens in August, it will be a "landmark moment for rugby in Japan" as well as for the regions "ravaged" by the '11 earthquake and tsunami, World Rugby Chair Bill Beaumont said. The new stadium, located in Iwate Prefecture, will host two games at next year’s Rugby World Cup and holds "huge significance for Japanese rugby." Beaumont: "The stadium stands as a testament to the indomitable spirit of the people of Kamaishi" (REUTERS, 5/15).
Chelsea was granted legal action to prevent urban explorers from breaking into its ground. A High Court judge imposed injunctions after "videos were posted online showing people inside Stamford Bridge stadium." The orders, which were imposed for five years, "also ban urban explorers from entering the club's training ground" (BBC, 5/14).
Day-night cricket tests at New Zealand's Basin Reserve are now an "unlikely prospect," with the Wellington City Council "ditching plans to pay for new lights." The council announced last week that it proposed to spend about NZ$7.7M ($5.3M) on "strengthening the quake-prone Museum Stand rather than demolishing it" (STUFF, 5/15).