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Volume 7 No. 149

Facilities

Arsenal became the U.K.’s first football club to "install large-scale battery energy storage, in a bid to cut electricity costs and support green energy," according to Adam Vaughan of the London GUARDIAN. Tucked in the basement of the Emirates, the system "is capable of powering the 60,000-seat stadium for an entire match," or the equivalent of 2,700 homes for two hours. While other U.K. football clubs "have installed solar panels and similar green measures, Arsenal is believed to be the first with large-scale storage." Pivot Power CEO Matt Allen, whose company installed the batteries, said, "Arsenal is showing how football clubs and other big power users can save money and support the U.K.’s climate change and clean air targets" (GUARDIAN, 11/26).

Ligue 2 side Stade Brestois unveiled plans for a new stadium that will cost up to €80M ($90.6M), according to L’ÉQUIPE. The stadium will have 40 hotel rooms, commercial facilities and leisure facilities such as tennis and squash courts. The club plans to move into the stadium at the end of ’21 and construction will be funded by private investment. The new stadium will have a capacity of 13,500, compared to the club’s current Francis Le Blé Stadium, which holds 16,000. If the stadium is built with its proposed capacity, it will be the first time a French club enters a new stadium that “guarantees it cannot beat its previous record attendance,” which for Brestois was 21,842 during a match in ’86 (L’ÉQUIPE, 11/26).

Zurich, the "home city" of FIFA, is "finally set to get a purpose-built football stadium after voters gave the green light to the project" in a local referendum on Sunday, according to Brian Homewood of REUTERS. The Zurich city government said that 54% of voters were in favor of building an 18,000-capacity stadium on the site of the old Hardturm ground, which was closed and demolished in '07. The stadium will be shared by local clubs Grasshoppers and FC Zurich and will be privately financed, the clubs said. The two clubs currently use the Letzigrund athletics stadium as their home ground but the venue is often criticized for its "lukewarm atmosphere and for the distance between spectators and the pitch" (REUTERS, 11/25).

UEFA maintained that the Wembley Stadium pitch "is fit for purpose" for Tottenham’s Champions League clash against Inter Milan on Wednesday, although sources said that it is "disappointed in the appearance of the worn-out turf." The Group B clash will be the seventh event on the pitch in "just over four weeks." UEFA "is not happy with the aesthetics of the pitch, which has visible bumps and patches of mud." However, a spokesperson said, "The playability of the Champions League match Tottenham-Inter is not compromised" (REUTERS, 11/26).

Chengdu, China, will construct a new sports center containing a 60,000-capacity football stadium and other sports arenas by '22. The Chengdu Fenghuang Mountain Sports Center will be located in the northern part of the Jinniu District. In addition to the professional football stadium, the center will include an 18,000-seat NBA-standard multi-functional stadium (YUTANG SPORTS, 11/23).

Horse Racing Ireland’s CEO said that the organization is committed to delivering a new Curragh racecourse and will "commit to what needs to be done" to achieve that. The completion date for the biggest racecourse redevelopment in Irish racing history "has been pushed back to February" amid suggestions the project’s final cost could eventually approach €80M ($91M). When the redevelopment was launched in '15, investment of €65M was outlined (IRISH TIMES, 11/25).

An "esports town" complex opened in Hangzhou, China, and will host the esports venue for Chinese organization LGD Gaming. According to a report by the Chinese government-run website People.cn, the esports town will be operated by the Hangzhou city government. It opened Nov. 16 and features a 39.4-million-square-foot space that took 2B yuan ($288M) to build (FOX SPORTS, 11/23).

The NBA opened a new elite basketball training center in Saly, Senegal. The facility, which includes two indoor courts, a multi-dimensional activity center, a weight room, conference rooms as well as dormitories and educational facilities, will be the primary training location for NBA Academy Africa prospects. The facility features an eco-friendly structure that uses safe, durable and repurposed shipping containers (NBA).