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Volume 7 No. 149


National Rugby League fans will not have to wait until the "blockbuster" Parramatta-Wests Tigers clash to experience Bankwest Stadium after they were invited for an "early sneak peak at Sydney’s new sporting hub," according to Adrian Proszenko of the SYDNEY MORNING HERALD. Bankwest Stadium will "throw open its doors to the community" on April 14, giving more than 30,000 people "the chance to tour the facility." The community open day will provide "a preview of the experience spectators will enjoy just eight days later" when the Eels host the Tigers at the stadium’s first official sporting event on Easter Monday. NSW Minister for Sport Stuart Ayres said, "This is a fans-first stadium. Sydney has fallen behind on quality stadiums and this stadium starts to change that" (SMH, 2/21).

PUTTING IT TO THE TEST: In London, Dan Kilpatrick reported Tottenham is "hoping to take a significant step" toward opening its new stadium this season, with planning underway for test events on March 16 and 23. The stadium must host two successful test events, "with increasing levels of capacity, in order to earn a safety certificate." The club is exploring the possibility of holding the events -- "likely to include an academy fixture -- on consecutive Saturdays next month" (EVENING STANDARD, 2/20).