Thursday, December 17, 2009

Odd Pick for England's 2018/2022 Host City List, But Surprises Await

A surprising name was included in England's list of proposed venues for their 2018/2022 World Cup bid: Home Park, Plymouth. The stadium is much smaller than most FIFA regulations require, and not exactly one of the most famous venues in England. But supporters say broad renovation plans will turn Home Park into one of the country's finest stadia.

Plymouth’s presentation to England’s World Cup Bid panel included ambitious plans to upgrade the stadium to a 46,000 “Wembley of the West”. The club is already committed to a £20 million expansion of the stadium to hold 27,000 regardless of the bid, with plans to increase the capacity to 46,000 should the bid be successful at a cost of a further £30 million.

The stadium design is by Populous, one of the world’s leading stadia-design firms, also responsible for Wembley Stadium. Of particular interest was that a representative of American firm AEG, who have built and operated MLS stadia for a few years now, joined the Plymouth delegation’s presentation to the panel, with AEG slated to operate the stadium.

An Unlikely World Cup Venue: Home Park, Plymouth
Pitch Invasion
December 16, 2009

Volunteers Narrowed Down to Short List

The 64,500 volunteers for the 2010 World Cup have been narrowed down into a short list, from which 15,000 will be selected to serve at the event.

While most South Africans will be relaxing over the holidays, the 2010 Organising Committee and the more than 37 000 shortlisted volunteers will be hard at work.

The selection process begins in earnest next month, committee spokesperson Rich Mkhondo said yesterday.

Volunteers would be selected from a shortlist of 37 080 people, who were pre-selected from 64 500 initial applications from South Africa and abroad.

2010: Selection, training of volunteers close
Cape Argus
December 16, 2009

'Unroadworthy' Buses and Taxis Pulled From Eastern Cape

In a preventive measure, the Eastern Cape department of transport has temporarily suspended 149 buses and 30 taxis from the road after ruling them "unroadworthy". Faulty vehicles have led to many accidents in the Eastern Cape and throughout South Africa.

Spokesperson Ncedo Kumbaca said the only way for the owners to get them back was to fix the problems on the buses and put them through roadworthy tests.

149 buses, 30 taxis suspended in Eastern Cape
Independent Online
December 16, 2009

World Cup to Bring Debt to South Africa

South Africa's World Cup is likely to put the country deep in debt, according to economist Stefan Szymanski.

Szymanski, a professor at Cass Business School in London and co-author of the book Soccernomics, predicts that South Africa will find itself in the red after the World Cup.

He says countries that host big events such as the World Cup often have to borrow money or cut back on other social spending to meet the deficit.

Such events require a government guarantee, he says, and this demonstrates that they are not "ordinary profitable commercial activities".

World Cup will put SA in debt, says expert
Pretoria News
December 16, 2009