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Everything posted by arwebb

  1. In New York (which I didn't know until now). The story of the game is here. http://www.sportskeeda.com/cricket/usa-vs-canada-1844-first-international-cricket-match I can't see it and I doubt anyone in cricket can either. I suspect this is a means of laying the groundwork so they can get in for Brisbane.
  2. Getafe maybe, but if I remember what I've been told by my Madrid-based friend previously and correctly, they don't tend to get particularly high attendances. It may be that Atleti has to be persuaded to stomach it, even if the thought of them running out for home games at the Bernabeu seems something of a stretch.
  3. Given the first known international cricket match was between the United States and Canada, Los Angeles wouldn't be as inappropriate a place for Olympic cricket as one might think.
  4. Exactly how I read it as well. Would love to see the Games there.
  5. Simple - what was your stand-out moment of these Olympics and why? For me, it was seeing the Georgian weightlifter Lasha Talakhadze break his own world records in winning gold by the proverbial country mile. Not because it was necessarily the best performance of the Games or because I was ignoring broader issues in that sport, but because it reminded me of what the Olympics actually mean to me. As I've said elsewhere, I had real doubts about whether the Games should have gone ahead at all, but watching Talakhadze took me back to being the fascinated nine-year-old who saw weightlifting for the first time late at night during the Barcelona Games of 1992. When it's easy, as a not so young person now, to get grumpy about sports being in the Olympics that I'm not sure should be, that was a timely reminder that you never know what will have inspired people of all ages over these past two weeks.
  6. Better to be in the National League with new ownership than in the Football League with the previous regime still in control. I'm busy that weekend so won't be there but I just hope the toilet facilities are more stable than when I previously visited.
  7. If it were to happen, and I can't see it happening, then it surely has to be at a different time of the year to this. Starting endurance events at 6am local time to avoid the worst of the heat and humidity surely has to be some sort of clue and, if it isn't, then the 1964 Games being in October has to be. I'm hopeful it won't be as much of an issue in Brisbane in 2032 but I'm not confident.
  8. It seems almost unfair to rate the Tokyo Olympics in comparison to any other host city given the circumstances that we all know about and which no other host city has ever had to deal with before, so I'm not going to try. Instead, I think the onus is on all of us to doff our collective hats to Tokyo and Japan for staging a Games like no other and one the likes of which I hope we won't see again. From a British perspective, the Games have been quite magnificent once again. To match our medal total from London and only be a couple short of our Rio total is remarkable and with so many fourth place finishes plus a lot of young talent, one cannot help but get excited for the next cycle. Roll on Paris. I expect the Eurostar will be busy.
  9. That we are. And it's a much bigger pool than dear old Eric had to negotiate.
  10. The problem with that comparison is that I currently fear we will never finish the race.
  11. Alexander Stadium is intended to have a temporary 40,000 capacity for the Commonwealth Games next year, with permanent capacity of 18,000 (compared to around 12,000 pre-Games) afterwards. That would make it the biggest dedicated athletics stadium in Britain and, given that a lower stadium capacity doesn't seem to have done Brisbane any harm, it offers a good base from which one could potentially work going forward. I don't think anyone is talking about Manchester United leaving Old Trafford, although I remember talking to one United fan at a game some years ago who said he felt they should have done so a long time ago. The issue, as people like Gary Neville have suggested, is whether or not the stadium now offers the kind of spectator experience that it should do for a club of United's stature. I've visited many of the top clubs' grounds in England and I won't be rushing back to Old Trafford any time soon.
  12. Still no firm news nearly a week on but, reading between the lines, I'd say this looks like a step towards postponing until next year. Rugby League World Cup: Organisers admit 'significant challenges threaten' event Not sure how many of our Australia and New Zealand-based members follow rugby league, but I'm interested in their take on the withdrawal in particular. I know players' groups aren't happy and there have been calls for the tournament to go ahead regardless. But, having bought tickets for games involving Australia and New Zealand, as well as England, I can't see myself going if those teams aren't there.
  13. I don't think it's ever been seen as a realistic possibility and it seems unlikely now, mainly for political reasons. It seems highly likely that there will be a clash between the Scottish and UK administrations over the next few years on the question of independence and, in that context, I can't see them working together as they would have to do to support an Olympic bid financially and politically. If the political will was there, though, Scotland would start from a pretty strong base as many venues are already in place from Glasgow 2014. Anyone fancy Olympic golf at St Andrews?
  14. If London wants to bid again, it should do so alone in my mind. With the 2012 facilities in place, it would make no sense to take other events around the country for the sake of it. If you want other parts of the country to bid, then you've got to let them come up with their own solutions.
  15. It's just about 2.45 Tuesday morning as I write this. I arrived home just over three hours ago from a few days away. I haven't yet been to bed and am on the sofa watching the swimming. Think I've got my Olympic enthusiasm back.
  16. This is the really thorny issue for any Manchester or northern England proposal to get to grips with if a bid has a chance of coming off. With the experiences that West Ham have had playing in London's Olympic Stadium, I can well imagine fans of both Manchester City and Manchester United not being enthusiastic about the potential for a running track in the Etihad or Old Trafford for the long term. Yet, what might appear to be the most practical solution, sticking a load of temporary seating on the current athletics stadium (essentially the warm-up track from the 2002 Commonwealth Games) doesn't really do the job either. What might, and I stress the word 'might', provide a solution is the rivalry between those two clubs. In the last year or so, there have been noises in the media about the condition of Old Trafford compared to other Premier League venues, while I believe City still have aspirations to raise capacity at the Etihad to above 60,000. So I think it is conceivable, bearing in mind we're looking at an event 15 years in the future at the earliest, that one or other of the clubs could be encouraged to get involved in that way.
  17. One technical observation from these links. If I read the link correctly, it appeared to suggest the Gabba's (main stadium for anyone who isn't into cricket) capacity during the Games will be 50,000. That seems historically low for an Olympic Stadium. I know there's much greater emphasis (rightly) on utilising existing venues at the moment and I can well imagine the 2012 election would have been very different if similar priorities had been in place then. But, even allowing for that, it still seemed slightly conservative, particularly given the big stadium development in Perth recently, unless there's something I'm missing.
  18. I'm not sure how many seats are taken out of use when a replay screen is installed for the Super League Grand Final but, having attended that fixture many times over the years, it is by no means the most comfortable of venues. If it wasn't for the fact that there's already the track on the Etihad Campus, it would be a no-brainer.
  19. I travel to Manchester fairly regularly and I prefer to use the trains whenever I can so that I can use the travel time for work or reading. Doing that from where I live means passing through either Leeds or Sheffield and boarding two or three coach trains which are often so full people are standing or (like the one I was on yesterday) don't even have Wifi so you can't work anyway. It's a long-standing problem and, unfortunately, the latest indications are that it's likely to get worse in the near future. A Manchester-Liverpool bid is more feasible in that respect but even then, from what I know of the rail links between the two cities, significant improvement would still be needed. Road-wise, the M62 is fine is a major road link between Leeds and Manchester, before going on to Liverpool. But there is no direct motorway link between Sheffield and Manchester and no real prospect of building one, given that it would rip through the Peak District National Park. The drive between the two cities is glorious for its scenery, but is not one to be taken at speed. As I said earlier, I think the West Midlands is probably better placed than Manchester if we're looking for a non-London British bid. Other than that, I could see a Glasgow-Edinburgh proposal being fairly well formed.
  20. Any trans-Pennine proposal would need massive transport upgrades to have a chance of getting off the ground. A Manchester-Liverpool type bid feels more realistic to me, though that would also have the main stadium issue to resolve. Potentially, given next year, Birmingham would be much better placed.
  21. I haven't followed the 2032 process very closely, so I was surprised when I saw a notification on my phone yesterday that Brisbane had been chosen. The one immediate positive that comes to my mind is that it should at least offer up some more pleasant memories of the Gabba than what we Brits are used to.
  22. Disappointing, but wholly unsurprising news coming out this morning that Australia and New Zealand have withdrawn from the tournament this autumn and called for it to be postponed until next year. There had been rumours in the last few weeks that the event was going to be delayed until 2022. BBC Sport - Rugby League World Cup: Australia and New Zealand pull out of tournament It's now a huge call for the organisers. Go ahead regardless or wait to have all the best teams playing?
  23. We're just a few days out from the start of the delayed Tokyo Olympics. And yet, despite so many fond Olympic memories dating back to the Games of Barcelona nearly 30 years ago, I find myself really lacking enthusiasm for what should be the greatest sporting show on Earth. When I think back nine years, to when this country was gearing up for the Games, I remember the collective excitement and anticipation of what was to come. People who weren't normally interested in sport were glued to their TVs and those of us who were fortunate enough to see some of the events in person knew were were having the experience of a lifetime. Contrast that to now. These Games are set to take place in largely empty arenas with a sterile, flat atmosphere. According to a poll I saw yesterday, two thirds of British people surveyed don't believe the Games should be happening and that proportion is a lot bigger in the host nation itself. During the pandemic, sport has been a vital means of escape for many people, myself included. But, given coronavirus is still with us, and the associated challenges we all face, I am genuinely torn about whether holding the Games now is the right thing to do or not. So how are you feeling?
  24. The fact there has only been one Commonwealth Games outside the UK and Australia so far this century really emphasises that point. But, having experienced the Glasgow games first hand as I did, I never had the impression that they were too big for the event or for the city. I can't really speak about the Gold Coast as my memory of those Games is pretty sketchy. But it seems to me that what is needed is, perhaps, a model following the kind of logic that the Rugby World Cup seems to have, where it's understood that going to a heartland nation like, say, New Zealand, comes with a financial hit which can be made up for by going to a more lucrative market the time after that. If that means reducing venue requirements and the like to encourage more than just the UK and Australia, then so be it.
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