Venue News & Notes: A White Elephant in South Africa

Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium could become a “white elephant” when the World Cup ends after Port Elizabeth’s bankrupt soccer club was sold to investors from outside the city. Current team owner Sipho Pityana said this week that the new buyers could move the team. Bay United Football Club general manager Lungsi Mooi told The Associated Press that about 30 players and 10 staff could lose their jobs if the Premier Soccer League first division team moves outside the area. “I have no doubt that without a full-time professional team in the province, the stadium will become a white elephant,” Mooi said…

…A hockey arena that will be home to the Philadelphia Flyers’ minor league affiliate in Allentown won’t be open until at least 2013. Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski says the arena on the Lehigh River has struggled to get financing lined up in a struggling economy. That means the arena won’t meet its target opening date of October 2012. Pawlowski says the delay in construction of the $80 million, 10,000-seat arena means a new bridge should be completed in time for the first game. That will greatly improve access to the arena…

…The Philadelphia Union is moving into its new stadium. Amid the hoopla of the World Cup in South Africa, the Major League Soccer expansion franchise is hoping to tap into that excitement and command a headline or two when it debuts its $122 million, 18,500-seat PPL Park this week against the Seattle Sounders. The opening is being tempered by an outburst of violence in the city of Chester, where a state of emergency has been declared after four shooting deaths in an eight-day span. But team officials say there will be ample security for the match, and nothing is expected to cause a change in the planned opening…

…Worried about a possible end run, 72 environmental groups are calling on state lawmakers to require a football stadium being considered for downtown Los Angeles to undergo a full study of its effects on traffic, noise and air pollution. Just months after the Legislature waived environmental laws for an NFL stadium proposed for the City of Industry, the groups are demanding that lawmakers not to do the same for a stadium being talked about by the Anschutz Entertainment Group near its Staples Center.

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