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Saracens in netball joint venture

Saracens Rugby Club has acquired a 50% stake in Vitality Netball Superleague team benecosMavericks in what it describes as a “mutually beneficial partnership” that will help fuel the next phase of growth for both organisations.

As part of the move, two-time Vitality Superleage winners Mavericks will be renamed the Saracens Mavericks.

New Thursday night racing league to launch in 2019

A new racing league is to launch in 2019, which will see “high profile” teams compete for points and millions of pounds in prize money over eight consecutive Thursday evenings.

‘The Series’ is described as a “first of its kind” event, promising a “totally new approach” to fan engagement in the sport.

Teams representing global brands will compete over 48 flat races for points towards a £5m overall winners’ prize, with up to £100,000 on offer for individual races.

Edgbaston scores Ashes sell-out

Edgbaston has sold out the first three days of next summer’s opening Test match of the Specsavers Ashes series in just ten days, the Birmingham venue has announced.

Tickets went on general sale last month for the first four days of the match - the 15th Ashes series game in the ground's history.

It followed an unprecedented public ticket ballot for an England vs Australia game and a priority booking window for both Warwickshire County Cricket Club members and those fans that had previously purchased Test match tickets. 

New Twickenham gates open

Fans attending the Quilter International match between England and South Africa at the weekend were the first to enter Twickenham Stadium via two new gateways.

The Rugby Football Union (RFU) commissioned London architects WilsonOwensOwens (WOO) to create the new entrance to the ‘home of rugby’, which also features new British Airways-branded turnstiles and welcome areas.

Specialist architectural practice WOO, whose previous projects have included London 2012, Emirates Stadium and the NFL Super Bowl, designed the new structures from standing seam zinc.

London set for four NFL games in 2019

NFL has confirmed plans to play four times in London in 2019 – including two games at the new Tottenham Hotspur stadium. 

It follows the conclusion of the NFL London Series 2018, which saw all three games played at Wembley Stadium, following the delayed opening of Spurs’ new 62,000-seat ground. Wembley will continue as host for two games in 2019.

The announcement, which did not include dates or teams involved, will bring the total number of regular-season games played in London to 28 since the series began in 2007. 

WRU launches ‘smart’ transport solution

The Welsh Rugby Union (WRU) has teamed up with ‘smart transport’ company Zeelo to trial a new shuttle service for supporters with tickets for Under Armour Series matches at Principality Stadium.

The project will see Zeelo use data analytics to assess demand and send executive coaches on routes that currently have limited service, ensuring large numbers of fans, who may have previously faced transport challenges, a quick and seamless journey into the heart of Cardiff.

Saracens clear to develop Allianz Park

Saracens Rugby Club has been granted planning permission and secured funding in partnership with Barnet Council to renovate the West Stand at Allianz Park.

Targeted for completion in 2020, the new stand will be a 3,000-seater and will bring the ground capacity to 10,500. 

The £23 million redevelopment will host a hospitality experience, bring improved training, medical and competition facilities, creation of a community garden designed by local school children and a new media facility. 

Cheltenham achieves landmark tout ban ruling

The High Court has granted Cheltenham Racecourse a ground-breaking, season-long injunction, banning ticket touts at the venue until June 2019.

The ruling follows a fierce legal battle and comes into effect ahead of the first meeting of the national hunt season at Cheltenham this weekend.

Anyone caught flouting the ban – which prohibits both buying and selling by touts on the Jockey Club-owned property – faces up to two years in jail.

Wiggins to MC at Six Day London

The Phynova Six Day London event takes place this week at Lee Valley Velopark, with five-time Olympic Champion and Tour de France winner Sir Bradley Wiggins set to take on the role of presenter for Friday evening’s session.

The “sportainment”-based track cycling concept is returning to London for its fourth year, combining world-class racing with music, food, drinks and a party-style atmosphere.

Shahid Khan withdraws £600m offer for Wembley

Shahid, Khan owner of NFL side Jacksonville Jaguars and Premier League team Fulham, has pulled out of his bid to buy Wembley Stadium due to a current lack of a “proper partnership” with the FA.

It remains unclear if Khan will make a new bid at a later date or how the FA plans to increase support for community football facilities across the country, which was one of the key issues that became central to the debate surrounding the sale of the national stadium.

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