Open Venues at Risk of Disappearing, Says Climate Coalition Report

BBC Sport

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St Andrews last hosted The Open in 2015. Photo Source: Getty Images

Open Championship venues such as St Andrews and Royal Troon could be under water by the end of the century if sea levels rise even slightly as a result of climate change, according to a new report.

The Climate Coalition says golf, football and cricket face an “unexpected threat”, with cricket to be the “hardest hit”.

The report predicts “cancelled football matches, flooded cricket grounds and golf courses crumbling into the sea”.

It adds that rising winter temperatures mean the Scottish skiing industry could collapse within 50 years.

The report says six of the UK’s seven wettest years on record have occurred since 2000, with cricket’s County Championship already losing thousands of overs every season.

“Climate change is already impacting our ability to play and watch the sports we love,” said the report, adding that extreme weather is a factor in declining participation and lost revenue.

The report says “only a small increase in sea-level rise would imperil all of the world’s links courses before the end of the century”.

The Open is the only one of golf’s majors played in the UK and is hosted on links courses, including – as well at St Andrews and Royal Troon – Royal Birkdale, Hoylake, Royal Lytham & St Annes, Muirfield, Sandwich, Turnberry, Portrush and 2018 venue Carnoustie.

It adds that “more than 450 years of golfing history” at Montrose, one of the five oldest courses in the world, is at risk of being washed away by rising seas and coastal erosion linked to climate change.

Research published by Dundee University in 2016 showed the North Sea has crept 70 metres towards Montrose within the past 30 years.

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SMA Tackles Sports Venue Challenges

PanStadia & Arena Management

The Stadium Managers Association (SMA) has wound up its 44th annual convention, held February 4-8 at the historic Del Coronado Hotel in Coronado, California.

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Image: SMA Annual Convention, via PanStadia

About 450 delegates were on hand, according to Mary Mycka, group executive director and Rick Nafe, Tampa Bay Rays, programme chair.

The SMA is in excellent financial condition, with excess revenue over expenses continuing on track, and 179 stadium managers plus 130 corporate sponsor members on-board.

After a great opening afternoon Super Bowl party, social highlights included the annual golf outing benefitting the SMA Foundation scholarship and industry efforts, with over 100 participants; a visit to PetCo Park, home of the MLB San Diego Padres; and a wonderful gala and tour aboard the USS Midway, the historic carrier that served afloat from 1945 to 1992 with 4,500 seamen and marines aboard, now a favourite local museum location.

Women took a much more active role with Nicole Andrewsmanaging director, global sales for Matrax, manaufacturer of totally recyclable portable event flooring and turf protection, elected Corporate Sponsor board member – the first woman on the board in several years

SMA also endorsed a mentoring programme for women stadium executives, which Andrews confirmed at the excellent “A League of their Own” SMA Women in Leadership Committee session. She moderated the programme that featured four successful lady stadium executives who detailed their tough career stories.

Sports venue safety & security was a key topic, with a featured session on “Public Attacks, Drones & Other Emerging Threats”.

SMA legal counsel Mike McCormick moderated, with Charles Raley, FAA senior attorneyenforcement division, covering the threat of illegally-operated drones over key airspace.

Dave Wulf, DHS acting deputy asst. secretary for infrastructure protection, and Christy Riccardi, regional director, office of infrastructure protection, both emphasised the importance of all sports venues joining the DHS Safety Act that offers key protection from liability for use of approved safety and security vendor products.

More stadia are signing on and John Skinner, MLB vice president, safety & security announced at the “Concerns & State of the Business” session that the MLB had just submitted a Safety Act application for all 30 of its clubs across the US.

SMA also spotlighted energy conservation with “A New Light on Sustainability” panel moderated by Joe Abernathy, VP of facility planning & engineeringMLB St. Louis Cardinals’ Busch Stadium.

Insight was provided by Rahul Devaskar, Green Sports Alliance; Brad Mohr, director, stadium operations, NFL Cleveland Browns, First Energy Stadium, for Lights Out Cleveland, one of 26 US chapters focused on turning lights off in downtowns to protect migrating birds; and former MLB Brooklyn/Los Angeles and MLB San Francisco Giants baseball star and manager Dusty Baker, now head of the Baker Energy Team, partnered with San Francisco-based Dyamic Energy Networks to lower energy costs for all size stadiums and arenas.

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The House of Green Goes Green

London Knights

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On Saturday, February 10th the Spectra Venue Management team at Budweiser Gardens will launch its first ‘Green’ event when the London Knights face off against the Sudbury Wolves.  “Over the last year, there has been a conscious effort by our team at Budweiser Gardens to evaluate our practices and procedures and look for ways that we can implement environmentally responsible practices.” Said Brian Ohl, General Manager of Budweiser Gardens. “This game will give us a great opportunity to share with the community some of the significant work that has been done and it is our hope that this will become an annual game while also adding additional Green events where possible.”

Spectra Venue Management has teamed up with the London Transit Commission to offer fans coming to the game the opportunity to ride on LTC busses for FREE beginning at 5pm and running through the end of service. Each fan will need to present a valid ticket for that night’s game to gain entry onto the bus. “We are grateful that the LTC has stepped up to work with us on this great initiative and provide the 9.000 plus fans coming for the game the opportunity to ride free of charge and reduce carbon emissions” said Ohl.

Each save that the Knight’s goaltender makes during the game will count beyond just the scoreboard as Spectra and ReForest London will launch the ‘Saves for Trees’ program at the game. For every save that a Knight’s goalie makes during the game a tree will be planted as part of the Million Tree Challenge, a community-wide project with the focus of planting one million more trees for environmental and human health in London, ON. Downtown London, the official game sponsor, has also agreed to match the total and will plant an equal number of trees. Fans at the game are also encouraged to join the Saves for Trees program by sponsoring a tree for $25.00.

The City of London will also be present at the game to promote several initiatives including London’s Clean & Green program which takes place on Earth Day, April 22nd. “The support that we have received from Jay Stanford and his team at the City of London has been tremendous and we look forward to continuing to work with them on many future projects,” said Ohl.

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188
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