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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.

Read the full story.

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.

Read the full story.

World Rowing Federation pledges to protect UNESCO Heritage Sites

Climate Action

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Photo Source: Climate Action

The World Rowing Federation has become the first global sports body to make a commitment to protect UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites.

The pledge comes on the back of concerns raised by the UN body about the negative impacts of sporting events to natural and historic sites.

The decision is also a result of World Rowing’s ongoing work with the conservation charity WWF to ensure sustainable water practices are used across its global events.

The federation represents 153 different organisations, including the International Olympic Committee, to govern the sport of rowing.

World Rowing’s President Jean-Christophe Rolland, said: “As rowing is a sport that is intimately connected to nature, we recognise the importance of protecting natural sites. World Rowing hopes that other international sporting organisations will follow in committing to preserve these areas of the world”.

There are a total of 1073 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, rated for their significant importance to people and planet. World Rowing’s new policy will apply to the 241 sites listed under both natural and mixed. It says that the venues it currently uses “do not impact directly on World Heritage sites”, but new guidelines will enforce a commitment to prevent any indirect impacts on buffer zones.

“UNESCO welcomes this landmark decision,” said Mechtild Rössler, Director of the body’s World Heritage Centre. “We look forward to other sport federations and organizations in charge of large sports events, such as the International Olympic Committee, also taking on a similar commitment and putting such policies into practice.”

Read the full story.

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