The Jockey Club Raises More Funds than Expected!

The Jockey Club has raised £24.7m ($37.2m) for its Racecourse Bond, nearly £10m ($15.14m) more than the original target of £15m ($23m).

The general public were given the chance to invest in horseracing and were invited to spend between £2,000 ($3,030) and £100,000 ($151,536) in the bond, which would pay a return of 7.75% in cash and reward points.

It was the first time such a retail bond had been offered in British sport and the aim was to rejuvenate the Cheltenham Racecourse.

Paul Fisher, group managing director of Jockey Club Racecourses said: “I believe having a clear reason for raising these funds has helped, because while guaranteeing investors healthy fixed-rate returns has been vital, people know their investment is also supporting British racing through our planned development at Cheltenham.”

The Jockey Club said the amount raised showed the ‘great sign of trust in the strength of our 263-year-old-brand.’

Investors will receive 4.75% in cash and 3% in Rewards4Racing points.

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ICC Cricket World Cup set to return to UK

The International Cricket Council and the England and Wales Cricket Board have signed a host agreement to stage the 2019 edition of the ICC Cricket World Cup in England and Wales.

Following meetings held in Dubai over the weekend, it was announced that the tournament will be held throughout June 2019 and will be played at ten venues with ten teams set to participate. 

ECB chief executive David Collier said after the signing in Dubai: ‘The signing of this agreement now enables ECB to enter into Staging Agreements with venues who wish to stage matches in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019.’

‘The Organising Team from the ICC Champions Trophy 2013, led by Tournament Director Steve Elworthy, will commence the preparation work for this event immediately following the conclusion of the ICC Champions Trophy, which ends with the final at Edgbaston on June 23.’ 

‘The ECB is honoured to have been selected to stage one of the largest and most important global sports events which will be a wonderful boost to sport and cricket in particular throughout England and Wales.’

JSP to attend Stadia & Arena Conference in Istanbul

Stadia & Arena Istanbul 50 top industry leaders now confirmed to speak

Dominic Jordan- Managing Director of JSP explains why he is attending this years event- “The show brings together leading industry figures from all sectors of sports venue design, operations and revenue generation to network, learn and knowledge share and as a leading consultancy within this space it is imperative for JSP to be attending these types of events”. 

Connected Stadiums-The Fans Point of View

We’ve just picked up a timely post about stadium WiFi published on an Arsenal FC fan blog and it makes for interesting reading as it comes directly from a die-hard football fan.

First of all, a bit of background on the site, Le-Grove: was set up in late 2007 by Geoff and Pedro. They set out to create a place where Arsenal fans could talk about whatever they liked football-wise without the fear of aggressive recriminations. The site has posted over 1,600 times and has over 1,000,000 comments approved and published.

I am always amazed by the diligence and passion that football club fan sites engender and Le-Grove is no exception. Whatever you might think of The Gunners – I think that fans in the mould of Geoff and Pedro are worth their weight in gold. What’s more, their opinions count.

Anyway, Pedro wrote a post where, apart from opening up a debate about Arsenal’s inability to deal effectively with teams coming to defend and try to steal a point, reflected on the need for WiFi at football grounds.

Pedro writes: “As there’s not much going on, I thought I’d open up a debate around in game WIFI at sports clubs. Liverpool have installed access to 12,000 fans, Manchester City are starting to work on the problem and my client, Saracens, had it up in the stadium yesterday so fans could interact with the brand before, during and after the game.

Then comes the important bit: “The big issue lots of Arsenal fans have with the concept is that it might drain the atmosphere with people looking at their phones all game.”

This is a point of view that we have heard many times in discussions with sports fans and indeed many commentators also have this atavistic and fearful response to the introduction of “new technologies” such as stadium WiFi.

To set the record straight: WiFi is a very mature technology and has been in use for around 20 years. It’s stable, secure and has the ability to provide exceptionally fast connectivity.

So it was very welcome to read Pedro’s reaction to the availability of WiFi at the Saracens rugby ground. He writes that he saw no evidence that WiFi drained the atmosphere.

“Well, it certainly didn’t affect the rugby that way yesterday. I find the idea of being able to get access to streams of in game data an exciting one. The main difference between being at the game and being able to watch it on TV is the wealth of information you get with TV. If you could get the stats as the game went on it’d be an enhancement of the match day experience.

“If you could get access to replays or even the little snippets you don’t get… like on Saturday, I didn’t see what the penalty was given for. Quite often, if I don’t get home after a game, I get little parts of my match report wrong because I don’t have eyes good enough to pick out the bits you do on TV.

Pedro also understands that “from a purist’s point of view” fans should 100% focus on the game but he says: “Let’s step into reality for a moment here. People chat amongst themselves, look at their phones, call people to find out what’s going on elsewhere… switch off. Not to mention the amount of down time that happens through a game. I know online, everyone is the greatest fan that ever did live, but in reality, looking around the ground, that’s not true 100% of the time.”

And Pedro concludes with our mantra at JSP & Connected Everywhere, and just to be clear, he has no association whatsoever with us.

He writes: “You can’t fight the future… if they can web up the Underground, they’ll crack stadiums. Then they’ll start driving revenue from fans with food & beer offers, betting deals and score related merchandise offers. “

We’ll keep an eye on the debate and report back as it develops but let us know what you think about free, fast and secure fan WiFi at football grounds.