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The Malaysian Government has allocated more than RM1bn (US$237m) to turn the National Sports Complex in Bukit Jalil, Kuala Lumpur, and its surrounding areas into a Sports City.

According to a Malaysian Ministry of Youth and Sports spokesperson:

The purpose of the project is to help make the NSC area a popular spot for tourists and people in general.

At the moment the facilities and the area draws crowd only when there are major sporting events.

Except for the flea market at the Putra Stadium, which is fairly commercialised, the other facilities only generate revenue only when there is a major sporting event.

Works at the National Sports Complex include the upgrading of the Bukit Jalil National Stadium along with a sports museum and hall of fame to honour the sporting greats of Malaysia. Other work includes upgrades to the site’s football, indoor and hockey stadiums; and the squash and aquatic centres.

Malaysia’s Youth and Sports Minister, Khairy Jamaluddin, recently announced that the major upgrading and construction works would begin before the end of the year, with a builder appointed to carry out the project through an open tender process by Unit Kerjasama Awam Swasta (UKAS) of the Prime Minister’s Office.

Minister Khairy explained:

The tender process for the project is completed and the Ministry is looking forward to seeing Bukit Jalil become a Sports City.

There are many works to be done including building a new international convention centre, as well as another indoor arena at the site because the current Putra Indoor Stadium is always fully booked with events.

Khairy, who is also the Umno Youth chief, said besides building two new infrastructures, the Bukit Jalil National Stadium would also be upgraded in the RM1bn project.

With a capacity of 87,000, the Bukit Jalil Stadium was built for the 1998 Commonwealth Games.

Images: Malaysia’s National Sports Complex (top) and the Bukit Jalil Stadium (below).

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Levy Restaurants UK announces new 15-year partnership with Wasps

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Levy Restaurants UK – the sports, leisure and hospitality division of Compass Group UK & Ireland – and Wasps, owner of the Ricoh Arena, have announced a 15-year extension to their existing partnership in a deal expected to generate GBP£195m in total turnover.

The Ricoh Arena is one of the leading sports, exhibition, conferencing and events arenas in the UK, and the deal will see Levy Restaurants UK provide all catering services for match day, conferencing and events until 2030.

Levy Restaurants UK has worked with Arena Coventry Ltd (ACL), Wasps’ subsidiary company, since 2007.

Colin Bailey, Managing Director, Levy Restaurants UK said:

We are pleased to have extended this partnership and to be part of an exciting new chapter with Wasps at the Ricoh Arena. Wasps’ arrival at the Arena has generated huge excitement among the local and sporting community.

We pride ourselves on our powerful partnerships that create legendary experiences and this is a great example of how we’ll be bringing this ethos to life – working to put the guest first at the Ricoh Arena to ensure they have a unique experience every time.

David Armstrong, Group Chief Executive Officer of Wasps said:

The increased length and investment of this new contract reflects the upward curve Wasps and ACL have followed since Wasps acquired the Ricoh Arena and aligned the brands. It also indicates a firm belief in what we can achieve off the field at our new home, through the powerful combination of sport, business and entertainment.

Alongside the tripling of match day attendances, hospitality has increased by over 500% in comparison to Wasps’ offering last season and the Ricoh Arena’s Conference & Exhibition business turnover has increased in the first six months since Wasps’ acquisition of the venue. We are confident both businesses will continue to grow as we aim to establish the Ricoh Arena as the UK’s leading venue for sport, business and entertainment.

Wasps recently announced a series of planned improvements for the Ricoh Arena. When all upgrades have been completed by the end of 2015, the Arena will offer visitors a total of five bars, three restaurants on-site and over 20 food and beverage outlets.