Blues can win 250m ground off new casino - Tuesday 12th of April 2005

Birmingham City's hopes of building a new ??250m stadium rest on the gaming bill being passed in Parliament.

The Premiership club are in discussions with the US casino operator Las Vegas Sands about a new multi-sport 50,000-seat arena - but the entertainment group is prepared to build it only if Birmingham is awarded one of the eight regional super casinos the act proposes.

Birmingham have not done any major redevelopment work recently because they are so confident of being able to build the new stadium, which would be located at a site in Saltley, and could also incorporate cricket and athletics. "There is no risk involved in the casino project - that is why it truly is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity," said Birmingham's managing director Karren Brady. "But if the council are not awarded one of the super casinos the project would end there."

?? Dick Pound, the man responsible for turning the Olympics into the multi-billion-dollar industry it is today, is to return to helping market the games at his own request. "I don't want to run the thing," he said, "but I can make sure we don't fall into some of the traps that are out there."

Giggs expert in reading game

John Terry and Ryan Giggs are to front a literacy campaign aimed at encouraging families to read together. The scheme, Premier League Reading Stars, is now in its third year and will see one player from each club nominate a favourite book. The first to select his choice this year is Birmingham City's Stephen Clemence, who has picked Roald Dahl's classic The Twits - Rio Ferdinand's selection back in 2003.

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