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Sponsors to name seats for Bird's Nest match

THE Bird's Nest stadium, or the National Stadium, the main venue at last year's Beijing Olympics, is to allow corporate sponsors to put their names on its 80,000 seats for the Italian Super Cup football match on August 8, the first anniversary of the Olympics opening ceremony.

The Beijing Yihai Auction Co said a July 31 auction would be open to organizations with "legal registration and effective existence."

Names of the winners would be put on the stadium's seat backs "in a way that's easy to be taken off," according to Yihai. Bidders need to pay a 100,000 yuan (US$14,600) returnable deposit to enter the auction, the Xinhua news agency reported.

A Yihai spokesman said they had so far received a couple of phone calls from companies seeking information on the auction.

The game will be the first sporting activity at the National Stadium after the Beijing Olympics.

The match between Serie A champions Inter Milan and Coppa Italia winners Lazio will kick off at 8pm. Jose Mourinho, Inter Milan's manager, told Xinhua he would be bringing his best players to the stadium for the 21st Super Cup. The match is the pre-season curtain raiser for the Italian Serie A league.

Tickets range from 180 yuan to 2,880 yuan although the cheapest tickets have already been sold out.


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