No city centre big screen to watch games

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SPORTS fans will be able to enjoy the Olympics on big screens in 22 town and city centres across the country - but Sheffield is not among them.

Leeds, Bradford, Manchester and Derby are all screening the action and even smaller places like Dover and Weymouth, home of the sailing contest at this summer’s games, are having screens.

However, in Sheffield, only three days of the Games will be on a big screen, but it will be at the Don Valley Stadium, rather than the city centre.

It will be showing footage from the games from Friday to Sunday, August 3-5, to coincide with Sheffield heptathlete Jess Ennis going for gold. There will also be entertainment and a music festival.

A Sheffield Council spokeswoman said: “There are no plans at present for a big screen in the city centre. Places such as Manchester and Leeds already have a screen provided by the BBC, which are the screens being used.”

Sheffield’s big screen event is part of a Fan Festival being organised by Sheffield International Venues, which manages Don Valley Stadium, the council and city’s Chamber of Commerce.

The weekend chosen coincides with the finals of the swimming, cycling, rowing, plus high-profile athletics events including the 100m men’s final and the heptathlon.

Steve Brailey, SIV chief executive, said: “The Fan Festival concept has been popular with football fans for World Cups, so it would be our aim to duplicate this success by allowing South Yorkshire’s supporters to descend on the venues to watch the action on a big screen.”

Other attractions over the three-day festival will include market stalls, food and drink, competitions and have-a-go sessions for various Olympic sports. A Tramlines-style paid for music festival called Sheftival will take place in the neighbouring Don Valley Bowl on August 4 and 5.

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