Stadium’s future to be settled before Games

Reuters, Tuesday 20 Dec 2011

The future of London’s Olympic stadium should be settled before the Games next year after bidders were invited to apply again to use the venue following the collapse of a deal to sell it to soccer club West Ham United

London Olympics

The stadium in east London, which has cost 486 million pounds to build, will retain an athletics track and have its capacity cut to 60,000 after the Games from 80,000. It will host the world athletics championship in 2017.

Local club West Ham, now playing in the second-tier of English soccer, remain the most likely anchor tenant of a venue that will remain in public ownership.

The government dropped plans to sell the stadium to West Ham in October, citing “legal paralysis” after Premier League Tottenham Hotspur challenged the decision.

Tottenham have since indicated that they intend to focus on building a new stadium adjacent to their historic home in north London.

Bidders to use the stadium have until March to apply, with a decision expected two months later. The Games will take place from July 27-August 12.

Conversion of the stadium, part financed by a 40 million investment from Newham local council, should be complete by 2014.

“The Olympic Stadium is an iconic venue and I am sure that it will attract interesting and exciting bids for its future use,” said Sports Minister Hugh Robertson.

Short link: