London 2012: Olympic stadium may become multi-purpose arena

West Ham warned they are not guaranteed winners of the right to move into the Olympic Stadium after next year's Games

olympic stadium
The decision over the future use of the Olympic expected by next May Photo: Locog/Getty Images

olympic stadium

Olympic legacy officials have formally invited bids for parties interested in being involved in the future of the London 2012 stadium.

The original plan to award long-term tenancy of the £486m venue to Championship club West Ham, promoters Live Nation and Newham Council collapsed earlier this year after a series of legal challenges from Tottenham Hotspur, whose rival bid for the stadium was rejected.

The stadium will now be retained as a public asset with the Olympic Park Legacy Company responsible for making it commercially viable and covering its estimated £5m a year running costs.

Bids to use the venue, which will be reduced to a 60,000 capacity post Games and will retain its athletics track, are due back in March 2012 with the OPLC appointing winning bidders two months later.

West Ham are again expected to put their name forward – although they would not be the anchor tenant as originally suggested – and Legacy Company chief executive Andrew Altman insisted it wasn’t necessary for a football club to definitely be involved.

“The Olympic Stadium will be a new national stadium for athletics and a multi-purpose venue that can host a full array of sporting, cultural and commercial events in one of the most exciting destinations in the world,” he said.

“Having already secured the 2017 World Athletics Championships, now is the time for bidders to come forward to further enhance the Stadium’s legacy.

“Plans for the Olympic Park are more advanced than any other host city and we are maintaining that pace by securing operators, tenants and events for all our venues before the Games have even started.”

London Mayor Boris Johnson and sports minister Hugh Robertson want the stadium reconfigured and reopened by 2014 and remain keen the right balance is struck between use that raises revenue but also delivers on pledges for community access.

“The Government is committed to securing a legacy from the Olympic Stadium, and wants to see it re-opening in 2014,” said Robertson.

“With the 2017 World Athletics Championships bid won athletics will be at the heart of a multi-purpose venue that will also be a great asset to the local community.

“The Olympic stadium is an iconic venue and I am sure that it will attract interesting and exciting bids for its future use.”

© Sportsbeat 2011

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