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The London Olympic Stadium


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I'm going to defend Beijing here....I've seen pictures of their Park and it's huge and very green. But it wasn't integrated with the venues in quite the same way London's Park is so it didn't come across too well on TV. Not that I've visited Beijing, but I've seen lots of pictures of their Park since the Games and there's more to it than the TV pictures suggested.

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I've found this picture on a Dutch architecture website. I really like that detail!

Reminds one of details at the birds nest, kind of funny the whole look recalls the main venue of the last games if you think about it.

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  • 1 month later...

Olympic Stadium set for a future in football

London's Olympic Stadium looks set to become home to Premier League football club West Ham United, ensuring the venue retains a prominent role in British sport once the memories of a golden Games begin to fade.

Mayor Boris Johnson last week took charge of the body that will decide in the coming weeks on the future of the 430-million-pound stadium. Having staged an acclaimed Games, London is desperate to find a tenant with the commercial clout to support efforts to revive a once rundown part of the capital.

Newly restored to the English Premier League, West Ham are the best known of four bidders competing to move into a stadium built for the Games, and appear to have the strongest business credentials.

A deal for the club to take over the stadium following the Games collapsed after a legal challenge last year. Under the new plan, the freehold of the stadium would remain in public ownership and the new tenant would take a long-term lease.

Bidders also include third tier English football club Leyton Orient, who are open to sharing with West Ham. The others are a group who want to stage a Formula One motor racing grand prix and a college offering degrees in football business.


Eighty thousand fans packed the stadium during the Olympics but the capacity is expected to fall to around 60,000 once it is converted for regular use.

The running track will remain at the stadium which will host the World Athletics Championships in 2017.

West Ham are believed to be exploring the possibility of installing retractable seats that would go over the track and allow fans to remain close to the action.

Michael Payne, former marketing chief of the International Olympic Committee, said the opening and closing ceremonies showed the venue worked for entertainment as well as sports.

Payne also noted how well connected the site was to central London via series of rail routes.

"I was astonished at how easy it was in terms of transportation access," he said. "Rule number one for a venue is ease of access. Clearly the Games proved it."


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Olympic Stadium decision may be delayed

A decision on whether West Ham can move into the Olympic Stadium could be put back, it has emerged.

The Hammers want to become main tenants at the Stratford site for the start of the 2014/2015 season.

However, a report on the Guardian's website claims the Barclays Premier League club remain at loggerheads with the London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC) over changes which would need to be made to the stadium such as retractable seating - and crucially who would fund them at a cost of around £160million.

LLDC chief executive Dennis Hone told the website: "If we can't come to a conclusion, in the scheme of things if it slips another month or two I would rather get the right solution. Yes, the stadium is tricky, but it's tricky because we want to get it right.

"I would hate to bung someone in there and see it fall apart in five years. If it takes a couple of extra months to get there, then so be it."

Other bids are under consideration, including one from nearby football club Leyton Orient, a football business college as well as a group wanting to host a Formula One race at the Olympic Park.

The £486m Olympic Stadium has already been earmarked for 20 athletics meetings, which include the World Championships in 2017, and will also be available for community use, with Newham Council contributing some £40million in a loan towards the redevelopment project.

Hone added: "We have had discussions with all of the bidders. The difficulty is that we are balancing the adaptations we have to make to the stadium against the proposals that have come in and the benefits - financial and otherwise - that those proposals bring.

"If it was a knockout [verdict] it would be an easy decision, but it's not."

The bidding process to take over the Olympic Stadium had to be restarted last year after legal challenges from both Tottenham and Orient to West Ham's proposed tenancy.


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NFL franchises in talks with London Mayor Boris Johnson over Olympic Stadium

The discussions began during the NFL regular-season games at the weekend, which brought four gridiron teams to Wembley. Johnson is chairman of the company operating the stadium, the London Legacy Development Corporation. His negotiations could cast a significant shadow over the prospects of West Ham United or Leyton Orient taking over the venue.

A spokesman for the mayor, who recently signed a deal doubling the number of regular-season match days the NFL spends in the city to two, said: “Given the ever-growing popularity of gridiron this side of the Atlantic the mayor and his team have held a number of meetings with senior executives in the last few days to explore further opportunities for NFL in London.

"The talks were exploratory and we are at an early stage but the signs are encouraging.”

The news emerges after Telegraph Sport revealed the Treasury’s refusal to hand over cash from the £337 million Olympic-contingency underspend to contribute to the installation of retractable seating under the stadium’s athletics track.


Sunday’s game at Wembley, in front of more than 80,000 fans, further cements London’s reputation as the natural home of American football outside of the US,” the mayor’s spokesman added. “Only last week the mayor, in conjunction with the NFL, announced an expansion from one to two regular-season matches in London from 2013. That means in total an additional £44 million in revenue for the capital from next year.”

Turning to the biggest sport in the US would also avoid the potential complications presented by state aid for West Ham’s bid, which the European Commission has said to have raised as a matter requiring clarification in a letter to the British Government. The European Commission has written to all member states about state aid to professional football, although the LLDC is confident that contributions for West Ham would not be classified as state aid.

Indeed, Johnson’s soundings appear to chime with the stated aspirations of senior NFL executives. Robert Kraft, the New England Patriots owner whose team were one of four to play at Wembley this month, told the Boston Globe on Sunday: “For our game to continue to grow and be special we have to expand our fan base, and I think from our cultural and language point of view, going to England and playing there and developing the game made sense.

“We have such a following in the UK and people really grab on to the game. It’s wonderful to see another country embrace our sport, and by bringing the real game there I think they have really loved it.”


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Olympic Stadium to remain shut until 2015

The Olympic Stadium will not reopen until August 2015 at the earliest, it was revealed today.

Football is still among the front runners to be a tenant at the showpiece venue but a 2014 reopening is "completely out, it would be August 2015" at the earliest, said Dennis Hone chief executive of the London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC).

There are four bids on the table about the future use of the venue and an American Football team is not among them. West Ham are among the bidders.

He told the London Assembly's budget and performance committee the amount of work needed to fine tune the bids would make August 2015 or even August 2016 the most likely reopening date.

Money spent so far in the process has looked at the design options.

Talks have been held with the bidders but none of the adaptation work has been taken to the market yet.

Hone said: "We have no formal bids outside of the competition or otherwise by American Football to go in to the stadium.

"We are running a competition and we have four bidders. There are no bids outside that."

He did not rule out the prospect that a stadium built to include an athletics track in legacy could also work with the winter sport of American Football. The combination would be "a challenge definitely," he noted.

Hone steps down as chief executive of the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) which built the Olympic Park in Stratford, east London, in March 2013 when he moves full-time to the LLDC.

He will share his time between the two organisations until then.

Whichever bid wins, the venue could have multiple uses and the stadium will host the World Athletics Championships in 2017.

A venue with a capacity of around 50,000 seats might be needed for those championships, Hone predicted.

He believes it could be a sell-out event arguing that the response where track and field "really caught the imagination" at London 2012 shows there is an appetite for people to watch athletics.

No date has been set for when a new tenant will be announced.

A decision is not expected before December.


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Trio charged over Olympic Stadium spy allegations

November 14 - Three people have been charged over allegations of spying during the bid for the controversial London 2012 Olympic Stadium, it was announced today.

West Ham United and the Olympic Park Legacy Company (OPLC) alleged information was unlawfully obtained.

The three men are charged with conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation.

Tottenham were accused of ordering surveillance on all 14 members of the OPLC Board during the Stadium bidding process, which ultimately chose West Ham's bid over that of Tottenham before the process collapsed in October 2011.

The club has denied the claims.

Richard Forrest, 30, of Furzefield in Crawley, Lee Stewart, 39, of More Lane in Esher, and Howard Hill, 58, of Shrigley Road South in Stockport, are due appear at Westminster Magistrates' Court on November 28.

All three are currently on bail.

Tottenham Hotspur, Leyton Orient and West Ham had bid for the use of the Stadium but Tottenham lost out to West Ham in the race to become the OPLC's first choice to move into the Stadium after London 2012.

After the agreement collapsed the Government announced that the Stadium would remain in public ownership, but it will be rented out to an anchor tenant, with West Ham remaining the favourites.


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