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West Ham confirmed as highest ranked bidder for London Olympic Stadium

West Ham have taken a key step towards relocating to the Olympic Stadium after they were named the highest ranked bidder for the £429m venue.

Following a board meeting, the London Legacy Development Corporation announced that the east end club was its first choice to be the main tenant at the stadium, but concluding a binding deal will require further negotiation.

The Guardian revealed last week that West Ham were set to be named preferred bidders for the 99-year lease, with the London Mayor and LLDC chair Boris Johnson believing that they offered the most viable solution for the future of the park, but equally insistent that the deal must make sense for the taxpayer.

The majority of the £160m-plus conversion cost of making the stadium suitable for both football and athletics will be met by the public purse. Newham Council will contribute a loan of up to £70m and £38m will come from the existing Olympics budget.

West Ham have offered to contribute £15m but believe that their contribution of £2.5m a year in rent and a claimed £6m in additional sponsorship and catering income will ensure the conversion work to install a full roof and retractable seats pays for itself. How the conversion is to be paid for and the terms of the deal will now be subject to further negotiation before final contracts can be signed.

An investment bank is likely to be engaged to help structure the deal in such a way that the public purse shares in any potential upside for West Ham, should the move result in a large boost in revenues or a windfall in the event the club was sold.

For their part, West Ham believe that not only do they offer the most viable economic solution to the long running conundrum over what to do with the stadium, but that their presence will give the park a vitality and energy that it would otherwise lack.

West Ham's Karren Brady has made much of the community benefits that the club would bring, but LLDC sources are equally concerned that the club is locked into the deal for the long term and is not perceived as being gifted a public asset on the cheap.

Some on the board had pushed the case that an alternative, cheaper solution should have been pursued. That would have involved spending just £38m on making the stadium ready for reopening in 2014 rather than 2015 or 2016 as a multi-use venue without football.

The saga, complicated by the decision in 2007 to close down the option of a stadium suitable for both athletics and football and press on with building a semi-permanent venue that kept all options open, has been labelled a "Stratford farce" by the UK Athletics chairman Ed Warner.

UKA will be guaranteed around 20 dates a year in the new stadium and plan to use it for Diamond League meetings as well as for smaller events and the 2017 World Athletics Championships.

It will also be used to host concerts and other one-off sporting events. But while the Olympic Stadium is on the list of venues to be used for the 2015 Rugby World Cup, if West Ham do conclude a deal to move in then the timetable will be extremely tight to complete the necessary construction work in time.

Now that West Ham have been named as the highest ranked bidder, the LLDC is expected to press on with appointing an experienced stadium management company such as AEG or Live Nation to co-ordinate events and ensure it is used as close to 365 days a year as possible.

The other bidders for the tenancy were Leyton Orient, whose chairman Barry Hearn has been a vocal critic of the botched process, as well as an ambitious and unlikely scheme to host Formula One races in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and a proposal from a football business college.

If a deal can be concluded, West Ham will sell Upton Park to developers and use the proceeds to help pay down the debt on the club's balance sheet – they will not be able to carry the debt with them as they will no longer have an asset on which to secure it.

West Ham had been due to move in to the stadium under an earlier process that had to be abandoned in the face of High Court challenges from Orient and Tottenham Hotspur, and an anonymous complaint to the European Commission that alleged the deal had broken rules on state aid.

The deal with West Ham had to be ripped up and the bidding process restarted. It has since been subject to further delays owing to the complexity of the negotiations and anxiety at the prospect of further legal challenge.

If the West Ham deal is concluded, construction work is unlikely to begin until the summer and it could be August 2016 before the club plays its first competitive fixture in the stadium.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/2012/dec/05/west-ham-highest-ranked-bidder-olympic-stadium

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Race of Champions could return to London in the future

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The Race of Champions could return to London using the new Olympic Stadium as a future venue, according to co-founder and organiser Fredrik Johnsson.

London last hosted the event in 2008 at Wembley, with Sebastien Loeb beating David Coulthard in the individual final.

In the following four years it has travelled to the Bird's Nest Arena in Beijing - also the 'home' of the 2008 Olympics – Dusseldorf's Esprit Arena in Germany and, this year, the Rajamangala Stadium in Bangkok.

Johnsson says the RoC is likely to continue travelling to different destinations, but said he is keen to build upon initial discussions to use the Olympic Stadium as a future host venue.

"We want to be a global event, even if our offices are in Europe. I think we will keep moving and going to interesting places around the world," Johnsson said.

"As long as the world's best drivers follow us, we will have more adventures ahead of us.

"After Wembley, the Bird's Nest, the Stade de France, there are a few other iconic stadiums in the world where it would be cool to put the RoC stamp."

Asked whether that could include London's Olympic Stadium, Johnsson said: "Absolutely. It's a great stadium. They contacted us and we have had initial discussions.

"I know they have other priorities for the moment with the Olympic Park, but that is something that we would obviously be very open to discussing further.

"If we can make it happen then why not?"

Johnsson also hinted the race could seek more venues in Asia, adding: "Asia is an extremely interesting market where the interest in motorsport is just getting bigger and bigger.

"It's a building process, and it will just get bigger from here on."

http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/104852

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Wonderful news. London is setting a new example for post-Games legacy. For me, this only strengthens the impression that this year, we witnessed the best Olympic Games ever.

I hope this will also set a new example for succeeding IAAF World Championships hosts. They really could make a permanent double event with the Paralympic Athletic Championships out of it. It would ensure bigger excitement for Paralympic sports (even in non-Paralympic years) and create much more sustainability for the IAAF WCH venues and athletes' villages.



By the way: Welcome back, Davey! I guess you calmed down meanwhile and realised that the reaction of this forum towards the London Games wasn't actually as scathing and overly critical as you perceived it during the Games. In fact, the approval of this forum for the Games was actually pretty high. And I'm one of the many big fans here of how London hosted the Games.

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Olympic stadium 'to host rock concerts by July'

London's Olympic Stadium is set to be re-opened in July with a series of rock concerts, BBC London has learned.

Concert promoters were impressed by the live music at the closing ceremonies of the Olympics and Paralympics.

Final contracts are yet to be signed but the plan is for some concerts traditionally held at Hyde Park to head east.

Dennis Hone, chief executive of the London Legacy Development Corporation, said it was an "exciting" opportunity.

He said: "The exciting thing for us is that we have the opportunity to put on some major events in the park - some music events and festivals and an anniversary weekend on 27 and 28 July.

Noise complaints

"We hope to announce the content in the coming weeks."

Hyde Park has staged rock concerts for decades but complaints about noise levels have almost doubled since 2008.

Last year Westminster Council took a decision to reduce the number of concerts every year from 13 to nine.

The council also cut the number of people who could attend events from 80,000 to 65,000 and, in some cases, to 50,000.

A spokesman for The Royal Parks confirmed that a total of eight concerts would still take place at Hyde Park this year.

The Olympic Stadium is expected to become a major rival to London's other major concert venues - Wembley and the 02 Arena.

The area around the stadium in the south of the park with the Aquatic Centre and Orbit Tower will not be opened fully to the public until spring 2014 but the north of the park, with the Handball Arena, waterways and parklands, will be made available to residents permanently this summer.

The indoor Handball Arena, which has been renamed the Copper Box, will be used for recreational sport such as five-a-side football and badminton as well as staging professional sports such as boxing and some indoor concerts.

...

BBC

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  • 2 weeks later...

Plans to reopen Olympic stadium with athletics meet

Legacy officials are working on ambitious plans to reopen the 2012 Olympic Stadium to mark the first anniversary of the opening ceremony.

The London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC) is keen to use the stadium again from 27 July.

BBC London has learned talks have taken place about hosting the London Grand Prix athletics meeting which is due to take place that weekend.

The event is traditionally hosted at Crystal Palace in south London.

One source, who is close to the talks, said: "I think there is an 80% chance the move to the Olympic Stadium is going to happen."

Although the area around the stadium will not be open to the public until Spring 2014 because of construction work, LLDC is keen to use the stadium again to mark the anniversary.

The LLDC, which is responsible for the Park, was also keen to stage the finale of a new series of Paralympic athletics events but this is not possible because the stadium will not be available during the schedule being planned.

The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) confirmed it was involved in "advanced talks" about the unprecedented series of seven grand prix events for Paralympic athletes to mirror the Diamond League series for able-bodied competitors.

"The plan is to have six events and then a final in the UK. We hope to have an announcement in the next 10 days," an IPC spokesman said.

The Paralympic series, launched following record tickets sales at the Paralympics Games last year, is expected to include a second meeting in Britain as well as events in Brazil, Germany and the Netherlands.

Birmingham is being considered as the venue of the finale. Other meetings will be staged at venues which have experience in hosting IAAF events.

...

BBC

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We know everybody loved the London Stadium and all it’s “erector-set on steroids” glory, I just can’t stop thinking it could have been so much more. Did lack of vision and environmental-trendiness result in a subpar stadium for this host in this location? It sort if seems London build an incredibly expensive temporary stadium with the plan to downsize because:

  1. The true vision of what could happen on the site was NEVER ACCURATELY DETERMINED or planned.
  2. The pretense of sustainability is a more important selling tool/cliché than being honest and figuring out what is the right thing to do for some facilities.

This could have been one of the world’s most significant stadium-design achievements; instead it’s just a bare bones steel/cement construct with limited design relevance beyond pushing the size limits of temporary/down-sizable structures.

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A few things there....

1. There was no lack of vision. Bigger doesn't mean better. The vision was sound enough, and the stadium "felt" great when you were there; you could see through the gaps and glimse the field as you approached. I mujch prefer how this stadium "works" to Wembley where you enter the bowels of a huge building, go up 3 escalators, then walk through a concrete concourse get to your seat. It felt like a temporary stage which would become something smaller, more compact, and more a part for the Park afterwards. I think that's a far-thinking vision, if not necessarily a grand one.

2. This is probably the most important point. The current stadium is squeezed onto a site which wouldn't normally be anywhere near big enough for a modern 80k seat stadium. Its minimal design and the use of the pods are not just for sustainability reasons, but because of the size of the plot available. It was a very clever bit of "design" and problem solving to come up with the solution that was reached. In other words, its bare bones for a reason.

3. Sustainability isn't about trendiness, though Boris' Orbit does somewhat undermine the lightness of the stadium it sits next to. :rolleyes:

4. "This could have been one of the world’s most significant stadium-design achievements" - I've already mentioned the issue of plot size which I think would hamper anything much "grander", but also there's also cost. Any building in the world "could" be more than it is if you've got the budget for it. How much more would you propose was spent on it, another 300, 400m? See how much Hadid's Tokyo 2020 Stadium design is costing (and I suspect that'll rise). That's what we'd be talking about for a significant design statement in London. And who'd pay for that?

5. Whilst all of the above is true, it's also true that there were two other factors at play. Firstly, there was a desire to make the project very doable within the timeframe, especially in light of other prestige projects which had troubles like Wembley and the Dome. Also, there was only one consortium who met the ODA's requirements, Populous. This lack of competition could well have been one reason why costs were so high.

As to where we are today: I still believe the thinking behind this stadium was sound enough, but the current crop of politicans have been trying to sell to the highest bidder rather than see through the planned legacy. We don't know how good (or otherwise) the original legacy plan could've been because they're not doing it. We'll see what ends up happening with this stadium...

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And nothing more off-putting than stupid comments.

Sustainability ran through EVERY decision made by the ODA and LOCOG. It was built into its brand values and part of its legacy created was proving large scale projects can exceed the current UK sustainability levels, which it did, and in turn forced companies involved to take decisions about sustainability seriously. The Government is even looking at increasing the current laws precisely because the Games proved it can be done. The only thing that hampered even further exceeding was the technology wasn't quite there or the material hadn't reached development yet.

Environmental awareness and sustainability is not some trendy buzzword of the current moment. Everything used it as a basis.



This could have been one of the world’s most significant stadium-design achievements; instead it’s just a bare bones steel/cement construct with limited design relevance beyond pushing the size limits of temporary/down-sizable structures.

Pushing the sizelimits of temporary/down-sizable structures IS a significant design achievement.

You make it sound like using as minimal material as possible and being the most sustainable stadium ever isn't a significant achievement, which is quite insulting to the thousands of people involved with the project.

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Pushing the sizelimits of temporary/down-sizable structures IS a significant design achievement.

Isn't that what I said? The point was this might not have ultimately been the right plan to build a temporary stadium in this location to serve this event and the future.

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London's Olympic Stadium to host Paralympic athletics event


The Olympic Stadium will host a dedicated day of Paralympic sport, as part of a three-day event one year on from the London 2012 opening ceremony.

The Paralympic competition will follow two days of Diamond League athletics to make up the London Anniversary Games.

The event will take place from 26 to 28 July.

London mayor Boris Johnson said: "Now this anniversary celebration is complete with top international Paralympians set to join the party."

In January, it was announced that the annual London Grand Prix Diamond League meeting would be moved from Crystal Palace to the Olympic Stadium.

The usual two-day format will remain, although it will be followed by a day of para-athletics, the first time this has happened


London 2012 chief Seb Coe says the three-day event is an "important part of the London 2012 legacy".


"I'm sure the London Anniversary Games will go a long way to inspiring the next generation of track and field fans," added Coe.


"London 2012 was an amazing year for British sport and what a way to celebrate its success by welcoming the world back to London once more to watch the biggest names in athletics.


"It is an important part of the London 2012 legacy that as many people as possible experience world class sport at the Olympic Park."


Double Paralympic gold medallist Hannah Cockroft, who won the T34 100m and 200m titles in London, is confident the event will be popular.


She said: "It's really exciting. We know we can fill that stadium - we did it with 80,000 people in two sessions a day for 10 days.


"We can fill the stadium one more time and if we can do that it shows the interest is still there.


"That's a real challenge for us now to see if people are still interested in what we're doing. It's fantastic that we're getting the opportunity to try that out and I guess that's where the whole world will see if the legacy has worked."


The Paralympic competition at the London Anniversary Games will follow shortly after the IPC World Championships in Lyon.


In 2017 the Olympic Stadium will host the Paralympic Athletics World Championships just one month before the World Athletics Championships - the first time a city has hosted the two championships
in the same year

BBC

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What we basically have is a very poor local council, and a government making cuts everywhere else acting as a lending bank for modifications to this stadium that will mostly only benefit a rich football club - West Ham. That doesn't quite sit right. What also won't sit right with rival fans is the immediate (unearned) revenue boost this will give the club, and the leeway it'll give them for cheaper tickets which no other club could afford to match.

That said....

West Ham should pay this off in the medium-long term, and there should be extra money for the taxpayer, again in the medium-long term.

And this is better deal than the one that would've gone through but for Spurs/Orient taking Newham to court. Under that deal West Ham would've got the stadium cheaply and would own it and the land it sits on afterwards. At least with this deal the public will still own the £600m stadium and the prime land it sits on.

It is very good deal for West Ham in the short term. Long term it leaves them virtually assetless. If West Ham do well out of the initial revenue boost, increase their fanbase, buy some good players etc. then that might not matter. If they squander the money, they'll be living hand-to-mouth with no assets to borrow against and a stadium way too big for those who want to still watch them. It could go either way.

The athletics legacy is retained, that's important too obviously.

A real fudge of a solution which I'm very much in two-minds about right now, but which is at least better than what the OPLC originally proposed back in 2010.

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Race begins to rebuild Olympic Stadium roof
Grant Prior | Wed 20th March | 7:52
Olympic legacy chiefs have started the bidding race for a specialist contractor to rebuild the roof of the main 2012 stadium.
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West Ham reveal how they will cover the athletics track when they take over Olympic Stadium



After winning their move to the Olympic Stadium, West Ham have released a further set of architectural drawings to show how the redesigned stadium will look.

The drawings show how the stadium will work with the athletics track and how the seats in the lower tier will be on an automated system using drive motors allowing the seats to be moved closer to pitch and covering the running track.

The design of the stadium is similar to that of the Emirates and Wembley with the seats close to the pitch.


article-2301078-18FDC63E000005DC-103_634

Ready for athletics: How the stadium will look with the running track

article-2301078-18FDC670000005DC-13_634x

Covered up: Drawings showing how the seats will cover the track for football


Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-2301078/West-Ham-unveil-Olympic-Stadium-plans.html#ixzz2OwukHsSB
Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

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  • 3 months later...

Controversial Olympic wrap sold off to private sector MORE than half the controversial fabric wrap which adorned Britain’s Olympic stadium last year has been sold off as flooring and packaging products for the private sector, an investigation has found.

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Dow Chemical, the US giant brought in by Lord Coe to sponsor London’s 2012 Games, has admitted most of the wrap it funded last summer has since been chopped up into smaller pieces and “recycled” for commercial use by a Manchester-based businessicon1.png partner.

The remaining panels, made from a form of plastic, have been given to UK aid charity Article 25 and converted into shelters for vulnerable children in Uganda and Rio de Janeiro.

Dow refused to say why not all panels had been donated to charities but insisted its decisions were consistent with Lord Coe’s “sustainabilityicon1.png” demands.

However, campaigners in Bhopal, India, where there were large protests last year over Dow’s involvement with the Games, said the findings were a “slap on the face” to those who believed the legacy commitments would be entirely benevolent.

The decision by Lord Coe’s Locog organising team in 2011 to make Dow a sponsor of the Games brought the Indian Olympic team to the brink of boycott last year.

Their fury stemmed from the Bhopal gas disaster in 1984 when thousands were killed and many more were maimed after a toxic cloud of chemicals leaked from a Union Carbide pesticide plant near the city centre.

Although Union Carbide agreed a “final” compensation package of $470million with the Indian government in 1989, campaigners say that underestimated the long-term scale of the disaster.

Dow never owned nor operated the plant but because it bought Union Carbide in 2001, campaigners and the Indian government argue it is now responsible for further legal claims and for remediating the site, which continues to pollute the city’s groundwater.

Dow strongly denies any liability.

...

With the anniversary of the Opening Ceremony only days away, Dow decided to issue a press release on its projects last week.

It said some panels are now being used at Rio’s Bola Pra Frente Institute, a social project for teenagers founded by ex-Brazilian football star Jorginho in 2000.

The panels act as shades at the institute’s headquarters and help increase the space available for outdoor activities.

The project was chosen to create a link between London and Rio, which will be the next Olympic host city in 2016.

Other panels will be sent to Uganda later this year.

The press release continued: “The remaining panels have been allocated for recycling and reuse by British company Axion Recycling.

“The recycled material will be used as material for packaginglb_icon1.png, flooring and building applications.

“These programmes successful fulfil Dow’s commitment to Locog on the post-Games usage of the innovative stadium wrap.

“[They] emphasise the company’s commitment to sustainable developmentlb_icon1.png.”

...

http://www.express.co.uk/news/world/416389/Exclusive-Controversial-Olympic-wrap-sold-off-to-private-sector

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*sigh* They should simply have left the wrap hanging there - the stadium looked better with it, and it would have served a benevolent purpose that way, too. A wrap to enjoy for the whole public in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. But...

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This whole stadium use business has been, to put it nicely, a total **** up. Nobody seems to have any idea what's happening. This is where the Mayor should be showing strong leadership, & standing up for athletics & the legacy. Instead, we've got Boris, who seems just as bumbling & clueless as everyone else.

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