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Olympic Stadium decision to be delayed

Mon 24th Jan 2011 | Football Stadiums & Facilities

A decision on who will move into the £537 million Olympic Stadium has been postponed from Friday, the Olympic Park Legacy Company (OPLC) has announced.

A spokesman said "more time is needed to consider the bids".

Premier League rivals West Ham and Tottenham Hotspur have both submitted bids last Friday (21st Jan) to take over the stadium after the games have finished in 2012 with the decision due on Friday (28th).

However, an OPLC spokesman said: "Given the detailed nature of both bids received, we need more time to seek further clarification with both bidders in order to identify a preferred bidder.

"The stadium is a significant public asset and we have a duty to run a robust process.

"Securing the most appropriate solution for the Stadium is vital to our long-term aspirations for the future Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and the wider regeneration of the area.

"In addition to the two shortlisted bids, the Legacy Company also has the option of the original plan to convert the Olympic Stadium to a 25,000 seats, mixed-use venue. In going to market, the Legacy Company's aim was to consider options which would enhance and build on that plan."

West Ham, in a joint bid with Newham Council, want to create a 60,000-capacity arena for football, athletics, concerts and community use.

Tottenham, in a joint bid with sports and entertainment giant AEG, have pledged to create an athletics legacy elsewhere and contribute to the refurbishment of the National Sports Centre at Crystal Palace.

An athletics legacy was one of the key promises that London 2012 made to the International Olympic Committee when it won the right to stage the Games.

The OPLC still wants to make a final decision by the end of the financial year in March.

London 2012 chairman Lord Coe believes there is a "moral obligation" to preserve the Olympic Stadium as a multi-sport facility and backed West Ham’s bid to take over the stadium.

A host of Olympic athletes have also backed West Ham's bid.

The OPLC's recommendation for a preferred bidder will then have to get the green light from the Government and the mayor's office.

 

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