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Olympic Stadium back on the market

The Olympic Park Legacy Company (OPLC) has re-started the tender process today for a new tenant for the Populous-designed Olympic Stadium after the 2012 Games

In October the government canned West Ham United’s deal to take over the Olympic Stadium permanently following the Games, deciding to lease the east London building annually instead.

The collapse of the original deal came as a result of lawsuits launched by rival stadium bidders Tottenham Hotspur and Leyton Orient which threatened to delay legacy use of the £500 million arena.

Now the OPLC has formally invited bids from interested parties for the arena which will become the new national stadium for athletics and has already been chosen to host the 2017 World Athletics Championships.

The company is hoping to open up the venue to ‘a full array of sporting, cultural and commercial events’ and has admitted to the BBC that it is not relying on a football club to guarantee the stadium’s successful legacy.

Nevertheless it is understood West Ham could again bid to become tenants of the 60,000 seat multi-purpose arena.

Bids are due back in March 2012 with a winner due to be announced in May.The OPLC, which will retian the stadium as a public asset, said it remained on track to reopen the venue in 2014.

Andrew Altman, chief executive of the Olympic Park Legacy Company, said: ‘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.’

Previous story (AJ 11.10.11)

West Ham’s Olympic Stadium deal scrapped

The government has canned West Ham United’s deal to take over the Olympic Stadium permanently after the 2012 games, deciding to lease the east London building annually instead

It came as a result of lawsuits launched by rival stadium bidders Tottenham Hotspur and Leyton Orient which threatened to delay legacy use of the £500 million arena.

The government is set to formally announce the move later today (11 October) confirming its decision to retain the stadium in public ownership.

A tender process will be launched for a new tenant later this week while it is understood the Olympic Park Legacy Company will submit a planning application for a £50 million transformation of the stadium in March.

While an architect for the project has yet to be confirmed, the conversion of the 80,000-capacity Populous-designed stadium to a 60,000-seat venue is in line with the football club’s aspiration of the site.

At the time Populous’ original scheme was unveiled it was expected the arena would convert to a 25,000-seat venue following the Olympics.

An athletics running track will also be retained as part of London’s bid to host the 2017 world athletics championships.

The east London football club was awarded preferred bidder status for the stadium back in February, scotching a controversial KSS-designed bid by its north London rival which involved significant remodelling.

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