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Olympic stadium 'may be white elephant'

The long-term viability of the main stadium for the London Olympics and its surrounding park has been called into question once again

The London Assembly warned in a report about the aftermath of the 2012 games - Toward a Lasting Legacy - published today (1 July) that the main stadium and its surrounding park are in danger of becoming a ‘white elephant’.

The London Assembly’s Economic Development, Culture, Sport and Tourism committee responsible for overseeing spending on the games has concluded that there are ‘serious doubts as to the future financial viability of the venue and hence attractiveness of the park site to business investment’.

The main stadium will be reduced from an 80,000-seat venue to a 25,000 capacity arena after the Games but, argues the committee: ‘Without a credible anchor tenant to bring regular foot-fall into the park there will be serious doubts’.

The report states that ‘Lord Coe has consistently supported keeping the stadium with an athletic track, however it is far from clear that such a sporting venue will be able to host events that regularly attract the hundreds and thousands of spectators required in order for it to be financially viable. Without decisive action the stadium is in danger of becoming a white elephant.’

The report also warns that the overall vision for tourism ‘lacks detail and the budget is underdeveloped’, noting that Beijing’s 2008 Olympics stadium now has no anchor tenant and relies on tourists as its main source of income.

The report will increase pressure on the recently established Legacy Delivery Company, which has been set up to find a use for the main venues and £200m park which will be left behind after the Olympic and Paralympic games.

Readers' comments (2)

  • The chopping and changing ain't helping anybody. It seems nobody has any conviction. Temporary/permanent stadium. Doubts over the media centre re-use. Bad planning in the first instance or meddling now?

    Unsuitable or offensive?

  • Both probably! It's just symptomatic of our current world of project managers & quangos, too many people having an input. How's that saying go again?....'too many cooks....'

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