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HOK Sport lands 2012 Olympic Stadium commission

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The Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) has appointed the same team which brought in Arsenal FC's Emirates Stadium on time and in budget to build the new 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games stadium.

Headed up by sport specialist HOK Sport and contractor Robert McAlpine, the Team McAlpine consortium also includes engineer Buro Happold.

It is understood this appointment will be subject to lengthy contractual negotiations and that the deal will not be officially finalised until the New Year.

The ODA says it received a number of national and international applications to prequalify for the prestigious project - although only Norman Foster's lone bid was ever made public.

According to the ODA, the Team McAlpine submission was the only one to meet all the authortiy's prequalification criteria.

The team will be asked to create a 'spectacular' 80,000 seat stadium to host track and field events as well as the Games' opening and closing ceremonies.

Once the Olympics are over, the arena will be shrunk but 'will retain the capacity to host a variety of sporting, cultural and community events'.

Speaking shortly after the announcement, David Higgins, chief executive of the Olympic Delivery Authority, said: 'We are entering negotiations with a world-class consortium in Team McAlpine and I am confident they will conclude successfully in the New Year.

'The Olympic Stadium will be the centrepiece of the Olympic Park and we will deliver an outstanding venue for the Games with a post-Games legacy of which the UK can be truly proud.

He added: 'As you would expect, we have robust contingency plans in place should negotiations with Team McAlpine not conclude.

'We will also be putting in place appropriate cost controls to ensure that budgets are managed properly and that value for money is achieved.'

The first images of the stadium proposals are expected to be unveiled early in 2007.

by Richard Waite

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