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SBD/Issue 161/Facilities & Venues
AEG Interested In Operating London's Olympic Stadium Post-Games
Published May 4, 2010
|AEG Is One Of 106 Parties To Have Expressed
Interest In Assuming Control Of Olympic Stadium
AEG has "emerged as a contender to take over the Olympic Stadium after the London Games," according to David Bond of the BBC. The company, which owns London's The O2 arena, is "one of 106 parties to have expressed an interest in assuming control" of the Olympic venue after '12. Potential bidders have until May 17 to "register their interest in the 80,000-seater stadium," and a "shortlist of about 30 is expected to be drawn up, with a final decision taken in July this year." Bond notes it had been thought that EPL club West Ham United, which in March declared its interest in "converting the venue into a football arena" after the Olympics, "offered the only viable plan for the future of the stadium that would prevent it from becoming an expensive white elephant." But AEG, which has turned the "failing" O2 "into a successful sport and concert venue, could offer a real alternative if it decides to go ahead with a bid to become the operating company." The fact that West Ham will not be relegated from the EPL this year "will undoubtedly ensure" that the club remains "favourites to take control of the venue." But there "remain serious questions over how" West Ham co-Owners David Sullivan and David Gold will raise the estimated US$151.6M "needed to convert the stadium, which will have no corporate boxes or hospitality facilities in Games mode." Bond notes AEG's plans to "use the venue are not yet clear" (BBC.co.uk, 5/4). MUSIC WEEK's Gordon Masson writes the Olympic stadium would provide AEG with a "ready-made facility to promote stadium shows, with the site's location and transport connections making it a rival for Wembley Stadium's concert business" (MUSICWEEK.com, 5/4).