SBD/January 4, 2013/Facilities

London Olympic Stadium To Host Rock Concerts; Live Nation Looks To Get Involved

London's Olympic Stadium is "set to be re-opened in July with a series of rock concerts," as concert promoters were "impressed by the live music at the closing ceremonies of the Olympics and Paralympics," according to Adrian Warner of the BBC. Final contracts "are yet to be signed but the plan is for some concerts traditionally held at Hyde Park to head east." London Legacy Development Corp. CEO Dennis Hone said "an anniversary weekend" July 27-28 was also planned. Warner wrote Olympic Stadium is "expected to become a major rival to London's other major concert venues -- Wembley and the 02 Arena." The area around the stadium in the south of the park with the Aquatic Centre and Orbit Tower "will not be opened fully to the public until spring 2014 but the north of the park, with the Handball Arena, waterways and parklands, will be made available to residents permanently this summer." The indoor Handball Arena, which has been renamed the Copper Box, will "be used for recreational sport such as five-a-side football and badminton as well as staging professional sports such as boxing and some indoor concerts" (BBC.co.uk, 1/2). The GUARDIAN's Mark Sweney reported entertainment company Live Nation is "in talks to host gigs at the Olympic Stadium in East London from this summer." It is not clear if Live Nation "is in exclusive talks to run events in the park." EPL club West Ham United last month was "given three months to improve the terms of its deal to move into the Olympic Stadium," and if it fails to do so, London Mayor Boris Johnson will "pursue alternate options." It is understood that Live Nation's music events "could continue in the Olympic park even if West Ham becomes the primary occupant of the stadium" (GUARDIAN, 1/3).
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