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SBD Global/July 18, 2012/Facilities

Leyton Orient Enters Race To Occupy Olympic Stadium After Games

The fate of London's Olympic Stadium after the Summer Games remains in limbo.
English side Leyton Orient FC have "thrown their hat into the ring" to occupy London's Olympic Stadium after the Summer Games, according to Ashling O'Connor of the LONDON TIMES. The East London club are one of four formal bids for the £468M ($731M) venue and will "go head-to-head" with EPL's West Ham United, who have "long been in the running." The London Legacy Development Corporation, which will manage the Olympic Park from next year, also "received a bid from a company claiming to have the support" of F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone for a F1 race. The fourth bidder is University College of Football Business (LONDON TIMES, 7/17). In London, Roger Blitz reported that Leyton Orient "took advantage" of London Mayor Boris Johnson's LLDC extending the stadium tender deadline for new bids to come forward. The LLDC also confirmed that iCity, the only bidder left in the race to take over the £295M ($461M) media center, has been "given preferred bidder status" (FINANCIAL TIMES, 7/17). The BBC reported that an original deal for West Ham to lease the Olympic Stadium "was scrapped" last year amid legal wrangling. Orient's proposal is "based on a ground share" with West Ham, although West Ham has "previously insisted it is not considering that arrangement" (BBC, 7/17).

F1 TRACK CONSIDERED: The PA reported that Intelligent Transport Solutions Ltd., who are based at Wanstead in East London, have already "held preliminary talks" with Ecclestone in regard to using the stadium as an F1 circuit. Any potential race would form a second British round of the world championship to run alongside the British Grand Prix at Silverstone. Ecclestone has "tentatively given his blessing," stating a month ago ITS Ltd. are a firm "bidding for use of the stadium, not to own it." Ecclestone added: "They came up with a scheme whereby Formula One would race around the stadium, inside it, outside it. They wanted to make sure I would be interested" (PA, 7/17).
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