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SBD Global/September 18, 2012/Facilities

West Ham United Ready To Move Into London's Olympic Stadium, Ensuring The Venue's Future

EPL West Ham United "looks set" to move into London's Olympic Stadium, ensuring the venue "retains a prominent role in British sport once the memories of a golden Games begin to fade," according to Keith Weir of REUTERS. West Ham is "the best known" of four bidders competing for the Stadium and "appear to have the strongest business credentials." The apartments that housed Olympic athletes are now "being converted into 2,800 homes to be leased next year by developers." Premier League football would "ensure the area retained a high profile." A real estate agent source close to Olympic Park said, "West Ham seems logical. It was the preferred bidder and has a comprehensive plan in place ready to go. You need that level of throughput and investment in the stadium that a top football team will provide. It needs to create revenue and not sit empty for 340 days a year." While the stadium had a capacity of 80,000 for the Games, that is "expected to fall" to around 60,000 once it is converted for regular use. The running track will remain inside the stadium, which will host the World Athletics Championships in '17. West Ham is "believed to be exploring the possibility" of installing retractable seats that would go over the track and put fans closer to the action (REUTERS, 9/17)

RUGBY WORLD CUP HOME:
The London TELEGRAPH reported that 2015 Rugby World Cup organizers are "looking to feed off the success of the London Games" and use Olympic Stadium as a venue for the event. England Organizing Committee COO Ross Young said, "We have engaged with them from the very early part of this year and through the Olympic legacy company -- you would be mad not to include it as part of your thinking." The "strong ticket sales" that the Olympic Stadium would generate will help organizers hit their goal of netting a £100M ($162M) profit from the tournament (TELEGRAPH, 9/17).
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