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SBD Global/November 8, 2012/Facilities
London Olympic Stadium Conversion For West Ham Will Last Until '16
Published November 8, 2012
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HOPE STILL TO COME: In London, Dave Wood noted West Ham Vice Chair Karren Brady "is still hopeful" of the club moving into the new Olympic Stadium. She said that the club will be able to create "1,000 jobs if they do so." Brady said that hundreds of more jobs could be created if its current stadium gets redeveloped to homes and shops. She also believes that the club "could attract 1 million visitors a year to watch football." Writer Martin Samuel wrote, "Bidding process? What bidding process? West Ham United must surely be regretting the decision to compete for London's Olympic Stadium in a respectful and structured way." Its formality "has cost in the region of £1M ($1.6M) so far in lawyers, surveyors, architects and sundry fees." Meanwhile, London Mayor Boris Johnson "seems to open talks with anybody he meets." The latest group to negotiate is the NFL, "flushed with success from their annual visit to Wembley." As West Ham stews, "new birds arrive out of thin air." If we all "have a whip-round, maybe we could have a go" (DAILY MAIL, 11/7). Also in London, Sarah Butler noted nearly two years ago the club "won the battle to take over the running of the stadium after the Games." The deal, however, "was set aside following a legal challenge" from EPL rival Tottenham Hotspur. Brady said, "It is like being the winner without getting the prize." Brady's plans would "underpin her plan to transform West Ham's image into a pillar of the community, together with an aim to back a local Academy school." Brady: "It would be nice to think we changed the culture and created something very special about that football club" (GUARDIAN, 11/6).
FUNDING THE PLAN: In London, Roger Blitz noted Johnson's Dir of London 2012 Neale Coleman said that the mayor "was committed to ensuring the London council taxpayer did not have to pay for any stadium modification costs." Coleman said, "If you are going to do some extensive adaptations, how is that going to be funded? That is one of the issues involved in the discussion [with the bidders]." Assembly member John Biggs "warned that the delay would prove costly to the mayor." Biggs said, "Regardless of who gets the stadium, a huge amount of work will need to be done before it can reopen to the public. During the next three or four years, the legacy committee will have to face that extra cost while coping with lost rent and lower visitor numbers on the Olympic Park" (FINANCIAL TIMES, 11/7). BBC.com noted whichever bid wins, "the venue could still have multiple uses, and the stadium will host the World Athletics Championships in '17." Hone wants a seat capacity of around 50,000 to be maintained for the event (BBC.com, 11/7).