Potential anchor tenants for the Olympic stadium have six weeks to get their bids in

The Olympic Delivery Authority has opened bidding for the future tenant of the Olympic Stadium - and the athletics track is definitely staying.

The authority said there is “a group of interested parties” which now have six weeks to submit bids. The winner will sign a long-term lease and become the anchor tenant of the brand new stadium.

Football club West Ham United is the favourite to take over the stadium, with cricket organisers and rugby teams having also shown interest. According to the Olympic Park Legacy Company (OPLC), which is handling the stadium’s future, all participants have agreed to the stadium keeping its athletics facilities and possibly adding commercial, health or educational facilities.

The participants also favoured the stadium being reduced from its Olympic Games capacity of 80,000 seats, to between 25,000 and 60,000. 

Margaret Ford, chairman of the OPLC, said: “The Stadium is at the heart of the Olympic Park and securing the most appropriate solution is crucial to our long-term aspirations for the area. We have generated a great deal of interest by working with the market to understand how they would use this iconic venue.

“I am delighted that organisations with a serious interest all want a mixed usage - this is in line with our promise to meet the bid commitments, and our vision for the Stadium to be a focal point for sport and community use.”

A winner will be chosen by the end of March 2011. The deadline for bid submissions is 30 September.