More information needed to decide on Spurs’ and West Ham’s bids for future of £496m stadium
A decision over the fate of the £496m Olympic Stadium after the games has been postponed, amidst a growing media furore over the issue.
The body charged with making the decision, the Olympic Park Legacy Company, ran by former English Partnerships chair Margaret Ford, said today that it had requested more information from the bidders, and therefore wouldn’t be able to make the decision at a planned board meeting on Friday.
Comments by Lord Coe over the weekend have fuelled controversy over the bids by Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham respectively to take on the stadium.
Coe said Tottenham’s plan, if chosen, would “trash” the reputation of UK sport because it will not see a permanent athletics venue at the stadium.
Tottenham’s plan is to demolish the majority of the stadium and replace it with a state-of-the-art football ground.
In a statement the OPLC said: “The Stadium is a significant public asset and we have a duty to run a robust process.
“Given the detailed nature of both bids received, we need more time to seek further clarification with both bidders in order to identify a preferred bidder.”
The OPLC’s board has to recommend which bid is successful, with that decision then having to go to the body’s funders, the mayor of London and the communities department, to be ratified.
The OPLC has always maintained it was possible no conclusion would be reached at the Friday meeting, but most media reports had stated the decision was due this week.
The organisation said it was still on track to reach an approved “settled position” on the future of the venue by the end of March.
A spokesperson for the OPLC said the board still hoped to make its recommendation “sooner rather than later.”