OLYMPIC STADIUM DECISION POSTPONED

A decision on the future of the Olympic Stadium has been postponed by the Olympic Park Legacy Company.

The OPLC verdict was due on Friday but has said it needs more time to examine bids from Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham United Football Club. The Hammers have vowed to keep the athletics track, but Spurs want to demolish the £537m stadium and rebuild it as a football-only venue.

An OPLC spokesman said: "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 stadium is a significant public asset and we have a duty to run a robust process. Securing the most appropriate solution for the stadium is vital to our long-term aspirations for the future Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and the wider regeneration of the area."

Despite interest from the Premier League clubs, the OPLC also has the option of converting Olympic Stadium into a 25,000 seat, mixed-use venue. "In going to market, the Legacy Company's aim was to consider options which would enhance and build on that plan," the spokesman added.

Any recommendation requires approval from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, and the Department of Communities and Local Government, and the London Mayor's office. The deadline for the OLPC is the end of the financial year, but there is no hint it will take that long to make its decision.

Posted on 25/01/2011