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London 2012 stadium pledge 'flawed'

Pledges to transform the London 2012 Olympic Stadium into a 25,000 seater are “flawed” and efforts to secure the venue’s long-term use have been hampered, it is claimed.

It was a “mistake” for the Stratford-based stadium to be designed to shrink from an 80,000 to a 25,000 seater venue after the games, chair of the London Assembly’s Economic Development, Culture, Sport and Tourism (EDCST) Committee, Len Duvall, said.

This strategy would “secure a legacy” for top athletes but would not necessarily be the most effective way to make the venue financially viable and regenerate east London, Duvall said in the EDCST’s report on the legacy of London’s Olympic venues.

“When London won its bid to stage the Games there should have been an open and thorough analysis of all legacy options for the stadium, which would inform decisions about legacy use. While the Olympic Park Legacy Company (OPLC) has recently set out to do this, it should have happened much earlier.”

The athletics-led future for the stadium, promised to the International Olympic Committee when London won the right to host the Games in 2005, is a “missed opportunity” to deliver the most sustainable and beneficial legacy for the local community.

Abandoning talks with major football clubs in 2007 only to take them up again in 2010 was a wasted opportunity that was likely to lead to extra costs in converting the stadium, it was also claimed.

West Ham football club are hoping that a deal can be struck for them to move into the stadium after the 2012 Games. The first bidding phase for the long-term lease of the Olympic Stadium ends on September 30.

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