The London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) today invited private sector funding for the Olympic Stadium “wrap”, which was cut in the Comprehensive Spending Review (CSR) in November.
The announcement is a significant U-turn from the decision made in the autumn to axe the 20m high, 900m long fabric curtain − a key part of the £516M stadium’s design.
In November last year, Government Olympic executive director of build and finance David Goldstone said the Stadium would look “cleaner” without the wrap, and that the decision was based on function rather than form.
“Crucially, it is a debate around the architectural desirability of having it, not the operational necessity of it,” he said then.
Now LOCOG is seeking expressions of interest from the private sector to supply the wrap, and is looking to explore possible sponsorship opportunities in return for sector exclusive marketing rights as part of the procurement process.
Today, LOCOG chief executive officer Paul Deighton said: “We have had significant interest in supplying the stadium ‘wrap’ from the private sector, so now is the time to start a formal tender process.
“There are some exciting ideas around, and we are running a process that is fair to those organisations that have expressed an interest.”
The 80,000-seat Olympic Stadium will be one of the most iconic images of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. It will host the Athletics competition and the Opening and Closing Ceremonies, and be watched by a global audience of around four billion people.
“As LOCOG’s commercial sponsorship programme draws to a close, this is one of the last high-profile opportunities for a corporate sponsor to gain an association with the London 2012 Games. IOC guidelines do not allow branding in venues, so the wrap will not display sponsor logos at Games time,” said LOCOG.
The deadline for expressions of interest is 18 February.