Decisions about the legacy of the London Olympic Park are flawed and have hampered efforts to secure investment, London politicians claimed this week.
Plans for the Olympic Stadium and media centre bore the brunt of criticisms from the London Assembly’s Economic Development, Culture, Sport and Tourism Committee.
It said plans made in 2007 to reduce the 80,000 capacity stadium to a 25,000 seat venue suitable for athletics were “flawed” and have hampered efforts to secure a long-term use for the arena.
It concluded that a major football or rugby club would have to move in if it were to generate significant local employment. Such a tenant could also attract big enough crowds to produce the revenue streams which would let the stadium pay for itself.
“An athletics stadium was never going to be in the interests of the East End”
“An elite 25,000 seat athletics stadium is not, and was never going to be, in the long term interests of the East End or of the taxpayer,” said committee chairman Len Duvall.
The decision to abandon talks with major football clubs West Ham and Tottenham Hotspur in 2007 – only to reopen them in 2010 – was considered likely to add to stadium conversion costs. Retaining a permanent athletics track in the stadium is thought to concern potential tenants.
The reduction in scope of the media centre was also criticised as making it less attractive to potential legacy tenants.