Olympic Stadium: Q & A

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The Independent Football

Q: What has happened to the Olympic Stadium?



A: The deal to sell the stadium to West Ham and Newham Council after the 2012 Games has collapsed due to legal challenges by Tottenham and Leyton Orient.



Q: What will happen now?



A: The stadium will remain in public ownership, for the short to medium term at least, and will be rented out to a tenant. Bids to be that tenant have to be made by January.



Q: Who is that tenant likely to be?



A: West Ham again, as was admitted by London mayor Boris Johnson - especially as Tottenham have announced they are staying near White Hart Lane. Leyton Orient have also said they will bid to be a tenant.



Q: What about the running track that has caused all the problems?



A: Olympics minister Hugh Robertson says that is "non-negotiable" and that it will be kept, ensuring that London's bid for the 2017 world athletics championships is not compromised.



Q: Will the taxpayer be called upon to help cover the cost of the rent?



A: The Government and Johnson say not - that the rent will cover the running costs and that there will be a benefit to the taxpayer.



Q: What about the cost of changing the stadium after the London 2012 Olympics?



A: There is £35million already in the Olympic budget, and Robertson stated that Newham Council may be prepared to commit £40million, leaving a funding gap of £20million. That may have to be covered by the Olympic Park Legacy Company and recouped from future rental income.



Q: Can the stadium be sold to the tenants in the future?



A: That may well be possible.



Q: How did the Olympic Stadium plans end up in this mess?



A: When the plans for the stadium were first drawn up no-one grasped the nettle and admitted there would be problems covering the cost of running the stadium after the Games unless a football club was involved. A proper solution would have been retractable seating to cover the running track when needed - but that was never seriously considered.



PA

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