West Ham have been boosted by the world's biggest concert promoter in their bid to take over the Olympic Stadium.
Live Nation, the US-owned company which promotes events for rock and pop acts such as U2 and Madonna, have been revealed as part of the Hammers/Newham Council consortium. The company is understood to be interested in running official live events at the London 2012 Games, including a concert in Hyde Park.
The West Ham vice-chairman, Karren Brady, said the move really enhanced the consortium's ambitions in terms of its legacy. "This fantastic support from Live Nation will take our legacy ambitions to another level," said Brady. "Over the past eight months we have been talking to the biggest and best global names to ensure we can make the Olympic Stadium dream a reality.
"Live Nation immediately bought into our vision and see the potential in turning the world's spotlight firmly on to east London, and the determination we at West Ham and Newham have to regenerate this proud part of the capital - and preserve the Olympic ideals.
"We will create a busy, viable and sustainable stadium that will stand for generations to come. We will make a multi-million pound investment to make it suitable for the different uses we propose but we are adamant it will be free of ongoing public subsidy and gate receipts will be shared with Newham Council, ensuring financial benefits are passed on to the local community.The area will also benefit in many other ways such as employment, health and education."
After a series of meetings, Paul Latham, chief operating officer of Live Nation Entertainment, wrote to Brady pledging his support for the bid. "We regard the Olympic Stadium as an exciting project which would be a superb venue for hosting major concerts and other events," Latham said. "We would be happy to continue working with you to ensure that we bring major concerts and other events to the Stadium on an annual basis."