The Final Bill for the Reconstruction Of the Olympic Stadium if Finally Revealed

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Indubitably all focus was on Mo Farah on Friday, when the double Olympic champion issued his statement denying the employment of performance-enhancing medication, overcasting the news of the ultimate final bill for the reconstruction of the Olympic stadium. Now transformed as the home of Premier League club, West Ham United may be currently valued at £272m, an evaluation of about £702m for a 54 thousand-seater arena, far different and quite more expensive than the £798m for 90 thousand-seater Wembley.

This is without a doubt an issue that brings to mind, what some may consider, a lack of transparency and ultimately, the financial aspect of it, what quantity of public funds was utilize for this venue. What about the agreement to pay £15m towards the conversion prices, now wouldn’t that be considered the Ultimate Coup.
The huge protruded roof build for this construction that wasn’t engineered for such weight was definitely the breaking point making it the the largest in the world with an over cost of about £34m in comparatives to the £42m required to transform Manchester town in 2002 for the Commonwealth Games.

The over spending of about £35m on this project has been confirmed by (LLDC) London bequest Development and also the stadium’s homeowners. Had it been the burden of the taxpayers, the new roof wouldn’t be any where near this exceptional especially so that the original design was not made for long-run and multi-purpose use being that it was much smaller and didn’t cover the retractable seats in ‘football mode’. Initially it was as simple as transforming the stadium into an athletics facility of 25,000 seat, after the Olympics, only to realize that the financial compensation for having a Premier League football club was much greater leaving it to Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham to fight it out as the two main bidders.

It seems that London’s 2012 bid team promised the ICO (International Olympic Committee) that’s it’s legacy would remain at the stadium meanwhile Spurs had in mind to remove the running track thus making more sense for the taxpayer but to have backed up this strategy was seen as politically unacceptable by Lord Coe, London’s chairman, risking to loose the support of Lamine Diack who he wishes to replace as president of the International Association of Athletics.

West Ham were seen as the only option as an incredibly strong bargaining position and for that, the stadium needed both football and athletic transformation thus compromising over usage, except that retractable does not come inexpensive especially not in a stadium not fit for it.

The LLDC is eager to demonstrate it’s security gained by having a 99-years lease tenant instead of having a kind of white elephant that canker Olympics parks seen in cases such as Athens, Beijing and Barcelona. Rugby World Cup matches and World Athletics Championships are the kind of events the stadium will be able to present all part of a modification program that will create an additional economic benefit to east London of well over £3bn.

Who’s mostly unimpressed by this is campaign director at the Taxpayer’s Alliance, Andy Silvester. “The cost of renovating the stadium continues to spiral – much like every sports project the government gets involved in, taxpayers will be astounded that West Ham have been gifted a stunning new stadium for the same price that they paid for Andy Carroll.
“You can’t blame the owners for taking advantage of this generous subsidy but such a cut-price deal simply isn’t appropriate when you consider the extraordinary windfall coming the Premier League’s way as a result of the new TV deal.”

This club is now in the spotlight with iconic venue and in an unprecedented position to expand its brand therefore attracting a brand new generation of fans threatening smaller rivals such as Leyton Orient and Charlton Athletic and why not go as far as City, West Ham can now be coveted by foreign investors such as Qatar (who recently snapped up the Olympic village) or China (from where developers are pumping £1bn into London’s Docklands).

Leaving us with uncertainties and transparency issues. If they decide to sell the club for a major profit, taxpayer will receive something back and of course nor the LLDC or the Mayor of London are ready to tell us which percentage of any profit and we are not permitted to know the rent amount (it’s been reported at £2m annually). What we do know is, due to commercial confidentiality they are unable to reveal such information making this secrecy simply not good enough give the large amounts of public funds pored into this project.

Now lets resume, if Spur’s bid had been accepted over West Ham’s, Crystal Palace National Sports Center would have received a major face lift transforming it into 25,000 seat facility and replacing the indoor running track into a 25m swimming pool including the main stadium face demolition as part of the Greater London Authority’s (GLA) proposal to redevelop the site.

MBE John Powell, chair of the Crystal Palace Sports Partnership Board, and an athletics coach at the site for the last 40 years, said: “There is widespread anger from clubs and the community about the top-down, centralized approach for funding hugely expensive projects that will benefit so few in the future, and harm wider grassroots access to sports and training to so many.

While West Ham are given a potentially world class facility, athletes training in south of London will be forced to work out in the cruel British winter as Crystal Palace is likely to be razed to the ground. The current plans could be disastrous for sport in London.

Boris Johnson‘s London Mayor says the Olympic Stadium says, “will drive and sustain thousands of jobs and provides a genuine Olympic legacy for our city”.

And now, approaching its three-year anniversary, the question will be asking is whether hopes for London’s 2012 meaningful legacy have failed. Left with an enormous responsibility to supply much needed fortification. Could all this have been avoided, Architect Steve Lawrence, who worked on a concept plan for an Olympic stadium on behalf of the Stratfor Development Partnership, back in the 90’s declares that hundreds of millions of pounds could have been saved if his ideas, widely distributed to London boroughs in 2001, had been listened to.

His plan was to construct the stadium in the six-meter high soil layer from the Channel Tunnel Rail Link so that the stadium bowl could be lowered post-Games as part of a conversion from athletics to football, with sight-lines for football designed in at the beginning and in addition to the stadium becoming a football ground, the warm-up area next to it was going to be transformed into a 20,000 seater athletics facility and that the proposal was for West Ham and/or Tottenham Hotspur to be joint anchor tenants on an entirely commercial basis, also discussing the potential for converting the hockey arena for Leyton Orient, again to be let on a commercial basis.

It seems that the government sold 100 hectares of land for £12.5m as part of the Channel Tunnel Rail Link deal, and the new landowners were unkind to the idea of a football stadium on their particularly valuable land, that meant that the stadium was eventually built on land that was purchased by compulsory purchase order and with the warning that it would be athletics only.

If only they would have paid a little more attention, some people did think ahead.

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