O2 owner puts in bid for London 2012 Olympic Stadium

Tuesday, 04 May 2010
May 4 - AEG, who already own the O2 Arena, have expressed an interest in taking over the Olympic Stadium after London 2012, making them serious rivals to Premier League West Ham United.

The sports and entertainment company has confirmed that it has registered an interest in assuming control of the venue post-2012.

AEG has a strong pedigree in sports facility management and has had recent success in transforming the Millennium Dome into popular multi-use venue

The O2, which will be hosting numerous events during London 2012, varying from basketball to badminton.

"AEG is hugely excited about the fast approaching London 2012 Olympic Games and our involvement as a major host venue for events in both the Olympics and Paralympics," said David Campbell, chief executive of AEG Europe.

"We have been supporters - financially and spiritually - since the early days of the bid process, and indeed managed to secure the 2009 World Gymnastics Championships for London prior to the Games being announced.

"The Olympic Park is in great shape, and the ODA (Olympic Delivery Authority) are to be congratulated.

"Clearly a viable legacy solution for the Park is now a key priority.

"AEG operate past and present major Olympic venues in Sydney, Beijing and London; we also run successful Olympic training facilities; host 55 sports teams around the globe and are the world's largest owner and operators of both sports teams and venues with more than 100 operations across four continents.

"Creating an ongoing success in East London will not be easy and is not to be underestimated.

"However, we have turned the much unloved Millennium Dome into the world's most successful venue in the form of The O2 and think, with reason, we understand East London better than most."



AEG confirmed that it is one of the reported 106 parties interested in taking over the Olympic Stadium and that, while it is not in a position to talk about plans at the moment, details will follow in the coming weeks.

The Olympic Park Legacy Company (OPLC) has confirmed that it has received initial interest in AEG becoming the stadium operator and that it is currently assessing legacy opportunities for all stakeholders.

Potential bidders have until May 17 to register their interest in the stadium, before the shortlist is whittled down to 30 and a final decision is taken in July.

The future of the Olympic Stadium has been a widely-debated subject, with officials originally planning to reduce the 80,000-seat stadium to a reduced 25,000-capacity venue for athletics.

However, the appointment of Baroness Margaret Ford as chair of the OPLC sparked a review into the process in July 2009, which has resulted in interest from numerous organisations.

West Ham has been one of the most vocal bidders and announced in March that it had teamed with Newham Council to turn the stadium into a 60,000-capacity venue.

The plans would allow athletics to to remain at the stadium during the summer, maintaining London's commitment to athletics outlined in their successful Olympic bid.

In addition, Essex County Cricket Club has expressed interest in hosting Twenty20 cricket matches at the Olympic Stadium, while the National Football League (NFL) is also looking at options to play games there.


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