French company Vinci has signed a 25-year contract to manage the London 2012 Olympic Stadium as it continues its transition into a multi-use venue capable of hosting top-level athletics, football and rugby events.
Vinci Stadium, a subsidiary of Vinci Concessions, a company founded in 1899 and based in Paris, will be responsible for all aspects of running and managing the Stadium on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park on day-to-day basis, as well as bringing in new events and activity.
Vinci currently alrady operate a network of French venues, including the Stade de France in Paris, the Allianz Riviera in Nice, the New Bordeaux Stadium and the MMArena in Le Mans.
They will work alongside the E20 Stadium Partnership - a joint venture between the London Legacy Development Corporation and Newham Council - with the immediate focus being preparations for this year's Rugby World Cup.
Five matches are due to take place there ahead of the Stadium's scheduled full re-opening in 2016.
"This is more good news in our goal to deliver a long-lasting legacy from London's Olympic and Paralympic Games," said Mayor of London Boris Johnson when the deal was announced today.
"Vinci is a world-class operator and set to be a key partner in the creation of a spectacular stadium offering a dynamic range of sport and attractions for Londoners to enjoy."
In the longer term, Vinci, who employ more than 179,000 people worldwide and which is the largest construction company in the world by revenue will work to ensure the Stadium is ready to host Premier League West Ham United and athletics events in 2016, and then both the World Athletics Championships and International Paralympic Committee Athletics World Championships the following year.
Among new elements to be installed will be 21,000 retractable seats to allow closer pitch side football views while retaining a top-level running track, as well as 428 wheelchair user accessible viewing spaces.
The new Stadium capacity is projected to be 54,000 seats in football mode, 60,000 for athletics and 80,000 for concerts.
They will also be responsible for managing the London Marathon Charitable Trust Community Track and events on the South Park Lawn, below the ArcelorMittal Orbit, as well as working with the E20 Stadium Partnership to promote sport and healthy living in the local area.
This will include delivering mass participation events such as the Great Newham London Run, due to be held for the first time later this year.
"The E20 Stadium LLP awarded the contract to run the former Olympic Stadium to Vinci Stadium in recognition of Vinci's expertise and the business model it has developed for the operation of multi-purpose arenas, including the Stade de France," said Pierre Coppey, chief operating officer of Vinci.
"In addition to broadening the range of events offered at this amazing venue, VINCI Stadium will work with the E20 Stadium Partnership to develop and revitalise East London for the benefit of citizens."
Ed Warner, chairman of UK Athletics and London 2017, added: "The Olympic Stadium will be the new home of British Athletics, staging a wide range of events from mass participation runs to elite track and field meetings.
"We look forward to working closely with Vinci to deliver all of these events, and in particular the twin World Championships in the summer of 2017, in London's most iconic sporting venue."
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