OCTOBER 27 - LONDON 2012 today began seeking a builder for the controversial £60 million temporary basketball arena which at one time appeared set to be scrapped in a bid to save money.
A proposal not to build the venue and instead move the early matches in the basketball tournament to Wembley Arena threatened to cause a major row between London and the sport's top officials.
Patrick Baumman, the general secretary of the world governing body FIBA, claimed that the sport was being made to feel "unwelcome" by London 2012.
Baumman, a member of the International Olympic Committee's (IOC) Coordination Commission who are monitoring London's preparations for 2012, had threatened to complain to the Government.
He was supported by David Stern, the influential Commissioner of the United States professional league NBA, who had warned that it would be a "giant step backwards" for the sport in Britain.
But a Government-commissioned report by accountants KPMG released last week recommended that the arena should be built as originally promised in the bid book presented to the IOC by London 2012 in 2005.
The Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) have now issued a contract notice for the arena, which includes he design, construction, dismantling, removal and/or reuse of the temporary 90 metre wide span structural frame and the roof and wall cladding.
The notice said that roundworks, services, seating and other elements of the building are not included within this scope of works.
Companies interested in the notice have to refer to the pre-qualification questionnaire and the "Basketball Arena structure and envelope design and build contractor explanatory booklet" via the eTendering website.
The deadline for expressions of interest and completed PQQ submissions is 12pm on Monday December 8 via the eTendering website.
The semi-finals and finals of the basketball tournament, expected to be one of the most popular events of London 2012, are due to be held in the O2 Arena, formerly the Millennium Dome, which will be called the North Greenwich Arena during the Games because of IOC marketing rules.
A spokesman for the ODA told insidethegames: “The Olympic Board was given a status update last week on the work currently being undertaken by KPMG on reviewing temporary venues.
"A final report containing recommendations will be compiled by KPMG and presented to the Olympic Board for approval before the end of the year.
"Decisions will be made by the Olympic Board at that time.
“In the meantime, to ensure we maintain the momentum of the programme, we will be continuing with the design and construction process of basketball as a temporary venue on the Olympic Park as planned.”