Friday, 22 March 2013

Olympic Stadium Going for a Song

The national game is getting a spanking new football ground. What was the Olympic Stadium is now to be the home ground of West Ham United.

One might be forgiven for thinking that it wouldn't take a huge sum to carry out any necessary conversion work. It was constructed with seating; clearly there would have been changing rooms and the level grass surface is already there. Ok, so you need some goalposts and nets and corner posts and a few "home side" and, "visitors," signs. Not a lot of work. Not a huge expense. That is what one would have thought. Alas the reality is very different.

West Ham are to contribute £15 million towards the conversion costs. Not an insubstantial figure. They are also to pay an initial annual rent of £3 million. However the Government has apparently agreed to provide an additional £25 million, additional to the £35 million it was already committed to. So altogether the hard pressed taxpayer is coughing up £60 million. This is the Olympic legacy we weren't told about. If an athletics only stadium was not sustainable, then why oh why was the Olympic Stadium not constructed for a future that was sustainable? Not a sensible decision I would suggest.

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