Only Six Months After the Games, London's Olympic Legacy in Doubt

The failure to secure a full-time tenant for the Olympic Stadium, the centerpiece of London's Olympic Park, has cast doubt on one of the selling points of the city's Olympic bid - its post-games impact.

With plans to secure a soccer club as the Olympic Stadium's long-term tenant "repeatedly thwarted and delayed by financial, logistical and legal obstacles," observers are already questioning the long-term legacy of the games just six months after they concluded, reports Sarah Lyall. "The delays have frustrated not just West Ham [one of the clubs hoping to move into the stadium], but also legislators monitoring the financial legacy of the $14.3 billion London Games. Legacy was one of the catchwords of the bid, along with sustainability, with organizers emphasizing again and again that they had viable plans in place for every new structure they built — particularly the stadium, the centerpiece of the new Olympic Park."

“'The problem is that there are so many promises that have been reversed that it’s hard to know what promises to believe,' said John Biggs, the chairman of the budget committee at the London Assembly, speaking of the stadium."

"The tussling over the stadium’s future illustrates a perennial problem for Olympic hosts: how to find post-Games uses for the beautiful, splashy, exorbitantly expensive sports arenas they are required to build to secure the Games in the first place," writes Lyall.

Although London has done better than other prior host cities in finding uses for its facilities after the games, the viability of the 560 acre Olympic Park depends on "what happens to Olympic Stadium, the one site capable of bringing in tens of thousands of people at a time."

Full Story: London Games Over, Future of Olympic Stadium Remains Uncertain

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