Naming rights sought for Olympic Stadium in London

The sponsor is being sought to help cover the 95 million pound ($149 million) cost of converting the 80,000-seat stadium to a 60,000-seat venue after the Olympics.

LONDON  _ Seven months before the opening ceremony of the 2012 London Games, the naming rights for the Olympic Stadium are already up for grabs.

The Olympic Park Legacy Company said Tuesday it is seeking a sponsor to pay to put its name on the 486 million pound ($760 million) facility after the closing ceremony of the Paralympics on Sept. 9 _ only four months after it officially opens.

“(Naming rights) goes with the territory. We’d like to think very quickly there’s a new iconic name,” Olympic Park Legacy Company executive director Duncan Innes told The Associated Press. “We know the use of the Olympic brand has time limits to it.”

The sponsor is being sought to help cover the 95 million pound ($149 million) cost of converting the 80,000-seat stadium to a 60,000-seat venue after the Olympics.

“One of the advantages of the public sector retaining ownership of the stadium and the Olympic Park is that we have the ability to secure naming rights across the park, not just the stadium,” Innes said.

The OPLC hopes to have signed a deal by the time a tenant is announced in May. The downsized stadium is expected to reopen in 2014.

The stadium, which is to retain the athletics track, will host the world championships in 2017 and is due to stage the London leg of the Diamond League starting in 2014.

West Ham had been selected to take over the stadium after the 2012 Games, but the deal collapsed amid legal challenges from rival football clubs Tottenham and Leyton Orient.

Under a new process launched Tuesday, tenants can bid to rent the stadium for between 5 and 99 years.

“We have had interest from a couple of Premiership rugby clubs,” Innes said. “West Ham are on the record as saying they could well be interested (again) … If you look at winter sports, it’s limited to two because of the pitch damage. You could look at the football and rugby combo.”

The stadium would also be suitable for cricket and American football, which has played regular-season NFL games at Wembley in recent years and is exploring opening a London franchise.

“We have had very preliminary conversations with (the NFL),” Innes said. “It’s the sort of event that can fill the stadium and really bring some profile to it.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leave a Reply