LN And AEG Bid For Olympic Glory

Live Nation and AEG are both expected to launch bids to lease and run London’s Olympic Stadium when the Games finish in 2012.

Both have expressed an interest in taking over the venue, although AEG is believed to be working in cahoots with Premier League soccer club West Ham United, which hopes to play its home matches there.

AEG operates past Olympic venues in Beijing and Sydney and owns The O2 arena, which will be used for basketball and artistic gymnastics in 2012.

A feasibility study conducted earlier in the year showed there were 100 expressions of interest in the building, although it’s not clear how many will follow up with a bid.

The Olympic Park Legacy Company, which will likely take until the end of the year to decide who will take over the £537 million stadium, has given interested parties until Sept. 30 to lodge proposals. It wants the winning bidder to sign a long-term lease by March 31, 2011, and start revamping the stadium in November 2012. The aim is for events to resume on the site during 2014.

Bidders have been told they must have “the financial capability” to meet the costs of the transformation of the stadium and be able to demonstrate “ongoing financial strength.”

The 80,000-seat stadium will host the opening and closing ceremonies and the track and field events.

Its capacity may be downsized to anything between 25,000 and 60,000, but UK Athletics wants to continue using the racetrack for top-level international meetings.

It could also be used for World Cup football matches if England’s bid to host the tournament in 2018 or 2022 is successful.