Altman Loses Olympic Stadium Role

Former Philadelphia deputy mayor Andrew Altman became the second high-profile victim of the London Legacy Development Corporation’s failure to secure a tenant for the Olympic Stadium before the 2012 Games begin.

He’s leaving his position as chief exec of the LLDC immediately after the Olympics.

Altman took up his post with the LLDC, then known as the Olympic Park Legacy Company, in 2010, promising that the development of the east London area surrounding the new stadium would be “urban regeneration on steroids.”

The news of his pending departure, which is being described as “a mutual decision,” came a couple of days after new LLDC chairman Daniel Moylan started work.

Moylan was appointed a month ago, soon after the reelection of London Mayor Boris Johnson, who is reportedly determined to see the anchor tenant for the new building chosen as soon as possible.

Moylan replaced Baroness Ford, who founded the OPLC and has secured the future of several of the smaller venues on the Olympic Park. She exited three months sooner than expected.

Altman, who also headed the Anacostia waterfront project in Washington, D.C., will be replaced by Dennis Hone, who is also chief exec of the Olympic Delivery Authority.

The LLDC has consistently struggled with the fact that its most favoured anchor tenants, basically major London soccer clubs, aren’t entirely convinced that the building is fit for their purpose.

Maintaining the running track, one of the promises London made to secure this year’s Olympics, means the venue isn’t ideally suited to soccer.

West Ham United won the first bidding process, but Tottenham Hotspur soccer club – which had also made a bid – launched a legal challenge to the outcome.

The second process was derailed when it became evident that the outcome would likely face a further legal challenge from Barry Hearn, chairman of nearby Leyton Orient soccer club.

That pretty much ended any chance of the LLDC being able to name a tenant before The Games started. A third bidding process has opened with a deadline of July 12.

AEG and Live Nation are both in the bidding to provide the entertainment in the 60,000-capacity venue, although that battle won’t be fought until the main tenant is named.