Spiraling Costs At Olympic Stadium

The UK’s taxpayers will need to pay another £100 million ($158 million) toward the cost of converting London’s .

The Daily Telegraph says the bill for readying the venue for Premier League soccer club West Ham United will be £272 million.

It means that so far the total cost of building the stadium and then converting it for soccer is £702 million, £118 million – or 20 percent – more than had previously been announced. Under the terms of its 99-year to be the anchor tenant, the Hammers contribution will be $15 million. The London Legacy Development Corporation, which oversees the future use of the building, says the cost may rise even further before the soccer club moves in for the 2016-17 season.

The cost of installing the roof has risen from £154 million to nearly £190 million, while the bill for the retractable seating now stands at £17 million. As well as being the new home for West Ham, the stadium will also be the headquarters for British Athletics. London Mayor Boris Johnson says the blame for the rising costs lay with those who designed the building without soccer in mind.

“A very bad call was made when those in charge at the time [including former London mayor Ken Livingstone] backed a stadium construction plan that would leave the Olympic Park with a much smaller, mouldering and tumbleweed-ridden arena,” he said. LLDC chief exec David Goldstone said the deals with West Ham United and British Athletics and the installation of the stadium operator [French company Vinci Construction] will mean the venue will pay its way and not require any continuing subsidy from the taxpayer.

At one time AEG and Live Nation were among those bidding to run the Olympic Stadium.