Price tag for Olympic Stadium conversion set to rise – report

Work to convert the London 2012 Olympic Stadium for use by English Premier League football team West Ham United is set to cost an additional £15m (€18.8m/$24.9m), according to UK broadcaster Sky News.

The increased costs are due to complications related to the installation of a new roof and retractable seating to cover the stadium’s running track.

Conversion costs were set at £154m in addition to the initial £429m outlay to build the facility and the latest increase would take the total cost beyond £600m – almost double the original figure stated in London 2012’s Olympic bid.

The London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC) is responsible for work on the stadium and has a fixed price contract with Balfour Beatty to complete the build. LLDC remains confident any increase related to the roof and seating will be counteracted by savings elsewhere and it said in a statement: “The Legacy Corporation and its contractors are working closely together to convert the stadium from its Games-time mode into a multi-use, year round venue.

“It is a highly complex scheme and subject to tight project management to ensure that all the risks and issues are properly managed, as would be expected on a fixed price contract and an undertaking of this scope and scale.”

Initial plans for London’s Olympic Stadium were for a mostly temporary structure that would be removed after the Games to leave a 25,000-seat athletics facility.

But the financial viability of this approach was called into question and, after a decision to bring football to the Stratford venue, West Ham won its battle with Premier League counterpart Tottenham Hotspur to become a tenant.

The stadium will host a Diamond League athletics meeting next summer and five matches from the 2015 Rugby World Cup before the final stage of work that will allow West Ham to take up residence for the 2016-17 football season.