Olympic Stadium: what next?

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Yesterday, after the sun beat down on the city of London and the final firework had launched from the roof of the Olympic stadium - the Olympic park finally fell quiet.

Six weeks, countless medals and shattered world records have passed as the Olympics and Paralympics took over for the summer – but one clear question remains; what will happen to the Olympic stadium now it is all over?

Both West Ham and Tottenham have battled for months over the right to occupy the stadium in Stratford as have Leyton Orient, while cricket, rugby, American football and baseball sides have all expressed an interest in hosting events at the east London site.

With a decision over its future set to be made next month, how has the saga over who will use the stadium unfolded?

May 1, 2008

Construction begins on Olympic Stadium

October 8, 2008

Lord Sebastian Coe and then Sports minister Tessa Jowell say ‘won’t become a football ground’

August 18 2010

The formal bidding process to occupy the Olympic stadium opens. LOCOG say they intend on sticking with the original plan of reducing the Olympic Stadium capacity down to 25,000 and keeping it for athletics.

November 12, 2010

It is announced that two bids had been shortlisted for the stadium post-Olympics. They are a joint bid from Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham United. The latter propose to reduce capacity down to 60,000.

Other bids came from the England and Wales Cricket Board, London Wasps rugby club, Rugby League Championship One outfit London Skolars and the NFL.

February 11, 2011

West Ham, in conjunction with Newham council, are named as the preferred bidder to take over the Olympic stadium after London 2012. The east London club say they will keep the running track around the outside of the pitch, while Tottenham’s bid would have seen the track removed.

March 29, 2011

Construction of the Olympic stadium is complete

April 11, 2011

Tottenham launch legal challenge against West Ham’s occupancy of the Olympic Stadium, and challenge whether Newham council can use public money to help fund West Ham’s bid.

April 14, 2011

Leyton Orient, whose current ground is around one mile from Stratford, also challenge West Ham’s move to the Olympic stadium, pointing to rules that ban clubs moving to within a certain distance of rivals. Orient chairman Barry Hearn declares: “We think they are on our patch”.

May 15, 2011

West Ham are relegated from the Premier League.

October 11, 2011

The Olympic Park Legacy Company end negotiations with West Ham as their bid to occupy the Olympic stadium collapses. The Government and mayor of London Boris Johnson reveal they plan to lease the stadium out to tenants rather than sell up. Leyton Orient claim victory in their battle to stop West Ham moving onto their doorstep. Tottenham then drop their legal challenge.

January 16, 2012

Tottenham de-list their shared from the stock market in what is seen as an attempt to raise money in order to build their own stadium rather than move to Stratford.

January 18 2012

West Ham's accusation of stadium rival Tottenham 'spying' on their Olympic stadium bid leads to arrest of four men in police investigation.

January 25, 2012

West Ham express an interest in a 99 year lease of the Olympic Stadium, however it is reported that West Ham did not plan to launch a formal bid ‘unless the terms of the draft contract are improved’.

March, 23 2012

Leyton Orient pull out of bidding process after declaring the stadium is ‘unfit for football.’

March 28, 2012

Four bids make the final shortlist of potential Olympic Stadium tenants. West Ham are named as one bidder, alongside Essex County Cricket Club, University College of Football Business, and plans for a Formula one circuit.

May 2012

A decision over who will occupy the stadium was meant to have been made by May and ratified by June, however the deadline is put back with the aim of having a deal in place by October. The bid winners should be announce by next month.

September 9, 2012

It is reported West Ham have offered around £10 million a year in rent in order to secure tenancy of the Olympic Stadium.

Lord Coe, speaking as the Paralympics draws to a close, says: “It's perfectly within the wisdom of all of us to make a multi-purpose sporting arena work.”

September 10, 2012

Sir Geoff Hurst says he is “1,000% behind West Ham’s bid for the Olympic Stadium”, even with the contentious running track likely to stay put.

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