Athletics use at London Olympic Stadium for 50 years

London Legacy Development Corporation chief executive Dennis Hone believes the Olympic Stadium will be the home of world-class athletic events for the next 50 years following an agreement by which UK Athletics (UKA) will take over the arena for one month every year.

The stadium in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park will now become the new national centre for athletics and UKA will have full use of it throughout every July of the 50-year agreement, which was announced yesterday by UKA and the E20 Stadium LLP – a partnership set up between LLDC and the London Borough of Newham to manage the stadium.

Hone praised the groundbreaking agreement, which will also encompass this weekend’s Sainsbury’s Anniversary Games and the 2017 Athletics World Championships.

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“We are entering into an agreement with UK Athletics today. From the last weekend in June to the end of July every year UK Athletics will take control of the stadium,” said Hone. “They will be able to put on international events and their national championships as well as community events that will let local people run either in the stadium or on the community track that will be built outside.

“Before we start our works to adapt the stadium it was right and fitting to open the stadium to mark the anniversary of the Games.

“We have got three days of world-class athletics and Paralympic athletics taking place, we have got 180,000 spectators coming and it is going to be a fantastic weekend, after which we will bring in our engineers and start our work on the adaptations.”

With Barclays Premier League side West Ham already confirmed as anchor tenants on a 99-year lease which begins in time for the 2015/16 football season, the agreement with UKA now means the stadium will be busy for the majority of the year with Hone also pleased that athletics will remain a big part of the venue’s future.

“The bedrock of the stadium and the design of the stadium was all about athletics,” he added.

“We want it to be a 365-day-a-year stadium and we have signed a concession with West Ham United and that secures our winter sport but the focus of our summer sport was always going to be athletics.

“It is really important because this was the Olympic Stadium, it is where all of those Olympic records were broken and Mo Farah won his gold medals and everything and it is great that every year for the next 50 years we will continue to have world-class athletics in this stadium.

“This won’t be a white elephant. It is going to be a great stadium for people to participate in and spectate sport.”

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