Boris Johnson pleads for patience on the Olympic Stadium
London mayor Boris Johnson has asked Londoners to remain patient as the fate of the Olympic Stadium is decided.
Although West Ham United FC is the favourite to take over the Stratford venue, officials admitted that any bidder is unlikely to move in before 2015 and expensive renovation will be required before it is ready.
Speaking to the London Assembly on Wednesday, Johnson said:
“In an ideal world I would like to see it open as quickly as possible, I’d like to see it open in 2014.
“I think Londoners have to be a little bit patient.
“They have to recognise that this thing was not built to be the kind of omnipurpose, world class stadium capable of hosting Premiership football that it should be.
“There is a very clear choice for us - do we want to rush ahead with a reopening or do we want to go ahead with an adaptation that will develop a world-class facility.”
Asked whether he would see it as a failure if the stadium is not open before the next Olympics in Rio, Johnson replied:
“I think that the park is going to be a great success, and I think that the stadium is going to be a great success.”
Three other groups, Leyton Orient, a consortium acting for Formula 1 and UCFB College of Football Business are also in contention.
Johnson shied away from saying if the NFL could be interested in staging matches at the stadium – as a final decision is set to be made by the end of December.