It is hoped that the Western Australian parliament is casting an eye to London in relation to their planned multi purpose stadium, as they may learn a few lessons.
It has been revealed that the UKL485million Olympic stadium in London is to be mothballed until 2015 or possibly longer. It will lay dormant as it is converted into a multi-purpose stadium at a cost of UKL200million, double the original estimate. This is for retractable seating to be installed over the immovable running track.
In fact that there are concerns that the stadium’s reduction in seating to 60,000 for expected tenant West Ham United may not in fact be done in time for the World Athletics Championships which were to be hosted by England at the stadium in 2017.
Lord Coe the new Chair of the British Olympic Committee is said to be extremely embarrassed that his promised legacy has developed into a major farce.
One big problem is who should pay for this development. West Ham who are said to be UKL80million in debt have said that they are only prepared to contribute 10million. Arguing that the landlord should pay for most of the development, not the tenant. Which means that the cost will fall back on the general public, and the deputy minister for sport in the UK Clive Efford has been quoted as saying quite rightly “That I would rather see this money go to community sport.”
Many are pointing a finger at the Bid team’s failure to install retractable seating when the stadium was constructed as they were well aware that the best use after the Olympics would be for football. The economics of the time would have saved them hundreds of millions of pounds.
After the debacle that has been the construction of the Perth Arena, let us hope that the task force charged with overseeing the construction of Perth’s multipurpose stadium learn from mistakes such as these and create something that actually is effective and suits all sports. One can’t help thinking this may well be asking too much, but time will tell.