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Stadium costs horror story – it gets worse

Retractableseating
Any inquiry into the spiralling costs of converting the London Stadium for West Ham will eventually focus on the likely major problem – the full retractable-seating issue.

The contractors went into administration last year having managed to persuade the London Legacy Development Company that the annual cost of moving their temporary seats in and out would be just £300,000, compared to the £8million now estimated by companies pitching for the work.

Writing in the Daily Mail, Charles Sales has added his voice to those pointing to the dreadful lack of planning when the stadium was built.

He points out that no provision was was made for storing the machinery or structure that provides the base for the retractable seats — “unlike at Paris’s Stade de France, where temporary seats slide in effortlessly on wheels and airbeds.”

And he adds: “Decontaminating the Stratford site at vast expense before building could start was not done to a sufficient depth to house any seating infrastructure underground. And the price of digging up the foundations to provide a newly decontaminated space is prohibitive.

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As a result, erecting and then dismantling the seating has to be done manually, requiring huge manpower and resulting in the estimated cost rising by a staggering £7.7m.

Three separate workforces doing eight-hour shifts over 24 hours for 10 days were needed to build the retractable seating for West Ham’s first season in the London Stadium.”

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About Hugh5outhon1895

Hugh Southon is a lifelong Iron and the founding editor of ClaretandHugh. He is a national newspaper journalist of many years experience and was Bobby Moore's 'ghost' writer during the great man's lifetime. He describes ClaretandHugh as "the Hammers daily newspaper!" Follow on Twitter @hughsouthon

5 comments on “Stadium costs horror story – it gets worse

  1. Simple solution, do away with the Athletics legacy inside the OS and redesign the bottom half of the stadium, then it will be profitable, ironically its the athletics legacy that is the big cost now. I still can’t see how it costs £8m to pay for 10 days work, even with 3 shifts working around the clock. £266,666 per shift effectively, someone is doing very well out of it.

    • Agree – I don’t think the segregation problem will be solved by Karen Brady articles and more stewarding and empty seats. The only way it will be solved is through engineering. Redesign, it make it a better, closer experience, and while you’re at it create the segregation needed to keep everyone safe and put some action behind what the club is saying is the most important thing.

  2. I just referred to the Charles Sale article in another thread ‘Blame Coe and Johnson says leading media man’ – it’s a real horror story. The more you hear about the Olympic Stadium the more of a farce it becomes, it’s always appeared to me to be a ‘lash-up’ requiring a complete sorting out, all these ‘stakeholders’ involved in it’s ownership and running just muddy the waters – no one knows what to do and no one is taking responsibility.

  3. Im sooo tired of reading about the stadium,i am going to be comatose soon if i read anymore about it.
    They aint a grumble about the site posting stories,far from it.Im just sick of reading about it after 3 months of very little else on blogs 🙂

    • Yeah Alfie, I think we all are mate, I am sure it is not even close to its death throes yet, at least the rhetoric for now is not blaming us and is pointing the finger at the lack of planning before the Olympics, the sooner we are no longer even mentioned in the same sentence the better, if the LLDC really want to resolve it, they are best off using the resignation of this man to make the very difficult decision to remove the Athletics legacy from the Stadium and if possible to negotiate with us to rebuild the Stadium so it is fit for purpose without the eyesores namely the running track, the gaps that are covered with tarpaulins and to fix the segregation issues etc. Bearing in mind their mismanagement it might be a lot to ask, they do have the opportunity though.

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