Third bidder joins the race for Olympic stadium

November 10, 2010

A specialist venue operator which helped launch Wembley stadium and the O2 Arena was today revealed as the third bidder for the London Olympic stadium.

International Stadia Group will compete with two consortiums — West Ham United/Newham council and Tottenham/AEG — to take over the £500 million-plus venue after the 2012 Games.

The disclosure today by Estates Gazette ends months of speculation about the identity of a third bidder for the flagship venue.

It comes days before the Olympic Park Legacy Company, which is handling sales, is due to inform bidders whether they have made the shortlist before a deal is signed next March.

ISG says on its website that is has been responsible for generating more than $2 billion in revenues from the sales and marketing of stadium seats at more than 15 projects.

It has also been involved with Coventry City Football Club’s Ricoh Arena, Galatasaray’s Türk Telekom Arena in Istanbul and the Swebank Arena in Solna, Stockholm.

The group has worked extensively with the US National Football League on financing stadium investment. The NFL is understood to be considering options for moving its franchise to the Olympic Stadium.

It also has close ties with US entertainment giant Anschutz (AEG), which is bidding alongside Tottenham. The two worked together on creating, managing and selling the premium seating at the O2 Arena.

It is unclear whether the ISG bid seeks to retain the athletics track at the stadium post Games.

West Ham, in partnership with Newham council, entertainment group LiveNation and with the backing of UK Athletics, is committed to maintaining the athletics track post- Games.

Both ISG and the legacy company declined to comment.