Live Nation Expands
Concert giant joins West Ham’s bid for Olympic Stadium
Matthew Beard, Sports News Correspondent
The world's biggest concert promoter has teamed up with West Ham in their bid to take over the Olympic Stadium.
United States-owned Live Nation, which promotes events for U2, Madonna and Jay-Z, was unveiled today as part of the Hammers/Newham Council consortium.
Based in California, Live Nation promotes 22,000 live outdoor events with a total audience of 50 million.
The company is also interested in running some of the official live events at the London 2012 Games such as a giant concert in Hyde Park, where it already stages annual concerts.
West Ham vice-chairman Karren Brady said the deal enhanced the consortium's legacy ambitions.
Giving further details of the club's business plan, she also insisted the consortium would require no “ongoing public subsidy” although this does not rule out a large taxpayers' contribution to conversion costs of the venue.
Live Nation's involvement means the bid to take over the stadium now pits rival clubs and concert promoters against one another.
Initially, West Ham hoped to partner AEG but, after a disagreement over who would be the majority partner, the entertainment giant switched its backing to a rival bid by Tottenham.
Live Nation expressed an interest in the stadium months ago but talks with West Ham only started recently as the club's differences with AEG became clear.
Brady said: “This fantastic support from Live Nation will take our legacy ambitions to another level.
“Over the past eight months we have been talking to the biggest and best global names to ensure we can make the Olympic Stadium dream a reality. We will make a multi-million pound investment but it will be free of ongoing public subsidy and gate receipts will be shared with Newham Council, ensuring financial benefits are passed on to the community.”
The Spurs/AEG bid has been plunged into disarray after saying they had no intention of retaining an athletics track after the Games. Olympic chiefs insist the track must remain to meet the promise made by London 2012 boss Sebastian Coe.
AEG is intent on winning the bid but Spurs say it is only a back-up option to redeveloping White Hart Lane.
Meanwhile, West Ham co-owner David Gold has criticised Fabio Capello for leaving Scott Parker out of next week's Euro 2012 clash with Montenegro. Parker has been in fine form and Gold said: “It is disappointing when such quality isn't involved in an England squad.”
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