Group considers Olympic Stadium F1 circuit
By Gerald Imray ,AP July 19, 2012, 12:18 am TWN
LONDON -- A Formula One circuit in and around Olympic Stadium is one of four plans being considered for the London Games' centerpiece.
The London Legacy Development Corporation, which will choose the new tenants of the stadium, announced Tuesday that a bid from Intelligent Transport Services in association with Formula One was one of the proposals.
The London-based ITS have already had preliminary talks with F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone and want to hold a grand prix around the east London site as the country's second race, after the British GP at Silverstone.
The other bids being considered for the stadium are from newly promoted Premier League soccer club West Ham, fellow east London club Leyton Orient and a pitch from the UCFB College of Football Business.
The LLDFC announced last week it was looking at four bids but didn't initially name them.
"Following an extension to the bidding period, the Legacy Corporation can today reveal that it has received four bids for the venue," LLDC said in its statement. "(They) will now be assessed to ensure they are compliant, before being evaluated ahead of negotiations."
Olympic Stadium is already set to be the new home of British athletics and will host the 2017 world championships.
A London Grand Prix was believed to be tentatively backed by Ecclestone, and the announcement that Formula One was associated with the bid confirmed the sport's interest.
An original deal for West Ham to lease the US$750 million stadium was scrapped last year amid legal wrangling.
Instead, companies are thought to be bidding to secure leases of up to 99 years to use the stadium from 2014 after it is downsized from 80,000 to 60,000 seats.
London Mayor Boris Johnson said six out of the eight facilities at Olympic Park already had their future use secured.
"London couldn't be in a better position to stage the best games ever, with everything ready to go and our legacy plans in great shape," Johnson said.
LLDC also approved a preferred bidder for the press and broadcast centers on Tuesday and said it had decided on the winning bid for the first housing development at the site, which will be known as Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park after the London Games.
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