UK Athletics to host anniversary games outside London Stadium in July to save £ 3m taxpayers by redesigning the ground – with a sports body paying out nearly £ 1.5m to move Diamond League event to possibly Gateshead or Manchester
- The anniversary games will take place at London Stadium on July 13th
- However, they will get moving because of the cost of reconfiguring the ground
- The London Legacy Development Corporation says it will cost £ 3 million to convert West Ham’s football stadium into a purpose-built athletics venue.
- Gateshead and Manchester are ready to host the event this year
UK Athletics are in advanced talks about moving the anniversary games away from London Stadium this summer.
The governing body has been locked up over the event with the venue’s owners, the London Legacy Development Corporation, who said earlier this month that they did not want to save £ 3 million in tax dollars to redecorate the stadium for the one-day meeting on July 13.
In response, UKA had threatened legal action for breach of contract, but they have now almost agreed on a payout of more than £ 1.5 million to take the Diamond League event elsewhere, with Gateshead and Manchester as possible destinations.
UK Athletics is unlikely to host the anniversary games at London Stadium on July 13th
The Games will take place on July 13 prior to this summer’s Olympic Games in Tokyo
While sources say nothing has been finalized, Sportsmail understands that the deal could be signed as early as Friday, and influential athletes figures are already privately doubting the wisdom to temporarily give up the sport’s position in the capital, less than 10 years after the 2012 London Olympics.
The LLDC’s reluctance to host this year’s Anniversary Games stems from the fact that there are no other summer bookings. Normally, the financial impact is reduced by organizing other events, including concerts, but pandemic restrictions mean that the anniversary games are the only non-football commitment between the current and upcoming West Ham season. A spokesperson for the LLDC said the negotiations are “underway.”
Gateshead has already agreed to host a Diamond League meeting on May 23, after Rabat canceled Morocco due to the pandemic. Dina Asher-Smith was confirmed as the headlining act in a strong 100m field on Thursday, including Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Elaine Thompson Herah.
London Legacy Development Corporation says it will cost £ 3 million to remodel West Ham’s stadium