UK Athletics slam ‘unacceptable’ proposals to move Anniversary Games away from London Stadium over £3m costs… with bosses adamant it would be a ‘travesty’ if athletes were denied a send-off before the Olympics
- UK Athletics have criticised plans to relocate this summer’s Anniversary Games
- London Stadium bosses have offered to cover the costs of moving the event
- They say it will cost £3million to convert West Ham’s stadium for the Games
- UKA say it would be a travesty for athletes to be denied an Olympic send-off
UK Athletics have become engulfed in a stand-off with London Stadium bosses over ‘unacceptable’ proposals to relocate this summer’s Anniversary Games.
The London Legacy Development Authority have offered to cover the costs of moving the July 13 event elsewhere as a means of avoiding a potential £3million black hole.
That is approximately the cost of converting West Ham’s home stadium from its football configuration to athletics, with 20,000 spectators anticipated for the meet.
UK Athletics have critised proposals to move the Anniversary Games away from the London Stadium
The Games are due to take place on July 13 ahead of this summer’s Olympics in Tokyo
Ordinarily the impact of that sum is lessened by staging other events including concerts, but pandemic restrictions mean the Anniversary Games is the only non-football booking between the current and forthcoming West Ham seasons.
An LLDC spokesperson said: ‘For the stadium, and ultimately the taxpayer, to face costs of around £3million to prepare for just one evening of athletics rather than the full summer calendar seems disproportionate in these extraordinary times.
‘We have reached out to UKA to discuss alternative options for this summer’s event, including an offer to cover the costs of moving the event to another venue. We believe this is a sensible way forward for all concerned under the circumstances.’
London Stadium bosses say it will cost £3million to convert West Ham’s home stadium
A UKA spokesperson said: ‘This would be an unacceptable breach of a longstanding agreement that forms an important part of the 2012 Olympic legacy plans.
‘We expect the contract to be honoured and the event to take place at the Olympic Stadium as do the athletes, broadcasters, sponsors, and most importantly the fans.
‘This is not only a key part of our Olympic and Paralympic athletes’ preparation for Tokyo but an opportunity for fans and young athletes from the local community to return to one of the most iconic athletic venues in world sport.
‘It would be a travesty for the sport after such a long wait for world class athletics to return to the Olympic Stadium if our athletes and fans are denied a crucial send-off to Tokyo.’