The cost of converting the Olympic Stadium in Stratford has soared to £272m. The final bill was confirmed by the London Legacy Development Corporation as Balfour Beatty continues with its conversion contract. Balfour won an extra £36m for the work last October when the final costs were estimated around £190m – a rise on the original conversion contract costs of £154m.
The LLDC said the latest increase “reflects the huge scale of the works undertaken to transform the former Olympic venue from a temporary athletics stadium into a year-round multi-use arena capable of delivering world class sporting and cultural events.”
West Ham United will move into the stadium for the 2016/2017 season while conversion work will be temporarily halted this year when the stadium plays host to athletics, rugby and a motorsport event.
The LLDC said: “The stadium work included the removal of the original roof and light paddles and installation of a new permanent roof, the largest of its kind in the world. The 45,000sqm cantilevered roof needed significant strengthening of the superstructure to support the 8km of cable net, 112 steel rafters, 9,900 roof panels and 14 light paddles each weighing 45 tonnes. The new roof covers every seat in the venue, improving the acoustics and spectator experience. An innovative retractable seating system required the removal of the lower seating bowl. The 21,000 movable seats bring the fans close to the pitch for football and rugby ensuring the Stadium has a long-term legacy. Other works included installing catering facilities, toilets and turnstiles, all of which were only temporary during the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.” The corporation said it still holds a contingency fund due to the large amount of work still needed before West Ham take up permanent residence.