New Deal Secures Athletics Legacy
A historic agreement announced today will see the Stadium in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park annually host a wide spectrum of key athletics events, from regional and national age group championships through to elite international events. The agreement will also provide year-round training facilities for local athletes and clubs at an adjacent permanent community track delivering a lasting athletics legacy in east London.
Under the agreement between the E20 Stadium LLP (the Partnership set up between London Legacy Development Corporation and the London Borough of Newham to manage the Stadium) and UK Athletics, announced within a year of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, the Stadium will become the new national centre for athletics. UKA will have priority use of the Stadium from the last Friday in June to the end of July each year under a 50 year agreement, starting from 2016 when the stadium will be fully operational following its legacy transformation.
There will also be a permanent community track with dedicated facilities adjacent to the main Stadium available for use by the local community and clubs as part of the ongoing commitment to a lasting athletics legacy in east London.
UK Athletics will hold its annual London Diamond League meetings, alongside a whole spectrum of national level and age group championships, providing opportunities for the stars of today and the future to follow in the footsteps of London 2012 heroes like Mo Farah, Jessica Ennis, Hannah Cockroft and Johnnie Peacock.
In 2017 the stadium will host the IAAF World Athletics Championships and IPC Athletics World Championships – the first time these prestigious global events have been staged in the same venue in the same year. As part of its multi-use legacy the Stadium will also host five matches during the 2015 Rugby World Cup and will be the home of West Ham United Football Club from 2016; the club will take residency as the Stadium’s long term anchor tenant with UKA. The Stadium will also be used for other sporting, cultural (including concerts) and community events.
Speaking ahead of this weekend’s sold-out Sainsbury’s Anniversary Games taking place at the Stadium this weekend, London Legacy Development Corporation Chief Executive Dennis Hone said:
“Today’s deal is great news for athletics fans and great news for the David Weirs, Jessica Ennis-Hills and Perri Shakes-Draytons of tomorrow.
“Tens of thousands will enjoy watching top class athletics each year here in east London. But crucially the deal means that the stars of tomorrow can train and compete in this iconic Stadium and help inspire the youngsters of the East End of London to reach their full potential.”
UK Athletics Chief Executive Niels de Vos said:
“Today’s agreement is a great result for athletics. We’ve seen how there is a huge public appetite for seeing athletics on the biggest stage with the tickets for this weekend’s Sainsbury’s Anniversary Games selling out in just over an hour.
“We look forward to staging great events here in the years up to and beyond 2017, and we aim to celebrate the anniversary of the Games at this venue in many more years to come providing a centrepiece occasion that really befits the legacy of an Olympic stadium.”
Mayor of Newham Sir Robin Wales said:
“The Road to Rio starts right here in Stratford and I am delighted that the next generation of British gold medallists will be able to use the Stadium.
“Among the 2012 medallists were members of our community athletics club, Newham & Essex Beagles and today’s announcement, along with our investment in the Stadium, means local people will be able to see and be inspired by world-class athletes like Usain Bolt.
“We made a commitment to inspire a generation and today’s announcement means everyone in Newham – whatever their ability or goals – will be able to use the world class facilities. That’s a real, lasting legacy and I am proud so say we have delivered on our promise.”