International Stadia Group to take on West Ham and Tottenham
The mystery third bidder competing against West Ham United and Tottenham Hostpur for the right to run the London Olympic Stadium has been revealed as the International Stadia Group, a global operator of major venues that has previously been involved with Wembley and the O2 Arena.
The Olympic Park Legacy Company is due to notify shortlisted bidders this week, though no public announcement is expected, before a final decision is made in March. ISG is competing against joint bids from West Ham and Newham Council, and Tottenham and AEG. Details of ISG’s bid, including whether they propose to retain the athletics track, remain unclear.
ISG describes itself as “the market leader in forecasting and maximising revenue from seating in stadiums and arenas, and enhancing the spectator experience”, and say that its involvement in the sale and marketing of stadium seats in “more than 15 projects” has so far generated over $2bn in revenues.
ISG’s involvement in the O2 Arena, where it helped to create and sell the premium seating, came in partnership with Tottenham’s co-bidders, AEG. According to its website: “From this experience, AEG and ISG enjoy a strong working relationship that we look forward to continuing around the world in the future.” At Wembley it was involved in the sale of 15,000 premium seats and 160 executive boxes and also has partnerships with Coventry’s Ricoh Arena and the new Aviva Stadium in Dublin. It has set up a subsidiary in Brazil to secure a role in the 2014 World Cup venues.
News of ISG’s bid was revealed today by Estates Gazette.
Baroness Ford, chair of the OPLC, has previously insisted that the successful bidder would have to retain the athletics track. “Bidders would have to meet the Olympic promise for use of an athletics stadium – that has not changed,” she said. “Athletics was an absolute core part of our bid and it will continue to be part of it.”
West Ham’s bid would see the track retained, while Tottenham intend to demolish the entire stadium and build a new one to their specifications, while funding the renovation of Crystal Palace Athletics Stadium.