Finding Uses for Stadiums an Olympian Feat

Finding Uses for Stadiums an Olympian Feat

In “Twenty Twelve,” a satirical British television series last year that mocked the shambolic efforts of the fictional Olympic Deliverance Commission to organize the Summer Games, the committee at one point faces a terrible problem: It has somehow failed to find a future use for its 80,000-seat Olympic Stadium. An official known as the “head of sustainability” is reduced to begging an obscure soccer team and the owner of a defunct dog-racing outfit to consider moving in.

Things have not yet descended to that sorry point in real life, but the fact remains that nearly six months after the Olympics ended in a burst of self-congratulation for Britain, there is no firm plan in place for the stadium. The most likely tenant, the West Ham United soccer team in the top-level Premier League, is still negotiating the terms of a possible move. It is a thicket of a process that began some time ago, that has been repeatedly thwarted and delayed by financial, logistical and legal obstacles, and that by no means has a certain outcome.

Even if the team does succeed in its latest, reconfigured bid to secure a 99-year lease, it will probably not be able to move in until 2016, two years behind schedule.

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