Cost of London’s Olympic Stadium soars over $1.1 billion

LONDON (AP) The cost of London’s Olympic Stadium will have soared to more than $1.1 billion after it is transformed to enable Premier League club West Ham to play there.

When the 2012 Games were awarded in 2005, London said the main stadium would cost 250 million pounds (then $440 million) but costs soon rose to 429 million pounds.

It was built with the intention of being downsized from 80,000 to 25,000 seats after the Olympics without being able to accommodate soccer.

After recognizing that a soccer club was necessary to ensure the stadium was regularly used, London’s Olympic legacy body gave West Ham a 99-year lease and agreed to fund most of the conversion costs.

Officials revealed Friday the cost of transforming it into a 56,000-seat soccer stadium, with track and field facilities, had risen to 272 million pounds ($432 million).

That takes the overall stadium bill to 701 million pounds ($1.11 billion), with West Ham contributing 15 million pounds ($24 million).