For sale: One Olympic basketball stadium

KEITH WEIR
Last updated 11:07 22/01/2013
London basketball arena

HERE TODAY, GONE TOMORROW: Temporary venues, like the London basketball arena, are the future for host cities of major world sporting events.

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The London Olympic basketball arena graced by NBA stars Kobe Bryant and LeBron James last year has been put up for sale.

Potential purchasers have the option of buying the venue complete with its distinctive white rippled external shell or bidding instead for the 12,000 seats and internal fittings.

GL events Slick Seating, a British company which provided temporary seats for Olympic venues across London, said it was organising the sale of the arena.

Seeking to avoid the mistakes of past Games which were left with sports stadia they did not need, London made extensive use of temporary venues during the Games last summer.

Workers on the Olympic Park in East London are in the process of dismantling the basketball arena which will be stored in central England until a buyer is found.

There had been reports that Rio might want to purchase the venue for the 2016 Games but restrictions on the import of second-hand materials into Brazil would complicate that.

London hosted an NBA game last week when the New York Knicks beat the Detroit Pistons but that was held at the 02 Arena, by the river Thames. The same venue was used for the finals of the Olympic tournament after the group games had been played in the smaller temporary venue.

Britain spent £9 billion (NZ$17 billion) of public money on staging the Olympics but few begrudge that investment after a highly successful Games.

The one blot on the London record has been the failure to agree on a permanent tenant for the main Olympic Stadium.

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- Reuters

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