Olympic Stadium New Home of U.K. Athletics for 50 Years

London’s Olympic Stadium will host summer athletic events for 50 years, the London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC) said.

UK Athletics today signed a 50-year deal -- starting from 2016 -- giving it full use of the stadium from the last Friday in June until the end of July when anchor tenant and soccer team West Ham United is on its summer break, the LLDC said in an e-mailed statement today.

The stadium will also host the annual Diamond League track and field meeting, previously held at Crystal Palace, and offer year-round facilities for local athletes and clubs at an adjacent permanent track, the LLDC said.

Speaking ahead of this weekend’s sold-out Anniversary Games, which will celebrate the one-year anniversary of the London 2012 Olympics, LLDC chief executive Dennis Hone called the agreement “great news for athletics fans.”

He added that “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 Officer Niels de Vos said the deal is “a great result for athletics.”

The Olympic Stadium, which hosted the 2012 opening and closing ceremonies and track competitions, will also stage five matches during the 2015 Rugby World Cup and the 2017 IAAF Athletics World Championships.

Making sure facilities such as the 537-million pound ($824 million) Olympic Stadium will be used by future generations of athletes was one of the key policies of the London 2012 organizing committee.

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