London

Scrapping London 2012 curtain 'sensible', Lord Coe says

Computer generated image of stadium
Image caption The fabric wrap was intended to go round the outside of the stadium

Scrapping a distinctive part of the design to the Olympic Stadium was a "sensible" cost-cutting idea, London 2012 chair Lord Coe has said.

A fabric curtain, which was 20m (67ft) high and 0.9km (0.56 miles) long, was due to be wrapped around the venue.

But it was shelved to save £7m as part of the coalition's Spending Review.

The curtain was designed partly to minimise crosswinds but Lord Coe insisted its absence would not affect the competitors' timings.

"I am very clear the stadium fundamentally has to work for the athletic performance," he said.

"That was the first thing that I wanted to satisfy myself that we were not infringing upon."

"I think a sensible decision was made."

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport said the wrap could not be justified in the current economic climate, but the idea may be revived if a sponsor could be found.

The stadium, in Stratford, east London, has been designed to seat 80,000 spectators during the Games.

Construction is due to be finished by next summer, to allow for 12 months of testing.

The process to decide who occupies the facility after the Olympics has begun.

Applications have been submitted by Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham United football clubs.

It is hoped a tenant will be selected by the Olympic Park Legacy Company before March.

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