London Mayor Sadiq Khan has ordered an investigation into the finances of the Olympic Stadium as the cost of converting the venue after the 2012 Games has increased by a further £51 million.
The bill for the conversion has now reached £323 million, with one of the primary factors behind the rise being the installation of retractable seats.
The seats allow the former Olympic stadium to host both football matches and athletics events, with the estimated cost of them rising from £300,000 to £8 million.
Khan’s deputy mayor Jules Pipe explained that City Hall has inherited “a mess” from predecessor Boris Johnson.
Pipe commented: “Last year the previous administration told the public that the costs had risen in total to around £270m. The new Mayor has now been told that cost will be more than £320m.
“Understandably, Sadiq has ordered an investigation as to why those two figures are so wildly different.
“As the new administration at City Hall is clearing up the mess of the previous administration, we need to make sure that the stadium runs on a sustainable basis and is affordable to London.”
It is now being suggested that the seating issue could threaten the viability of athletics events and concerts scheduled for next summer, and may even delay some of West Ham United’s home fixtures at the beginning of the next football season.
Engineers have estimated that it may take up to 30 days to reconfigure the stadium, which is three times as long as first estimated.
The issue has been complicated further as the original seating contractor, Alto Seating Solutions, has since gone into liquidation.
The most recent cost rise in the Olympic stadium conversion has taken the total bill for the venue up to £752 million, which has been met almost entirely by the taxpayer aside from a £15 million contribution by West Ham.