London Stadium owner hit by rising operational costs

London Stadium owner E20 is losing £20m (€21.8m/$24.4m) a year on the venue, it has emerged.

The figure is included in E20’s latest accounts, which were obtained by the Press Association following a Freedom of Information request. The accounts revealed that the cost of moving the stadium’s seats during the football off-season this year cost E20 £6m.

London Stadium was the main venue for the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games and now primarily serves as the home of Premier League football club West Ham United. The stadium also hosts music events and other sporting fixtures, and this summer it staged a Muse concert, two Major League Baseball games and athletics’ Anniversary Games.

The Press Association, citing E20 accounts, reported that it cost the company £11.3m to move the seats following the conclusion of the 2016-17 football season, with the stadium having hosted the IAAF’s World Athletics Championships and the World Para Athletic Championships.

In 2018, when the stadium hosted Rolling Stones, Jay Z and Foo Fighters gigs, this dropped to £4.1m but the fee has risen again in 2019 following a busy summer headlined by the historic MLB games between the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox.

Although the £6m figure was £500,000 more than originally estimated, E20 told the Press Association that the fee MLB paid to hire the stadium did cover the costs of the seat moves.

A spokesperson for E20 told the Press Association: “In addition to the wider economic benefit of bringing MLB to London, I can confirm a profit was generated by the baseball games.”

E20’s accounts also revealed that it has spent £4m in legal fees as part of efforts to get West Ham to pay more rent for playing at the stadium.

West Ham will face Manchester City at London Stadium on Saturday in its opening match of the new Premier League season.

Image credit: James Robinson (provided by CSM)