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Losses increase for London Stadium

London Stadium owner and operator, E20, has seen its losses rise by more than £4m (€4.7m/$5.3m) to £27.082m.

E20’s financial status has been revealed after it submitted its financial report for the full year ending March 31, 2019, to Companies House earlier this month. While E20’s group loss for 2019 stood at £28.273m, the entity loss of £27.082m compared to 2018’s loss of £22.755m.

On January 21, 2019, E20, a wholly-owned subsidiary of London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC), took control of stadium operator, London Stadium 185 Limited (LS185), by purchasing its share capital, in full, from previous owner, Vinci Stadium.

During the year, the partnership also settled a number of legal disputes with LS185 and Premier League football club West Ham United, London Stadium’s anchor tenant, including the stadium seating capacity case and expert determination in relation to a range of service items in the concession agreement with the club.

During the year, E20 said the partnership incurred £2.6m on stadium capital works in relation to residual transformation works and other enhancements. Revenue of £5.7m was generated in 2018-19, of which around £5.4m related to operating income derived from the stadium operator, LS185, and other tenants.

E20 said the partnership incurred £17.3m relating to costs of sales, which includes amounts paid to LS185 for their operator fees and costs associated with moving the retractable seating between football and athletics mode.

The submission of accounts comes after it was reported in August that E20 was losing £20m a year on the venue. Financial information 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 West Ham. The stadium also hosts music events and other sporting fixtures, and this summer it staged a Muse concert, two Major League Baseball (MLB) games and athletics’ Anniversary Games.

In October, West Ham revealed that work to redevelop the Bobby Moore and Sir Trevor Brooking Stands at London Stadium should be completed in time for the 2020-21 season. West Ham provided the first real update on the project since it was first revealed in February. At that time, the club said it would explore the possibility of moving the lower tiers of the Sir Trevor Brooking and Bobby Moore Stands closer to the pitch in an effort to improve the atmosphere at London Stadium.

The stadium’s post-Olympics conversion into a venue primarily for football and athletics has led to criticism concerning the match-day experience. West Ham said the stands would be squared off in line with a “more traditional football stadium configuration” behind the goals.

Another source of revenue generation that is yet to be exploited at London Stadium comes in the form of the long-running search to secure a naming rights sponsor for the venue. A suitable partner is yet to be found and West Ham vice-chairman Karren Brady was brought on board to aid the search back in September.

Image: London Stadium