Redditch firm in Olympic sell-off

By Ian Dipple Tuesday 15 January 2013 Updated: 16/01 16:33

A REDDITCH firm is helping to sell-off one of the most iconic buildings used at last summer's London Olympic and Paralympic Games.

GL events Slick Seating, based in Lakeside, is organising the sale of the basketball arena on the Olympic Park in Stratford which is currently being dismantled.

The firm manufactured the arena's entire internal seating structure, as well as grandstands used at other Olympic venues, including the Riverbank Arena, the BMX track, Greenwich Park and Lord’s Cricket Club, which hosted the archery. In total it supplied about 125,000 temporary seats to the Games.

The basketball arena, which at 115m long and 35m high was the largest single temporary structure ever used at an Olympic Games, is available to buy as a complete package, including all 12,000 seats, stands featuring gangways, staircases and a large network of internal access corridors, a high-spec media platform and disabled access platforms.

Buyers can also buy the distinctive rippled outer shell, made up of a steel structure covered with moulded PVC, or can choose to purchase the interior and exterior separately.

The arena is the centrepiece of a major sell-off of the internal and temporary structures used at last summer's sporting spectacle. The dismantling of the basketball arena is due to end next month and buyers in emerging sporting nations such as Brazil, Russia, China and the Middle East as well as the traditional powerhouse of the USA are being targeted.

A list of events where the temporary structures and seating could re-appear has also been drawn up including the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia and the 2014 Youth Summer Olympic Games in Nanjing, China.

Alex Robertson, managing director of GL events Owen Brown Consortium, said: "The jewel in the crown of everything GL events supplied to London 2012 is undoubtedly the Basketball Arena which, despite the temporary nature of its design, could easily be reconstructed and would give excellent service for many, many years.

"More and more countries are bidding to host major sporting events, as they recognise the tremendous tourism and commercial opportunities they bring.

"What the emerging sporting nations lack, of course, is the necessary infrastructure, but there is a delicate balancing act between providing suitable venues without spending millions of pounds on projects that will only end up standing empty.

"The success of temporary structures at London 2012 will not have gone unnoticed in those countries, which is why we are confident that there will be strong demand for venues which have already proven their worth on the biggest stage in world sport."

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