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3 finalists bidding to run 2012 Olympic tower

3 finalists bidding to run 2012 Olympic tower

Three firms are finalists to operate a 114-meter (375-foot) tower intended to draw hordes of tourists to the London Olympic Park after the 2012 Games, officials said Friday.
The Olympic Park Legacy Company said the shortlist was whittled down from 34 expressions of interest. The winning bidder will be chosen from the three unidentified firms and announced by June.
The twisting steel tower, designed by artist Anish Kapoor, will overlook the Olympic Stadium in east London and give visitors vistas across the city from two viewing platforms.
Officials hope the 22.3 million pound ($35 million) tower will become a major visitor attraction that remains long after the games.
The legacy company said it expects 1 million people to visit in the first year and predicted the tower could draw up to 10 million pounds ($16 million) in revenue annually through ticket sales and merchandise.
The chosen operator will run the venue on behalf of the London organizing committee during the Olympics, and afterward will manage ticketing, marketing, hospitality and the gift shop for the legacy agency.
Steel magnate Lakshmi Mittal is contributing 19.2 million pounds ($30 million) to the project, which is named the ArcelorMittal Orbit.
Construction began in November, and the twisting lattice of crimson-painted steel now rises 40 meters (130 feet) above the ground. When finished early next year it will be twice the height of Nelson's Column in Trafalgar Square and 22 meters (72 feet) higher than the Statue of Liberty.
London's government hopes it will become a major new landmark for the city.
Munira Mirza, arts and culture adviser to London Mayor Boris Johnson, said she hoped that "when a tourist arrives at London Heathrow in 2013, they think, 'I'll go see the London Eye, the British Museum, Madame Tussaud's _ and, oh yeah, I want to see that thing in the Olympic Park.'"


Updated : 2021-10-18 11:49 GMT+08:00