Dennis Hone, interim chief executive of the London Legacy Development Corporation, on the future of the Olympic Park
The Spanish basketball team "trashed their apartments" after losing to the USA in the final and a Moroccan athlete took out a sprinkler system that crashed through several floors by playing with a remote control aircraft.
But, all in all, London got away lightly in terms of damage to the Athletes Village traditionally incurred by host Olympic cities, according to the man responsible for putting it right.
The Olympic Delivery Authority still has to complete £150m worth of work on the Olympic Village to make the apartments ready to be handed over to developers Qatari Diar and Delancey. But it is the London Legacy Development Corporation, of which the ODA chief executive, Dennis Hone, is also interim chief executive, that is taking up most of his time.
Chiefly, the knotty question of what to do about the Olympic Stadium, amid ongoing negotiations with West Ham over the cost of the modifications the football club require. While football would attract large crowds on a regular basis, Hone said that, aside from the stadium conversion, there were also attendant costs in terms of the stewarding and transport considerations.
"We've had discussions with all of the bidders. The difficulty is that we're balancing the adaptations we have to make to the stadium against the proposals that have come in and the benefits – financial and otherwise – that those proposals bring. If it was a knockout [verdict] it would be an easy decision, but it's not," said Hone.
The decision, which has already been subject to endless delays, could now be put back beyond the deadline of the end of the month. Once the main tenants have been decided, a stadium operator will be appointed to manage a programme of concerts and other sporting events around the 20 days of athletics and community use already guaranteed.
Some at City Hall believe that, with the already iconic stadium having proved its worth as a concert and sporting venue during the Olympics, the LLDC should press on without football. But others, including the London mayor, Boris Johnson, believe that West Ham still offer the most sustainable long-term solution while wanting to ensure that the deal is beneficial to taxpayers.
Hone, dismissed West Ham's concerns that the stadium would not feel like their own. "You've got Milan and Inter. You've got Lazio and Roma," he said. "They can dress the stadium between games so that everyone feels like it's their home ground. That's absolutely doable."
But aside from that pressing issue, which has dogged discussions about the Olympic legacy since before the bid was made, Hone is keen to emphasise the progress that has been made in planning for the future of a Park through which more than 10m ticketholders passed during both Games.
Hone was parachuted in as the chief executive of the LLDC following the controversial ousting of his predecessor, Andrew Altman, who together with the former chair, Margaret Ford, conceived the 20-year masterplan on which the development is based.
Daniel Moylan, who removed Altman and appointed Hone, has after a matter of months himself been given a new job overseeing the mayor's aviation policy, while Johnson has taken on the chairman's role.
Hone defends the changes by saying the organisation is moving into delivery mode, as it seeks to ensure the north of the Park, which contains the velodrome, reopens by 27 July next year and the more urban south plaza, which contains the stadium, is next the following summer.
"The organisation is moving from a phase of planning to one of delivery. You've got £300m of transformational works, you've got park opening dates you really need to hit, you're moving into coordination of events mode," said Hone, who is expected to be appointed on a full-time basis in due course.
"If I'm appointed as permanent chief executive, there'll be some changes. But the last thing I'm going to do is wholesale change to an organisation that has been relatively successful and probably underappreciated."
The understated Hone is already planning the works that will remove the main Stratford Gate bridge, across which millions of people streamed during the Games, so that the cranes can move in and begin dismantling the temporary stands either side of Zaha Hadid's Aquatics Centre.
Hone insists that the Park, which will eventually contain 8,000 houses, will have sport at its heart in much the same way as the 1951 Festival of Britain left behind a cultural legacy on London's South Bank.
"This is the Olympics so the legacy has to be sport. We want a full offer of different things but sport has got to be one of the key things. At Eton Manor you'll have hockey, tennis and football. You've got four forms of cycling, you've got the multi-use arena, you've got the Aquatics Centre coming on-stream," said Hone. "Then you've got the stadium. The primary offer is sport. That covers all ages and all abilities, from elite athletes to disability sport and those people we want to inspire to get off their sofa."
The LLDC, which will meet next week to try to edge the stadium saga closer to a conclusion, has found permanent tenants for seven of the eight venues on the Park, which will be called the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.
"When we open next year, the Mayor might give the impression it will be like Disney. It won't be, it will be much more about events on the Park, such as [the cycling festival] RideLondon. I want to get the message out there that the Park will unfold in stages," said Hone. "The north area of the Park is a much more tranquil area and my worry is that everyone will expect it to be like the Olympics every day. That was a once-in-a-lifetime period."
Hone insists that, despite the difficult decision over the stadium bequeathed him by his predecessors and caused by a lack of foresight at the beginning of the process, he was happy with the "route map" that had been left behind.
"It would be terrible if you didn't have a route map and didn't have a plan. We do. We have to be open-minded, just like any other quarter of London. We want to have the flexibility for new things to happen. London is never finished, it never will be."Venue vexationWest Ham United
Ever since it was decided to reopen the case for leaving the stadium at its full 60,000-seat capacity after the Games, many have considered West Ham the natural tenants. Already denied once by a welter of legal challenges, the club remain convinced that they are the only economically viable option. But the devil is in the detail and there is a hardening determination on the board to ensure West Ham contribute to the possible £160m-plus conversion costs if they continue to insist on retractable seats and a full roof to cover them.
Verdict Still the most likely outcome, but no longer a shoo-in.Intelligent Transport Services
An ambitious scheme to bring Formula One racing to the Olympic Park dreamed up by three businessmen with the tacit approval of Bernie Ecclestone. But there remain serious logistical concerns over the bid, and Ecclestone's appetite appears to have cooled as he concentrates on lobbying for a central London Grand Prix.
Verdict UnlikelyUCFB College of Football Business
A partnership between Burnley Football Club and the University of Buckinghamshire. It plans to retain a base in Burnley but would look to attract UK and international students to London as well.
Verdict There appears to be no reason why it should not be included in the overall plans, as long as it dovetails with other bids.Leyton Orient
Chairman Barry Hearn has by turns been a thorn in the side of those running the process and sought to charm them. Having challenged the original decision to award the stadium to West Ham because it would hurt Orient, he is now proposing a groundshare and, if successful, a change of name to London Orient.
Verdict Hearn is seeking to maintain his negotiating position but West Ham are not keen on a groundshare.http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/2012/oct/10/olympic-park-next-incarnation-dennis-hone?CMP=twt_gu