2012 Olympic Park to be named for Queen ElizabethLONDON (AP) — London's Olympic Park will be renamed the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park after the 2012 Games.
By: STUART CONDIE,AP Sports Writer, Worthington Daily Globe
LONDON (AP) — London's Olympic Park will be renamed the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park after the 2012 Games.
The Olympic Park Legacy Company said Thursday the name will take effect once the 500-acre park reopens to the public in 2013.
"We chose the name because there is no more durable institution in this country than the monarchy," Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt said.
Queen Elizabeth II gave her permission for her name to be used, while the International Olympic Committee and British Olympic Association also approved the change.
The queen will mark the 60th anniversary of her ascendancy to the throne in 2012.
"Her Majesty has been supportive of London 2012 from the start and the event taking place in her Diamond Jubilee year, it is fitting that the park bears her name," Hunt said.
By 2013, construction will have begun on housing alongside the athletes' village to take the number of homes on the site to 11,000. The legacy company said its plans will ensure the site becomes a new suburb of London.
London Mayor Boris Johnson said 40 percent of the homes in the traditionally deprived east of the city will contain three or more bedrooms and be suitable for families, marking a change from the past 15 years, when construction in the city was dominated by small apartments.
Johnson said the design of the homes will be inspired by the terracing and public squares of central London's 18th century and Victorian developments.
Government sports minister Hugh Robertson said the housing will be built privately.
"We look to public money to put in the infrastructure and private money to put the housing up and that's exactly what's happening," Robertson said.
Much of the housing will be close to the Olympic Stadium, which last week was subject to rival tenancy applications from Premier League football clubs Tottenham and West Ham.
The head of UK Athletics has criticized the joint bid by Tottenham and American sports and entertainment company AEG because it includes no plans for a running track, which was one of the post-Games commitments in the London bid.
Robertson, Johnson and legacy company chair Margaret Hodge confirmed Thursday an athletics track remained one of the necessary commitments, but did not say whether it had to be inside the stadium or whether a tenant could agree to build a replacement elsewhere as part of its bid.
"It was core to our bid to leave an athletics legacy and that is unchanged," Robertson said.