London Olympics Basketball Arena up for sale

The distinctive outer shell of the London 2012 Olympics Basketball Arena is being put on the market because no use has been found for the temporary building so far, The Times newspaper reported Saturday.

Barr Construction, which built the arena, is seeking expressions of interest by March 31 for the steel and PVC-moulded structure that some compared to a mattress or a cake with icing on, thanks to its white, ripple-effect appearance.

There had been speculation that it could be shipped to Rio de Janeiro to be used there for the 2016 Games, or converted into a national tennis academy in Scotland.

However, the building is still without a future and is up for sale for £2.5 million ($3.9 million, 2.9 million euros), The Times reported.

The Basketball Arena was one of the largest-ever temporary venues built for any Games, and came in within the £43 million budget.

The frame of 20 steel arches is wrapped in fabric to form the canvas for a lighting display.

The shell does not come with the 12,000-seat tiered venue inside.

Barr Construction managing director Barclay Chalmers said the building was suitable for "a range of different uses".

"Sport is obvious. It is big enough to house between 15 and 20 tennis courts. It could also be reconfigured to become a conference, exhibition and events venue similar to the O2 in London, or even a film and TV studio," he said.

"Despite the temporary nature of its design, we believe it can easily be reconstructed to offer excellent service for many years to come."

The building is due to be dismantled next month.

Formal bids for the frame are due by April 30.

The venue on the Olympic Park in east London hosted the basketball tournament group stages then the handball semi-finals and final.

It was then used in the Paralympics for wheelchair basketball and rugby.

The walls are translucent and were lit up in different colours at night.

London 2012 organisers put the Games' legacy at the heart of their winning bid to host them but there is still no long-term deal in place for the showpiece Olympic Stadium's future.

English Premier League football club West Ham have been named as the preferred bidder for the tenancy and a final decision on their bid is expected before April.

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