Westfield mall to shut to non-ticket holders at weekend
LONDON (Reuters) - Westfield Stratford City shopping mall, the gateway to London's Olympic Park, will be shut at the weekend to people without tickets for the Games to try to manage the crowds.
The centre's stores will still be open to ticket holders but regular shoppers will be turned away between 0930-1600 GMT on August 3-4, the Australian developer said on Thursday.
"We've always been working with the Games organisers on crowd management plan for the Olympic Park so it's always been one option," a Westfield spokeswoman said. "We still expect it to be busier than our non-Olympic trading days."
Friday and Saturday are expected to be the Olympic Park's busiest days when the Olympic Stadium opens up for athletic events. Up to 80,000 more spectators are expected to travel to and from the Olympic Park on Friday alone.
The centre, Europe's biggest urban shopping mall, will be reopened to all visitors outside these hours, Westfield said. It will also be open as normal on Sunday.
Westfield (WDC.AX) does not disclose footfall numbers but the 1.9 million square foot shopping centre, which opened in September last year, is expected to be one of the big winners from the Olympics due to its proximity to the main venues.
In comparison, retailers in central London's shopping districts have been so far disappointed with the Olympic effect, after repeated warnings over the strain London's transport system would be under deterred Londoners and the usual non-Olympic seasonal tourists from visiting. (Reporting by Brenda Goh; Editing by Alison Williams)
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