Setbacks at Tottenham put West Ham at the forefront to take over London’s Olympic Stadium
Both Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham United have recently been named as the Olympic Park Legacy Company's (OPLC) two preferred bidders to takeover London's Olympic Stadium but already developments at the north London Premier League club look to have positioned West Ham United as clear favourites to move in following the completion of the 2012 Olympic Games.
In protest of Tottenham's plans to move to the 80,000 capacity stadium in Stratford, the club's supporters, lead by newly formed fan group 'We Are N17', have unveiled plans to hold a mass demonstration down Tottenham High Road ahead of the team's Premier League derby match against London rivals Chelsea.
Speaking to Goal.com Tim Framp, We Are N17 spokesman, said, "It’s not that we have anything against Stratford. It’s just the idea of relocating the club away from the place we call home and the place we identify with. Tottenham is one of the most deprived areas of London but it’s the place we belong at three o’clock on a Saturday."
Framp believes the club would lose many of its hardcore match-going fans with the move. “I understand the argument for a bigger stadium if the season ticket waiting list figures are accurate. But, commercially, it makes no sense to move to a larger stadium if a large proportion of the fanbase is unwilling to follow," he said. "If you lose 10,000 fans who won’t go to Stratford, they could be the most vocal fans in the stadium and then you destroy the identity of the club and the argument for moving."
Earlier in the week, the head of UK Athletics (UKA), Ed Warner, described Tottenham's plans as "completely unacceptable" after the club and its bidding partner, AEG, made it "clear that they will rip up the track and make it a football only venue," unlike West Ham who intend to convert the Olympic stadium into a 60,000 arena that will retain the running track, serve as the long-term home for British athletics and a venue for World and European Championships as well as host Twenty20 cricket.
Warner was full of praise for West Ham's bid. "It ticks all the boxes in terms of the legacy for athletics. I cannot conceive of an athletics legacy that Tottenham can come up with that would be acceptable given that West Ham would give us the ability to stage the championships and make the stadium the iconic home of British athletics in the long-term."
‘Uncertainty’ forces London to abandon 2015 bid
- Tottenham Hotspur and AEG look to London Olympic Stadium
The OPLC will make a final decision regarding the two bids in March 2011. It has been noted that the OPLC's call for bids for the stadium not only did not insist the running track should remain, but invited alternative suggestions.blog comments powered by Disqus
West Ham beat Spurs in Olympic Stadium race - 11 February 2011
West Ham United set for Olympic Stadium move - 05 December 2012
Spurs enlist London 2012 veteran for Olympic Stadium bid - 06 January 2011
West Ham secure London’s Olympic Stadium - 22 March 2013
Locog and Dow Chemical wrap up Olympic deal - 04 August 2011
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