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Original stadium plan not an option

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David Bond | 10:02 UK time, Friday, 21 January 2011

This stark image is what the London Olympic Stadium would look like if the original legacy promise to turn it into an athletics-only arena after the Games was seen through.

Image of the Olympic Stadium if the original legacy plan went ahead

The BBC has obtained previously unseen designs for what the stadium would look like if the promise made in Singapore was kept

Gone are the distinctive triangular floodlights which are now such a feature of the east London skyline. Gone also is the Meccano-style steel structure which boosts the basic concrete bowl of 25,000 into the 80,000-seat Olympic Stadium for the Games.

Instead a tiny roof, which covers barely one 10th of the whole arena, is the only feature of an otherwise drab, characterless venue.

This is the reason why no sustainable legacy plan was developed by organisers and the Government in the two years after London's bid triumph in 2005.

Even UK Athletics, the sport's governing body in Britain, and its marketing partners Fast Track, were unable to find a way of making the stadium work in this mode after the Games.

When one sees this image it is easy to understand why no club - not even Leyton Orient - would have been prepared to move into the stadium promised to the IOC after the 2012 Olympics.


The London Olympic Stadium as of July 2010

London Olympic Stadium, July 2010. Photo: AP

All of this explains why Baroness Ford, chairman of the Olympic Park Legacy Company (OPLC), the body which must now choose between West Ham and Tottenham, realised there was no financially sustainable legacy for the venue without a Premier League club on board.

On Friday both clubs and their respective partners submit their final offers to the OPLC. Baroness Ford and her team, headed by American chief executive Andrew Altman, will then spend the weekend going through the fine print before deciding on Monday whether they have all the information they need to make a decision on a preferred bidder next Friday.

The extremely strong comments from the head of world athletics, Lamine Diack, in my interview with him on Thursday will only have increased the pressure on the decision-makers.

Whatever they decide must then be rubber-stamped by their own board before being signed off by the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, and the Government - represented by two ministers, Sports Minister Hugh Robertson and Bob Neill, a junior minister in the department for communities and local government.

If the OPLC doesn't have enough information, or its auditors Price Waterhouse Coopers have any more questions, then they may put the decision off for another week.

Before then, expect a step up in the already intense lobbying campaign by both sides.

On Friday morning, Sir Keith Mills, the deputy chairman of London 2012 (a body which has absolutely no direct role in the decision on the stadium's future) and director of Tottenham, went on BBC Radio 4's Today Programme to put Spurs' case.

It is the first time he has done so and his message was clear: Tottenham - and not West Ham - offer the only option which will guarantee the stadium doesn't add to the already high public cost of the Olympics.

Mills made the point - highlighted by the image above - that the original legacy plan was not going to work. And he reiterated Tottenham's argument that football and athletics don't mix.

West Ham, of course, deny all this - along with criticisms of the sight lines for football in the Olympic stadium and claims that their numbers don't stack up. To try and prove the point, their £40m loan from joint bid partners Newham Council was approved at a meeting on Thursday night and they will on Friday announce a partnership with Westfield, who will be the consortium's design, construction and major development partners.

As I said in my previous blog, all this noise is unlikely to make a jot of difference to the OPLC and Baroness Ford who must make their decision based not only on community and multi-sport legacy plans but also on hard, cold economic reality.

The £5m annual running costs of the stadium need to be paid by someone other than the taxpayer. As you can see, the original plan, contained in the Singapore promise, really wasn't an option.

Update 1845 GMT

Although the key details of the West Ham and Tottenham bids handed to the OPLC are being kept secret, I have been told about a key part of the Spurs proposal which they hope will swing the decision in their favour.

In addition to offering to pay a rental income in return for the 250-year lease, Tottenham and their partner, the American entertainment giant AEG, are offering to redevelop land and facilities around the stadium.

Spurs hope this will be attractive to the OPLC for two reasons.

The first is that by building new sports and entertainment facilities around the main stadium it will bring the rest of the Olympic Park alive after the Games. The OPLC is known to be concerned about the stadium becoming an isolated visitor attraction in an otherwise under-used park.

The difficulties associated with delivering a legacy for the whole park after 2012 is perhaps illustrated best by the problems with the £265m aquatics centre.

Although OPLC chairman Baroness Ford is confident she can find a solution, the elaborate roof design limits her options. Plans to turn the aquatics centre into an indoor water park for the community with slides, restaurants and cafes had to be scrapped because the curved roof designed by Zaha Hadid takes up too much space.

Now, Spurs are not for one moment offering to take over the aquatics centre - in the end the OPLC will convert it before finding a management partner to run it (probably British Swimming and Newham Council). But the aquatics centre illustrates the point that the OPLC has to think about the wider interests of the Olympic Park - not just the stadium.

Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy unquestionably had this in mind in the open letter he published today - emphasising plans for "an exceptional public realm which would host community-focused events and activities".

He goes on: "Our plans also include a major tourist attraction based around extreme sports and incorporating specialist sports retailing, restaurants, cafes and bars."

The second reason why Tottenham believe their offer to develop other facilities and attractions around the stadium is significant is because they will share any profits from those ventures with the OPLC, guaranteeing extra revenue which could eventually be used to pay back part of the £500m cost of the stadium.

West Ham and Newham Council are, of course, offering something similar. They say the stadium will be a genuinely multi-sport and entertainment venue used 365 days of the year. They, too, will pay a rent for the 250-year lease plus a share of revenue from events.

But Tottenham hope their plan - and ability to invest in the rest of the site - could be persuasive.

Comments

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  • Comment number 1.

    "The £5m annual running costs of the stadium need to be paid by someone other than the taxpayer."

    As comments go it could do with a little substantiation. I genuinely don't know but perhaps providing an aspirational venue for regular events and an annual championship for a variety of levels may provide better value to our under-cooked development programmes than some of the existing funding streams.

    I assume that this has been investigated and discounted and so I stand to be corrected. However, I've never heard any comment on this.

  • Comment number 2.

    I struggle to understand the objection to a running track. I was at the Stade de France a couple of weeks ago to watch Stade Francais v Toulouse and the atmosphere was terrific. The sight lines were great and I didn't feel as if the track detracted from the venue. And I don't recall too many people moaning about the track around the old Wembley. I don't disagree that in a perfect world there wouldn't be a track but for a country with such a rich athletics heritage I would be disappointed if we didn't have a suitable national athletics stadium. The Stade de France serves the French very well and we would do well to follow their lead.

  • Comment number 3.

    All those politicians and UK Athletics officials now critical of the Spurs bid should hang their heads in shame. They bleat that it would be breaking a promise not to have athletics at the Olympic stadium and yet their promise was not within their gift to make. Their legacy proposal was a sham and the IOC should have seen through it. Now that only football can provide a use for the stadium the clubs should be allowed to make the site as ideal as possible for that purpose.

    West Ham may have an advantage in offering to keep the track but they are making themselves hostages to Newham Council - it may be a cheap option but having a council holding too much influence over a club is as incompatible as mixing football with Athletics.

    Athletics needs a venue designed exactly to meet its precise needs not a botched up compromise.

    In fact West Ham ought to take this stadium, Spurs have other strong options and the location is better suited to West Ham, but not on these terms - they are sacrificing too much to get the stadium and within a few years will be regretting losing the atmosphere of a tight stadium but will find themselves unable to do anything about it.

  • Comment number 4.

    £500m for a temporary stadium, that is not only naff to look at for its original purpose to host the Olympics, but is only totally useless once its over.

    Why do us British always fall into this white-elephant trap?

    A bit of foresight could have meant designing a multipurpose venue that could incorporate removal seating to cover the track, a slide in-and-out pitch and also possibly a roof. I can't believe all those features wouldn't have cost that much more if done sensibly.

    Perhaps some investigation is required if the design and build was all above board and not more jobs for the boys at the expense of a better and more cost effective alternative??

  • Comment number 5.

    Half a billion pounds for a concrete bowl!
    Money well spent then.
    Where was the foresight to build a stadium with a moveable bottom tier!

  • Comment number 6.

    Interesting how "those with no influence" are now coming out of the woodwork to try and influence the decision. Today it's Harry Rednapp, trying to wind up the WH fans and underlining the recent Spur's director's comments that football and athletics do not mix.

    I just hope that the bid evaluation team have signed off an evaluation strategy and a detailed, scoring evaluation plan which they will stick to, thus avoiding a fiasco like the recent world cup bidding process.

    With the existence of a detailed scoring bid evaluation plan all the sideswipes currently taking place, including much and well written blogs, will have NO INFLUENCE whatsoever.

  • Comment number 7.

    The Lane is what makes Spurs Spurs! I could not contemplate moving to Stratford. Please - just give it to West Ham, they're the ones that need a boost.

    http://thechinbeardboy.blogspot.com

  • Comment number 8.

    So the British Taxpayer already shelling out a fortune to subsidise these games for the benefit of the affluent South East watches as the stadium then goes to an English football team..

    ..and this after the old commonwealth stadium in Manchester goes to an English football team as well..

    Scathing comments from the head of world athletics..and no wonder..but really he should have seen it coming!

    Any chance you can subsidise our football teams as well?!

  • Comment number 9.

    Apologies, to add to my point above...

    If they had designed the stadium properly in the first place, it could then have been sold as a going concern to a football club once finished, which could have offset more than the additional cost to put in the features I listed in my original post.

    This isn't the benefit of hindsight I'm using. Many people were making this point when the designs of the stadium were revealed. As usual, common sense was ignored.

  • Comment number 10.

    I think it's a slightly unfair comparison - the image is much more barren and colourless than the actual deconstructed stadium would be, but the point still remains is that it would be a horrible venue for just about anything. The architectural style seems to be based on the 1972 Munich Olympic Stadium, with about one tenth of the character.

    I was listening to the debate on 5 Live last night, where it was proposed that the stadium could have been planned with retractable seating like the Stade de France, making it a good athletics and football stadium, and that this was an opportunity missed. It's not like it hasn't been done before; quite apart from Paris, Americans have been building stadia with moveable seats (to accomodate the very un-rectangular baseball field) for decades.

    That strikes me as a huge failure by either the architects or the organising committee, leaving no option but to tear it down and start again.

  • Comment number 11.

    And also the reason the IOC members are getting worked up about the "legacy issue" is probably only because the British media keep on asking them about it.

    I bet in reality, the IOC doesn't really care about what happens to Olympic venues once the games are over. They are only focused in delivering the next Olympics.

  • Comment number 12.

    I can not comprehend how Tottenham, location North London, would move to East London into this Olympic Stadium. It does not make any sense at all. Give it to West Ham. It would be best for all parties.

  • Comment number 13.

    Now the CEO of Newham Council is "doing a Harry" having a pop at the spurs bid playing the "green" card! Wen will these people leave the bid team to get on with it, behind closed doors and leave all the rhetoric behind. It's too late now to influence the bid evaluation plan!!

  • Comment number 14.

    Lord Coe, a Sheffield lad should not despair if Spurs win.......UK Athletics has a superb, purpose built, state of the art, 25000 seater athletics stadium in his home town......now a white elephant since UK Athletics decided that the last time they filled it to capacity would be their last event there!!! Madness, and why UK Athletics went bust after losing the Diance Modahl case.

  • Comment number 15.

    That isn't a never seen before image, it is a blow up of the bottom tier of the stadium from the original bid video, where it shows the exploded view. New construction was always going to be needed after the games to complete the legacy promise, but people seem to have conveniently forgotten that. If it were a choice between West Ham and Spurs, then I would say West Ham...of course I don't know all the facts and figures.

    But here is a question...does the stadium's "distinctive triangular floodlights" really matter, or would it be better for the community, and the country as a whole to have an internationally viable athletics venue in the capital, without triangular floodlights? Manchester and Gateshead are enjoy good sized meets each year, without the blockbuster stadium, so why can't London?

  • Comment number 16.

    I have been a West Ham fan all my life and have never missed a game and im all for the move to the olympic stadium you need to think for the future not for the past we deserve it more than tottenham I mean do spurs fans really want to move from north london to east london i dont think they do.

    They already have the planning promission to build a new stadium which they wanted in the first place I say give it to West Ham who are an origianl east london team and could help build up their financies.

    I have been to a few matches at wembly and the running track doesent make a slight bit of differnce to the atmosphire of the game and if West Ham chose to keep it and tottenham want to remove it then we are the better choice I mean West Ham do a lot for the community and the athletics side of it will benifit the newham community and the club so therefore West Ham should get it not tottenham!!!!

  • Comment number 17.

    I have to agree on the points about the Stade de France. It has hosted both rugby and football world cup finals in recent years capably - the two biggest world sporting events behind the olympics. And it would have been France Olympic stadium had they won the 2012 bid.
    If the London Olympic Stadium had been built with more foresight like the french we would have an excellent venue going forward for whatever sport!

  • Comment number 18.

    The olympic STadium goes to prove further the sinful waste of the last labour government. as many people have said the cost of half a billion pounds and all we get is a concreate bowl that is pritty low tech. The roofs not large enough the facillites won't be up to that of a modern stadia and it looks pritty average. The fight over who wil get it has detracted from those who sanctioned it apollogising for quite how bad this stadium is. As far as the track goes I understand the issue of Spurs slightly however as an earlier contributer said there are plenty of football stadia around the world with a running track which dont suffer from "sightline" issues. I think they only become and issue when you cant fill 80,000 seats which i'm almost certain Spurs can't especially on a cold mid week game to a team near the wrong end of the league. Furthermore what happens if West Ham get relegated this season which it looks like they will. Are we seariously suggesting there fan base can take the stadiums capacity. Also do we really want this stadium to be used by a Championship side. I am a coventry city fan and we built a new ground when in the Championship as the plans had already been made, we have never filled it and support has gone down over this period and it feel a very lonely place most weeks. i therefore dont think that West hams bid stands up to scruitiny either. Surely the solution is to make Spurs build a small 20,000 seater athletics track as payment in the olympic park, therefore solving the problem of this big white elephant and the issue of having an athletics track.

  • Comment number 19.

    Why can the stadium not be kept intact with its full capacity and be transformed into a proper national stadium?

    Wembley is a football ground and whilst it has historic symbolic appeal the UK needs a proper national stadium for all sports including athletics. Obviously question marks over how often it would be used and by whom given Wembley's unique status for football and rugby league and Twickenham being the preferred English venue for rugby union internationals.

    However, the Stade de France is not used all that regularly for major sporting events but remains viable, even though the FFR are considering building their own dedicated rugby stadium.

    Given the sports surface technology available thesedays, and the size and shape of the surface could it not also be used for cricket with a temporary grass surface and drop in pitch? The MCG surface has been removed and replaced several times, including having the temporary athletics track for the Commonwealth Games.

    All the talk about Spurs and WH just makes me think the whole scheme is underwater and they're desperate to football's millions to end-fund the stadium rather than actually keeping it as a stadium we can all visit and enjoy for years to come.

  • Comment number 20.

    When it comes to it there is simply only one issue the decision-makers have to determine.
    That issue relates solely to money.
    Who will take the place of their hands and run it at no cost to the taxpayers who will otherwise bleat like mad along with the media.
    The IOC care not one jot beyond the marketing of the opening and closing ceremonies [and maybe the 100metre final]. They may talk about legacy but they don't have to fund it do they. To what use have the athletics stadia in Sydney, Athens or Beijing been put? None worth mentioning and Beijing is just a tourist attraction.
    Do the IOC care about the lack of legacy? No.
    The IAAF have nothing to do with it. They are also only interested in swelling their corporate coffers so we can take their bleating with a pinch of salt.

  • Comment number 21.

    @ 2.

    Wembley had a dog track, and I visited several timers in the 90s. If you sat behind the goal, you were miles from the pitch and the view was very poor.

    People paying upwards of £40 for a football match (or £800 for a season ticket) expect top class viewing and great atmosphere, otherwise they will simply watch it on TV.

    Don't try and compare rubgy to football either....totally different sport and supported in an entirely different way. If you have been to White Hart Lane on a European night then you would appreciate that the atmosphere at big footy matches to entirely different. Where did you sit at the Stad de France, because if it was row 1 behind the posts, you probably had little sense of what was happening when the ball was at the far end!

  • Comment number 22.

    If UK athletics and the then minister in charge had used a bit of common sense, Wembley would have been developed as the Olympic stadium with a removable track. It could have then been used for future world championships with no need for any of this!! But no the athletics world which is paying precisiely nothing towards any of this, threw there toys out the pram and we've now got a stadium nodoby really needs.

    Trouble with all things like this you end up with people like Lord Coe desperate to make some kind of statement/legacy, pandering to organisation like the IOC but the taxpayer picks up the tab.

    Just lucky we didn't get the world cup and get stitched up again!!!!

  • Comment number 23.

    I've watched football at the Olympiastadion in Berlin and didn't find the running track a problem.

    Yet, at the Stadio Delle Alpi it contributed to one of the most soulless stadiums you could ever wish to visit (no surprise that it has since been demolished and a new stadium, minus a running track, is set to open for the 2011/12 season)

    So, in my eyes, there's no definitive answer as to whether the running track would be a problem, it's what the fans make of it. Juve fans hated the Delle Alpi with a passion, yet Berliners are proud of the Olympiastadion and it's associated heritage.

  • Comment number 24.

    Can someone please explain to me why either Spurs or West Ham can't simply modify the stadium so that it has retractable seating at lower levels so that the track can remain in place?

    Is that really so difficult?

  • Comment number 25.

    Now I'm no big football fan - but I can't help but feel that two premiership sides are giving the Govnt and Athletics a 'Get out of Jail Free' card here.

    The plans for the Olympic Stadium should have had the future built in from the beginning - particularly bearing in mind the emphasis on legacy - though I suspect that this was due to a) lack of planning and b) fear that a planned future involving shared stadium with football would be unpopular with those voting in Singapore.

    The reality is the stadium - though in my view attractive - is not fit for anybody. Athletics can't fill it - fact - and football don't want it in it's current state.

    We should ignore the bleating of the IOC and IAAF. Personally I couldn't care if we didn't hold an international Cabbage Festival. WE the UK public have had to pay for it and as the International community will leave us with a white elephant we must act quickly to avoid incurring further cost year on year. If a solution can be found beneficial and acceptable to the UK public then that should be taken.

    Though it seems folly to destroy a new stadium and build another a combination of Tottenham and Crystal Palace could be the answer - a purpose built stadium for spurs and a purpose built dual use athletics/football stadium at Crystal Palace. Second time lucky?

  • Comment number 26.

    The very best solution would be for West Ham to take on Spurs project.

    Frankly Athletics would be better off with Spurs wining the bid, they would get their 25,000 stadium at Crystal Palace, already home to athletics in London and a dedicated facility while teh Olympic site would be usefully used. West Ham's bid leave a football club witha poor stadium configuration and an athletics track which can only be used a few weeks of the year.


    The biggest issue with Spurs bid is that they are moving so far from home.

  • Comment number 27.

    All seems rather odd to me how the bidding process was governed. West Ham United made their bid based on the thought at the time and promises made to the IOC that it was about creating a legacy and a place for all of the community to visit. This was the correct approach to have from West Ham United already from Newham to a stadium in their borough. To have bid otherwise would have be attacked as completely unacceptable.

    Tottenham Hotpspurs or Stratford Hotspurs as they will of course be known. Seem to have made their bid concentrating on themselves as a football club.

    Now if we are completely unbothered about other sports futures, the community near the stadium or indeed our reputation being even worse than it is already is in sporting organisations, then the Stratford Hotspurs bid is a likely to be stronger from a financial sense, based purely on the owners wealth.

    The reality is, if before bidding process started all clubs were told, "forget" any legacy and forget any of the promises made to the IOC, then West Ham United's bid would have been completely different and more likely to have been comparable to Spurs.

    All very weird. Looks like West Ham United have been stitched up.

  • Comment number 28.

    No 26

    Athletics already have a 25000 seater stadium with a world renowned reputation in Sheffield, why do they need another one?

    Let's make spurs and west ham share a ground...better for the greenies and better value for money all round!!

  • Comment number 29.

    This whole blog is based on the rather disingenuous premise - the graphic at the top, which is surely NOT meant to represent the legacy venue, just a technical drawing of what would be left once the 'Meccano-style' structure has been removed. Presumably there would be further construction planned to 'flesh it out' into something more appropriate.

    I agree with Lamine Diack. Britain has been robbed of an athletics venue.

  • Comment number 30.

    If football is at the Olympics then surely there is room to say that football is viable choice at the stadium. We have seen how in Greece stadiums have been left; to become ghosts. If we have a new athletics stadium, I question whether it will be used as much as a football stadium. Either West Ham keeping the track or Tottenham building a new venue would give a stadium big enough for athletics.
    In an ideal world I would like to see Spurs and West Ham get their own grounds and this stadium become a multi usage facility, incorporating such things as gigs, athletics, shows and open days. But I do not see the situation as ideal, and neither is the world. Therefore it is not the lack of foresight by the organisers that this problem has arisen? Spurs and West Ham are just taking an opportunity; as is their right.

  • Comment number 31.

    @ 24....maybe if the original design concept allowed for it it would have been a soultion....fact is it didn't. Stadiums are not engineered or constructed in a way that can mean the bottom tier can "simply" be removed and changed to retractable seats. Its not lego!

  • Comment number 32.

    2. At 11:50am on 21 Jan 2011, nw1956 wrote:
    I struggle to understand the objection to a running track... I don't recall too many people moaning about the track around the old Wembley.
    ------------------------------------------
    Sorry, I totally disagree. The old Wembley had a wonderful feel to it, but in terms of watching a game, it was very poor, mostly due the the huge distance between the stands and the pitch. No football ground should have a running track.

  • Comment number 33.

    spurs are planning to invest £300 million of private money

    west ham are planning to invest £90 million of public money

    yet councillors and other people who should know better are calling the tottenham bid a waste of public money.

    people need to realise that the initial plans were never going to work. there is nothing we can do now to claw back the money that was wasted building a stadium that was only ever going to be suitable for 4 weeks in 2012.

    i do think that even if tottenham are successful in their bid, there is a lot of mileage in this sage. Levy wants what is best for the club, and I can see him using a winning bid to squeeze harringey council in order to ensure the club stays in tottenham as long as the deal is right for the club.

  • Comment number 34.

    @29

    Britain have not been robbed of an athletics venue. Look at Crystal Palace, the historical London home of Athletics...Its a substandard dump.

    If Athletics wanted, needed, could afford or justify a high quality venue then why has CP been left to rot, like many other venues across the country.

    Athletics will simply piggy back on a succesful main tenant (West Ham) , get a state of the art stadium, which will be much better suited (although far too big) for athletics than it is for football, and will pay next to nothing for it. What happens then at Crystal Palace...further decline.

  • Comment number 35.

    Does it not look to anyone else like this is a cutaway drawing and the roof going all round the stadium is represented by the black line following the line of the roof......

    Not saying it makes it any more viable, but you criticise the design of the roof only covering one tenth of the stadium in the blog.

  • Comment number 36.

    How will athletics and the local community gain from benefit from the West Ham bid?
    Will the local schools get regular access to the track ? No
    Will the atheletes use the track on a weekly basis ? No
    Will the training facilities at Crystal Palace be run down ? Yes
    Will the redidents of Newham have to pay for the up keep of the stadium ? Yes
    Sell the damn thing to the highest bidder and igmore those idiots that keep going on about their reputations .

  • Comment number 37.

    Perhaps if Newnham Council get it, they can have the NFL visiting matches on there to get their money back whilst saving Wembley's turf...

  • Comment number 38.

    There are some very broad assumptions that people are making, the most obvious being that football is currently flushed with money, and athletics isn't, therefore only football can fund a legacy stadium. But there are signs that football is losing some gloss, a path that athletics took ten years or so ago (for different reasons, but just as relevant). If football should continue on a downward path and athletics interest becomes re-invigorated, then the those assumptions need re-visiting.

    The second point that lacks relevance to me is that other Olympic stadiums have not left legacies. That's exactly why the IOC wanted a legacy, and why it formed such a large part of our bit. It is an obligation we signed up to, and one that we should fulfil. The implications for Britain, of not following through with our promises, spread far wider than the world's of athletics, football and Olympics.


    For me, the legacy should be that any retained stadium should retain as much of the Olympic stdium as possible whilst meeting promises we made during the bid. The real legacy will be that British people in the future can be inspired by running on the track, or stand in the stand, that the Olympic finals were competed on. As a previous poster pointed out, the original plan would always have required some additional infrastructure added to the diagram above to make it workable, and I seriously think we are in danger of throwing away even more of the Olympic legacy by thinking only in the dimension of a snapshot of current finances (only football can afford), and not in long term cycles (that other sports may be popular in the future).

  • Comment number 39.

    The plain truth of it is that the stadium as an Athletics venue was a non-starter.

    Coe, the IOC, and the members of the Labour Govt fell for the 'lasting monument' rubbish, just look at all the other Olypmpic stadia throughout the world. exceedingy large 'elephants in the room' The fact is that Athletics does not happen year round and therefore could not afford to pay for the upkeep.

    Football happens year round and is the only sport willing to finance the running of the stadium(on their terms)

    Athletics is perceived as being pervaded with drug cheats, for that matter football is perceivved as being pervaded with cheats as well, but football has the money, athletics has nothing except a history that was a long time ago.

  • Comment number 40.

    8. At 12:02pm on 21 Jan 2011, Rob04 wrote:
    So the British Taxpayer already shelling out a fortune to subsidise these games for the benefit of the affluent South East watches as the stadium then goes to an English football team..
    ..and this after the old commonwealth stadium in Manchester goes to an English football team as well..
    ----------

    I'm sorry, were you expecting the City of Manchester stadium to be the new home of Aberdeen or something?

  • Comment number 41.

    As a West Ham fan I am not sure I want to win this one with the current plans. A running track is a bad idea in a football stadium and although a reduction of ticket prices would boost the gates above the current 35k I am not sure that we would fill 50,000 week in week out unless tickets were down in the £20 region.

    A much better idea for the bid would be to have temporary seating or temporary terraces to cover the track. This would allow fans right up to the pitch. Keep the fixed seating positions as they are but modify the capacity to around 40,000. This would be ample for athletics and get over the problems of keeping the running track. If they could have temporary terraces it would also show that there are safe ways to implement terraces in small controlled areas in football grounds. You could also price the terraces around £10 and therefore give families a better chance of going along to watch their local team.

    Not sure why Spurs want this as (having spoken to several Spurs fans) they are a North London team and have mocked Arsenal for many years about them being Pride of North London. Not sure moving to Stratford is really what they want, although they could change their name to Stratford Hotpur.

    All joking aside Spurs fans want to stay in Tottenham and redevelop WHL and West Ham fans are happy to move to Stratford but with a different stadium plan. This idea really could work if everyone was to put their differences aside and focus on what is best for the taxpayer, the fans, athletics and football.

  • Comment number 42.

    Oooozzzelll What planet do you live on ? Athletics will never generate enough money to support this stadium. The Legacy will be a massive white elephant and Newham going to the goverment asking for more money to feed the thing.

  • Comment number 43.

    So basically either:

    A) Tottenham surrender North London to Arsenal Or

    B) West Ham move to a stadium not purpose built for football that Athletics probably won't be able to make the best use of either.

    Good job London. Knighthoods all round.

  • Comment number 44.

    "Athletics already has a top class stadium with a capacity of 25,000 in Sheffield"
    Sadly it is those last two words that mean that no significant event will be held there. Too far from London for those teams coming from abroad and, more importantly, those sports officials who decide where these events go. England = London, in the same way as France = Paris. If it's not in London it falls off the radar. Witness the rebuilding of Wembley. Common sense dictated a new arena off the M42 near Birmingham. 90 mins from about 50% or more of the population of England. Driving 90 minutes from Wembley would just about get you to Hangar Lane!
    To the poster who has renamed Spurs to Stratford Hotspurs, good one!

  • Comment number 45.

    @34.

    This rather suggests that there are still a lot of 'balls in the air' (in more ways than one) concerning the whole football/athletics, Crystal Palace/Stratford dilemma.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/2011/jan/20/crystal-palace-tottenham-olympic-stadium

    Personally as a sports fan, who enjoys both football and athletics, so I'd like to see everyone involved, rather than just addressing their own agendas, involved sit down and discuss how both could benefit before they make a total 'balls-up' and leave

    My ideal legacy scenario would be to see The whole Olympic park turned into a thriving 'centre of excellence' where elite athletes from all Olympic sports - track and field, swimming, cycling, gymnastics, etc, can benefit from world-class facilities and football can either help out or take its cash elsewhere.

  • Comment number 46.

    "Instead a tiny roof, which covers barely one 10th of the whole arena, is the only feature of an otherwise drab, characterless venue."

    This is a complete misrepresentation of the image - as someone else said above, that section of roof is a cutaway showing a design that presumably would have been continued around the stadium.

    Nice to see a mention of Leyton Orient in the main piece, however.

  • Comment number 47.

    I trust Orient are being considered for a compensation package from whoever gets the stadium. I like how Karren Brady said how if Tottenham got the stadium they would be invading West Ham's "patch". She obviously forgot that Orient are in fact the closest team to the site. It's hard enough for us having Arsenal, Tottenham and West Ham relatively close to us already, if one of them moves to within a mile of us that's going to affect our catchment area for new fans. With a bit of luck West Ham will get the stadium and then proceed to get 20,000 fans whilst they're struggling in the Championship.

  • Comment number 48.

    No 42 - spot on.

    So the IOC say that if we don't keep the running track we won't get future events. On the basis that the winter Olympics is highly unlikely in the UK and it's taken sixty-four years to get them in London again I say we take our chances. Unless IOC execs live to 130 this may be forgotten about by then.

    I can understand Spurs wanting to move as their council are effectively holding them to ransom over planning permission. That and the fact that the Emirates makes WHL look shabby. I can understand West Ham wanting it but it will be like the Stadio Delle Alpi where Juve and Torino played; no more than 50% full, a millstone round their necks and completely soulless.

    In all honesty I'm not really bothered what happens to it. Have yet another "National Stadium" in a borough of London that is a pain to get to for everybody but Londoners. It's not as if anybody outside the M25 pays for these things, is it?

  • Comment number 49.

    Anyone ever been to an athletics event?

    Anyone ever been to a football match?

    No contest in terms of future usage.

  • Comment number 50.

    . At 12:51pm on 21 Jan 2011, devonshirespur wrote:
    @ 24....maybe if the original design concept allowed for it it would have been a soultion....fact is it didn't. Stadiums are not engineered or constructed in a way that can mean the bottom tier can "simply" be removed and changed to retractable seats. Its not lego!
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------

    My idea isn't just to swap the lower tier like for like but if Spurs are considering knocking down a vast proportion of the stadium why not adapt what is already there? You could keep the shape of the stadium and deconstruct some of the permanent seating for more temporary. This way, Spurs (or West Ham for that matter) would get the stadium at a far cheaper price, the BAA would get their stadium and the IAAF and IOC get their legacy.

    Surely it's a no-brainer?

  • Comment number 51.

    I am not foolish enough to not understand the commercial ramifications of the stadia and its need to assure that it is maintained and costs are covered but there is one fundamental thing about this stadium.

    It is first and foremost an athletics stadium. The Olympic stadia is an athletic stadia. Designed as such and in my view and should stay as such. Someone made the comment that Athletics and Football do not mix (whilst I disagree with the statement), if that is the attitude taken and believed to be true then those that kick the round ball should go and find themselves another stadium to destroy! Athletics (like so many other sports) has in this country always taken a back seat to the overpaid and indulgent “national sport”. Why should it for once? The stadium has been built to provide athletics in this nation with a home fitting its heritage and its aspirations for the future.

    What does athletics have as its key venue for meetings? Crystal Palace. You have to be kidding me if you think this fit for purpose or could even be made fit for purpose.

    Please stop pandering to the needs of football and in this case the few who would/might take over the Olympic Stadium, and think that there are thousands of people participating in athletics in this nation and they deserve a home befitting the athletic sporting history and their dreams and aspirations for the future.

  • Comment number 52.

    Spurs! Develope the Lane!! West Ham stay put! The Stadium is for Atheletics!! It will look so empty when you are in the Championship!!

  • Comment number 53.

    I would really like to know who the BOC commissioned to design the stadium. how much they were paid so to do and who was paid what to claim whatever about legacy using that design.

    The stadium should have been designed with:
    1. Corporate facilities.
    2. A retractable roof.
    3. Lower-tier movable seating.
    4. A removable infield and the ability to host conferences, concerts etc etc in varying sizes of arena indoors.
    5. Appropriate WCs etc.

    I guess this must all be written down to a 'learning experience'.

    But there is something seriously wrong with the decision-making processes, consultancy exercises, ministerial sign-offs and lack of foresight here.

    I wonder if football, all along, was seeking to ensure that this was undermined so as to get the taxpayer to fund the development of a new site which they could then access on the cheap?

    It's water under the bridge now, but there is going to need to be some serious clipping of the wings of football's hierarchy as they are deluded enough to believe that theirs is the only sport which matters.

    It isn't, and the finances of football show pretty clearly why not.

    Nuff said.........

  • Comment number 54.

    I am amazed at the arrogance of football. We couldnt win a bid for the Wourld Cup, for the very reason of arrogance and alienating the rest of the world ( you have made it so easy for Blatter and Platini). Football here has the,"" we are the only people who know attitude."

    If the track goes so does any last vestige of honour and dignity this country can offer to the sporting world. We will quite rightly be villified and looked upon as a third world sporting nationwith no national/international class multipurpose stadium capable of hosting anything other than a second rate national football team. Remember for all football's arrogance England didnt even qualify for the 2008 European Championships and were a disgrace in the 2010 world cup.

    Now football wants to break a pledge to the IOC... perfect! Lets remember many stadia of nations who are far superior at football than we are have athletic tracks around them. Berlin 2006 World cup Final and 2009 World Athletic Championships is a perfect example, Stade de France 1998 World cup final 2005 World Athletics Championships.

    England have won the world cup once, athletics has produced some of the greatest sporting Icons in History. The first sub 4 minute mile, Ovett Coe Cram in a golden era of total domination of the Blue riband 1500m/mile event for over 10 years! Daley Thompson the greatest all round athlete of all time ... the list is endless.

    And now we have the greatest sporting event on earth, and we want to have a football club, Spurs reduce its leagcy, memory and the countries honour and dignity to dust. It is a disgrace

  • Comment number 55.

    It is amazing how these discussion boards degenerate into the same tired discussions about tribal football fans and the north v south debates. From a site visit yesterday the Olympics will leave a fantastic legacy in the area, the improvements in infrastructure, the transformation of an industrial wasteland into an impressive landscaped area with new accommodation (Olympic Village and Broadcasting Centre) plus the velodrome and aquatics centre which will remain. There is also a fantastic white water centre in Waltham Cross just outside the M25. [My biggest dissappointment is that they didn't use the rowing venues in the docks but choose to use the elitist venues west of london, but that is another debate!!}

    In amongst all of this the stadium was not well conceived and we are now all pressuring the relevant parties to make a decision in a short space of time - why not take the opportunity to develop this further. The size of the park and the warm up venue must be capable of housing more suitable stadia for both football and athletics, the latter being simplified so that it could house community use and be cheaper to maintain.

    If you look at the current design above, any temporary seating at low level would mask the existing seats so you would have a stadium within a stadium - kind of defeats the object! To do this you would probably have to rebuild the stadium to suit this design.

    With regards the old Wembley, am I the only one that remembers having to stand and move in the lower levels to see action at the ends or the far side. Whilst the atmosphere was impressive at the capacity of around 100,000, it was never the same when it became all seater with a smaller capacity.

    Did anyone else notice Bayern Munich moved out of the Olympic Stadium to a purpose built stadium for the World Cup - apparently for the precise reasons now portrayed by Spurs, haven't seen this mentioned anywhere!!

  • Comment number 56.

    I fail to understand why the Tottenham bid can be considered. We as a nation gave an undertaking to the World in our bid that this Stadium would have an athletics legacy. If we do not do so then we break our word and it is clear that this part of our bid was essential to London being awarded the Games.

    We should not even be discussing this we have a duty as Great Britain to honour our promise. It matters not that there are reasons of cost that we need to consider (there has always been a case that there was a cost to holding this event) This nation should never lie or mislead the rest of the World. I have been a West Ham supporter for over 45 years I feel very much at home at Upton Park and do not want to relocate to Stratford. However, I am British and I believe (and will always will) that if I say I will do something then I do and my Country is far more important that my football team.

    Therefore the Stadium should be entrusted to Newham and West Ham United. Should there be a financial problem then our Government will need to act accordingly. It was our Nation that made this promise and for the sake of our own standing in the World we must stand tall

  • Comment number 57.

    @16
    " , "

  • Comment number 58.

    give it to tottenham. get them out of north london, its what truely they want it for so they can stop living in the shadow of arsenal. even now during "their best season" they are still 6 points behind us. think about it why else would they want out of their "original north london home" after goading arsenal for so many years for when arsenal moved there from another place? let them have it. better if it could have an athletics track but non the less let the noisy neighbours of north london have it. they wont be our "rivals" anymore. rivals who aint finished above us for donkeys years.

    seriously though give it to the big that accomidates athletics too, footballs my only sport but its not the only sport in the world.

  • Comment number 59.

    Rob04

    you moan about stadiums located in England going to english football clubs??? who do you propose they go to, Welsh and Scotish clubs instead? im sure their fans would love to be travelling all the way to either Manchester or East London every couple weeks!

    Football is big business in this country, what other sport really can take over those stadiums and make it financially viable?

  • Comment number 60.

    West Ham are strapped for cash & I don't think Spurs are that much better off,best option would be to change as little as possible & ground share.

  • Comment number 61.

    I don't support Spurs, I don't support West Ham and I certainly don't support Athletics so quite Flatley my dear I don't Riverdance.

  • Comment number 62.

    in response to preems comment "itll look so empty when your in the championship." im a fan of neither in fact i hate them both but they could turn around and say "itll look so empty for most of the year if its just for athletics"

  • Comment number 63.

    I genuinly don't understand how somebody designs such a thing and thinks it's worth spending that much public money on.

    I think the Olympics coming to the UK is great, however there really needed to be more forward thinking.

    http://iradar666.blogspot.com/2011/01/elephant-in-room.html

  • Comment number 64.

    @ #2

    Stade de France has moveable stands.

  • Comment number 65.

    As an Arsenal fan, I would give the stadium to spurs. Quite aside from the fact that they may well be better run than WHU (do you really want Gold, Sullivan and Brady in charge of "the legacy"?), it has the definite advantage of improving the lives of many north london children who will no longer have to grow up supporting Tottenham :-)

  • Comment number 66.

    The more I read about this the more I am astounded I am. First of all I can't for the life of me understand why Tottenham want to move from Tottenham to the East End unless they are going to change their name like MK Dons or something. If they get it they are not Tottenham as they won't be from there. West Ham are the local team and should get it if any football team should. Don't think I'd like to be a "Tottenham" fan strolling around the Hammers manor for a "home" game.
    So if Tottenham get they should be made to change their name !

    More importantly, though a bit late now is the costs and design of this overlarge gazebo.

    I was under the distinct impression that these were the "sustainable" games and no white elephants would be built, but a lasting legacy. OK so it has 55,000 temp seats. FOR £500,000,000 !!!! I thought Wembley costs were a joke. I suppose the only difference here is that the Olympic gazebo will be ready in time.

    How can a super large plastic and steel framed temp set up cost £500 million ?? I know London is expensive but this works out at £20,000 per permananent seat.

    Somebody is having a right bubble at our expense again. Still we have a good history of a rip off...

    The Dome...(a Billion pound tent that is now earning a US company a fortune)
    Wembley (another Billion pound fiasco developed because of its "name")
    Manchester Commonwealth games (nicely bid for then "opps we've overspent can we have some more taxpayers money please for Manchester ??" and now the home of the richest club around)
    now the Olympic stadium.

    Certain similarities are here : taxpayer ripped off. Done under Labour's watch. And a fair bit of the same people trousering a tidy sum...Hmmm.

  • Comment number 67.

    There's not much point in reminding people in this boring debate that the government, whilst investing in a sporting event, were also investing in a sporting facility for people to, you know, run around. Like for leisure, to get fit, healthy, learn some healthy life skills, confidence and gain fitness. Of course in this pointless and rather boring debate about money, rival football fans and movable stands, the issue of people's health and a decent facility for east London is completely lost.

  • Comment number 68.

    @ 16

    How in any other way than Geography do West Ham deserve this more than Tottenham. Hoping to use even more public money to use a stadium that you won't fill. I'm not going to argue which club is bigger than the other, but it's simple, West ham can't afford it in their current situation without help. Tottenham can afford it but risk losing their heritage, unfortunately money talks.

    Ps i don't want Spurs in there either, but i don't see anything feasible from West Hams bid that isn't going to end up costing everybody (mainly Newham Council) more money.

  • Comment number 69.

    The whole Olympics bid is based on a lot of spend on things aren't really going to add anything post event. Given the economy it should have been made a UK wide games. On the 2 bids, Spurs' proposal of redevloping Crystal Palace is an interesting one, and I wonder whether this could have actually been a centre piece of the original bid.

  • Comment number 70.

    69. At 2:23pm on 21 Jan 2011, Frodo_MUFC wrote:
    Given the economy it should have been made a UK wide games.
    -------

    That's 20/20 hindsight though. When the Games were tendered for and won, the economy was a lot more rosy.

  • Comment number 71.

    I just don’t see West Ham as a long term viable option.

    WH may have a rich history but those days are gone. The facts are they are lucky to even be in the Premier League this season, they have been rock bottom virtually all year and are by all accounts the favourites for the drop.

    How on earth does a Championship club aim to fill a 60,000 seater stadium?

  • Comment number 72.

    Tottenham can have it if it likes, but keep the damn track or the whole stadium will have been a waste of time.

  • Comment number 73.

    A stadium like this is surely only viable for two athletics events: the Olympics and thw World Championships. It makes no sense that you would leave it in situ in case you get the other in the next couple of decades. I'm not sure of the fate of former World Championships stadia, but I know of several Olympic white elephants.

    Two Olympic stadia I have seen personally (post-games) offer contrasting fates. I was in Seoul a couple of years ago, and their stadium is pretty much unchanged, but decayed and apparently hardly used at all. In Atlanta, other than some Olympic insignia and displays, you would never know it had been anything other than a baseball stadium.

    My conclusion: London should ignore the IOC, IAAF and UK Athletics (and I am a club athlete, in case someone thinks I have a bias) and let a football team in and convert it to their best specifications.

  • Comment number 74.

    I am mystified as to how many posts there have been claiming that this is an issue between football and athletics and comments suggesting that football is breaking Britain's promise to the world. It isn't an issue of football doing anything wrong it is about the capability of the management of athletics in the UK.

    At the outset many of those involved in the bid (including as I recall Ken Livingston) were absolutely adamant that the new stadium would never be allowed to go to a football club. When the bids came in for the stadium there were only two, from West Ham and Spurs.

    None of the people involved in the Olympic Bid nor UK Athletics could even come up with a proposal for the site, if they had then in my opinion it would have been an outrage not to give it to them - but the fact is they couldn't even muster together a bid and incredibly are now proposing to develop Crystal Palace instead. So who is it exactly that is breaking their word to the IOC? Who is it that has left this £500M investment to fall into the hands of football?

    There may be a valid debate as to which club should get the stadium but this is not a case of football v athletics, or football v the IOC. Athletics just simply walked away from its obligations which just is not the fault of either Spurs or West Ham

  • Comment number 75.

    70. At 2:27pm on 21 Jan 2011, Evil-Weazel wrote:

    69. At 2:23pm on 21 Jan 2011, Frodo_MUFC wrote:
    Given the economy it should have been made a UK wide games.
    -------

    That's 20/20 hindsight though. When the Games were tendered for and won, the economy was a lot more rosy.
    ---------------------

    Yes, but I'm pretty sure we could have addressed this issue once it became obivous that things were going downhill. I'll admit I'm probably biased as a lot of this seemed a collosal waste of cash to me in the first place. It seems to me that the Olympics is a lot about showing off what fancy buildings etc you can make and economics, and getting less and less about what's actually important. Much like the World Cup is getting

  • Comment number 76.

    75. At 2:48pm on 21 Jan 2011, Frodo_MUFC wrote:
    ---

    Oh don't get me wrong, I agree it was blatantly obvious the whole plans would be a waste of money. Just that we thought it wouldn't be quite so important to the national economy as it has become.

  • Comment number 77.

    I am involved in sport and have seen millions of governemnt money wasted over rescent years by Sport England and Youth Sport Truast on the development of the local sporting infrastructure. Only over the last couple of years have Sports Governing Bodies had much of say, Government Quangos have funded pointless organisations such as County Sports Partnerships and to a lesser extent the lack of coordinated approach to School Sports Partnership, who yes increased activity in schools but very few people can call activity such as kite flying, frisbee throwing or cheerleading a worthwhile investment, and with very little particpants being provided exit route to local clubs. Money needs to go the community sport, to long term sustainable club structures and that can only be achieved throug heavy investment in National Governing Bodies for the Sport. Sport England have addressed this over the last year but are still wasted millions on County Spotrs Partenrship and on their own structure. Investments needs to be made on improving three things, 1. Clubs (local structures who can grow particpation) 2. Coaches (the lifeblood of the sport) and 3. Facilities, so that sport can continue to grow and flourish at all levels. I feel sorry for UK Athletics who under the current Sport England funding process would never be able to have the financial strength to take on the Olympic Stadium. Thus providing a long term athlete pathway for the sport is impossible. A national stadium would provide a beacon of light to increase particpation, as Twickenham is in rugby and Wembly is in Football. I am sure most people can remember playing 'Wembly' in school playing fields, something the sport of Athletics - the most particpated sport (Sport England Acive People data) in the country - can not boast. We dont just need to look at the Olympic Legacy commitment but the full support and structure provided to sport and especially National Governing Bodies. If we dont have clubs, coaches and facilities across all sport, forget about elite sport, forget about grassroot sport and lets start looking at health issue (increase in health budget), lets look at social cohesion. if you want to build a better community, put sport at the heart. The Olypic Stadium, is just a high profile 'tip of the iceberg' that highlight facility defeciet in this country, yes we are in a recession, but thats why need to invest in sport, sport has power of prevention, social cohesion, education. I hope GOVERNMENT, SPORT ENGLAND, YOUTH SPORT TRUST, UK SPORT to a lesser extent, feel responsible that Olympic Legacy commitments are not achieved and that the Government, through olympic Legacy committe are selling out Grasroot sport and in particular athletics.

  • Comment number 78.

    It's a rubbish, horrible looking white elephant of a stadium that scars the London skyline even further.

    Bring the olympics back to White City and make the track from cinders as before. Serve sausage & chips to our guests and give them an oyster card to get around the place.

    This whole thing is a shameful waste of OUR money when there are people living on the street and kids leaving school unable to read & write.

    Who's stupid idea was it to bid for the Olymics anyway? This has cost BILLIONS of pounds whilst GB inches towards third world status.

    I feel sick just thinking about it.

  • Comment number 79.

    I think anyone who saw the European Athletics Champs in Barcelona in 2010 where many days were as good as empty (even if 10k people turn up, that still leaves 80k empty seats) will agree that doing something with the stadium, even if it's not a condensed version for athletics, is better than nothing.

    Our alternative is to be left with a museum to once great sporting occasions.

    (For the record - why on Earth would Tottenham want to relocate....they are not an East London club. They will lose their identity and alienate their exceptional core set of fans.)

  • Comment number 80.

    Many correspondents have made the excellent point that the design of the stadium was short-sighted in the extreme and that the long-term projected future of the stadium was naive in the extreme. I would contend that the following serious mistakes were made: (1) that the stadium did not have retractable seats to allow for athletics after the stadium was sold for football, (2) the rake of the seating is at too low an angle for watching football, making watching the game like watching table football; it is also worth noting that many spectators at football matches insist on standing up rather than using the seats provided (why is always the tall ones?). In both of these cases the "business" reason was cost! The trouble is that because of this no one in their right mind will take it on in it's current state. It will be just like the old Wembley - an absolutely awful place to watch a game from unless you are in the best seats near the half-way line. What a waste of a good opportunity.

  • Comment number 81.

    I cant comprehend why the UK needs an athletics stadium given the number of current venues plus the fact that there is minimal demand for the product.

    Half our athletes could not be bothered to compete in the recent Commonwealth games which given its status as one of the worlds biggest competitions seems to give a clear statement from them on the importance of the sport.

    The main thing is that a use for it is found which has to be football so good luck to the club that is successful.

  • Comment number 82.

    I find it astonishing that some combination of public money (local, London, Central Government, lottery) and corporate sponsorship cannot be found to enable the stadium to be maintained as a purely athletic venue. That the 'legacy' should be destroyed because we can't find a way to defray a £5 million a year running cost is, frankly, pathetic. The purpose of the legacy was to provide a resource and to encourage a generation of young people to aspire to, and to achieve, something more than watching another episode of EastEnders. If even a few lives were changed, the improvement in health would, through the decreased burden on the NHS, easily compensate for any annual costs.

  • Comment number 83.

    Bit of a joke all this fiasco really isn't it. Those presiding over this carnage will doubtless take their peerage and wad of cash while the rest of us pick up the bill. A Shambles.

    The design and consultation team need lining up against a wall for their pathetic efforts. As others have mentioned, why retractable lower tier seating could not be utilised as a simple measure at the design stage to combine football and athletics seems to be a question no one seems able to answer. It seems such an obvious solution. Clearly it is too late now due to the way the foundations and structure will have been conceived.

    I hope West Ham get the benefit of the site but believe they will rue getting in bed with athletics.

  • Comment number 84.

    To be honest, I'm surprised the ECB haven't pushed more forcefully to use it as a top-class cricket venue - the capacity far outstretches any cricket venue in this country, and it would be a venue to rival even the MCG in Australia. As far as I understand it, the ECB are considering making a bid to use it as a T20 venue which would make some commercial sense. It can still be used for other purposes outside of those T20 games, even football in the winter!

  • Comment number 85.

    Getting quite heated between the 2 clubs now and you have MPs/Lord Coe trying to save face by pointing out the IOC wanted this stadium to be part of a long lasting legacy which was why we got the Olympics...

    I get the feeling neither set of fans would be too happy moving to this OS for various reasons but I guess they are the last peopel thought of in times of trying to make money etc.

  • Comment number 86.

    So, to cut a long story short, we told fibs to the Olympics people. You do what you gotta do I guess (as the Russians and Qatar folk will tell you!)

    Anyways, as a Spurs fan, I want it to go to West Ham... I'd still rather us to stick to plan A and develop the Lane. That and I also feel we should leave an athletics venue on site. Although, I also wouldn't want to be the club with an track around the pitch. It kills the atmostphere stone dead!

  • Comment number 87.

    I really don't see any difference between the lie that the London 2012 bid team perpetrated and the FIFA shennanigans. Let there be no hypocrisy here, this was promised to be an athletics venue. Get the architects to make it so.

  • Comment number 88.

    I totally agree with comment 19.

    It is so depressingly unimaginative that the Olympic Stadium, centrepiece of a once-in-a-lifetime national sporting event, could end up as just another Premier League ground. Let's be clear, if this happens then the stadium legacy will be precisely zero. It will simply become another money-making vehicle for a sport already bloated by riches.

    There is surely another way. Make it a truly inclusive National Stadium by having athletics in the summer and inviting our major sports to use it at other times - football in the autumn, rugby league and union in winter, cricket in spring. Every top-flight team in these sports could hold one fixture a year at the Olympic Stadium, with women's teams and paralympians performing on the same day - imagine how exciting and inspiring that would be for sportspeople and spectators alike. Subsidise ticket prices so anyone can afford to come. In the true Olympic spirit, the sportsmen and women could donate their match fee or salary for that week towards the stadium running costs. Yes, it may turn out to be complicated to arrange, but surely that is what our government is there for, for goodness sake, rather than to wash their hands of a problem at the first opportunity. It would certainly be more in tune with the Big Society than handing it over to a bunch of millionaires who view it only as a giant cash register.

    The 2002 Commonwealth Games is now the home of Manchester City, a club that symbolises all that is wrong with football and sport, namely the notion that if you have a bottomless pit of money, then success can be bought. Is that really the legacy we want for London 2012?

  • Comment number 89.

    What does athletics have as its key venue for meetings? Crystal Palace. You have to be kidding me if you think this fit for purpose or could even be made fit for purpose.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    And why do you think Crystal Palace isn't fit for purpose? It's because the British athletics organisations have done nothing to ensure it's a good enough facility.

    Personally I hope they turn down both our and West Ham's bid and decide to keep it purely for athletics. Within 12 months the powers that be would be begging either West Ham or Spurs to take over when they realise that the stadium would have become completely worthless. The simple truth is athletics doesn't have the draw to be able to fill that. There are three athletics tournaments that would get any sort of crowd - the Olympics, and the European and World Championships. The Olympics and European championships are held once every four years and the World Championships are held once every two years. What happens to the stadium for the rest of the time?

    Considering the bleating from the athletics lobbyists, what makes athletics so special that it should get a £500m new stadium without putting up any of the funding for it itself? What about other minority sports, which is exactly what athletics is.

  • Comment number 90.

    The simple fact is that athletics cannot afford a stadium like this and need football money to finance the stadium for competitions after the olympics. So why should football teams kow tow to what athletics wants & tell them what they (Spurs & or West Ham) are prepared to do for athletics. Can anyone remember the last time a major athletics stadium was anywhere near full in this country the last time there was a competition? Probably the commonwealth games in Manchester. And what happened to that stadium? Oh yeh it's a football ground.

  • Comment number 91.

    The argument that a track ruins the atmosphere and that "modern stadia" are far better than the old ones is clearly rubbish on both counts.
    First of all, Wembley was exactly that, and for my money it had a fine atmosphere, not only that, but the pitch was always in great condition, not the embarrassment that the "New Wembley" is...

    What an utter waste of money, and more to the point, resources. It is totally immoral to knock down a virtually "brand new" stadium.
    Not only that, but what were the architects/OC doing putting up a structure that was only going to be temporary in the first place?

    That's why England got the Olympics, for that reason, i.e. affordable sports facilities are an embarrassment in the UK, and this would at least have left facilities for the community.

    This is an example of utter planning incompetence. Everyone involved with this should resign from their posts and have nothing more to do with this project ever again.

  • Comment number 92.

    Simple.....all the athletic fans here who bleat about legacy should pay for it. Make it a tax hike for them alone.

    They are obviously able to afford it, as it seems are they (or their communities or families) are not being affected by the massive cull of public services across the country because the country is skint.

    Let them pay for the 'honour' of promises made. I don't want to.

  • Comment number 93.

    Sorry, it's just a sad inditement to how corrupt this country generally is, for matters like this.

    We take the Olympics from Paris, on the promise that we will use it to provide the UK with a home for athletics.

    We build the venues, using taxpayers money.

    Then two greedy premier league clubs, smelling a quick profit, come in, and try and take it away.

    Let's get one thing straight. Spurs and West Ham are only interested, as they can get a free stadium, and make a lot of money from it. Which they'll use to pay millionaire footbalelrs more money.

    All the while, UK athletics still has no home.

    And we'll be the country that cheated to get an olympics

  • Comment number 94.

    The simple fact is that athletics cannot afford a stadium like this and need football money to finance the stadium for competitions after the olympics. So why should football teams kow tow to what athletics wants & tell them what they (Spurs & or West Ham) are prepared to do for athletics. Can anyone remember the last time a major athletics stadium was anywhere near full in this country the last time there was a competition? Probably the commonwealth games in Manchester. And what happened to that stadium? Oh yeh it's a football ground.

    ========================================================================

    The stadium was built using taxpayers money, on the proviso that they were building a home for athletics.

    If the UK government had told people they were using their taxes to build Spurs a cheap stadium, I think people would have kicked up a fuss.........

  • Comment number 95.

    Simple.....all the athletic fans here who bleat about legacy should pay for it. Make it a tax hike for them alone.

    They are obviously able to afford it, as it seems are they (or their communities or families) are not being affected by the massive cull of public services across the country because the country is skint.

    Let them pay for the 'honour' of promises made. I don't want to

    =========================================================================

    Maybe if Spurs want it, and plan to profit from it, they should pay for it?

  • Comment number 96.

    The simple fact is that athletics cannot afford a stadium like this and need football money to finance the stadium for competitions after the olympics. So why should football teams kow tow to what athletics wants & tell them what they (Spurs & or West Ham) are prepared to do for athletics. Can anyone remember the last time a major athletics stadium was anywhere near full in this country the last time there was a competition? Probably the commonwealth games in Manchester. And what happened to that stadium? Oh yeh it's a football ground.

    ************************************************

    Why you should ask yourself, are there few world class athletes in the UK? Because there are naff all facilities.
    Just baecause in the last 20 years football finally got its act together and is now awash with money as opposed to the 70's and 80's) it is no reason to elevate football above athletics, anyway it is nothing to do with cow-towing to athletics, it's actually the other way around. The stadium wouldn't have been built if not for the Olympics and also promising that it would remain in place as infrastructure for decent athletics facilities for the future.
    What an utter waste of money it is to knock it down anyway.

  • Comment number 97.

    Considering the bleating from the athletics lobbyists, what makes athletics so special that it should get a £500m new stadium without putting up any of the funding for it itself? What about other minority sports, which is exactly what athletics is.

    ============================================================================

    What planet do you guys live on?

    Athletics got the stadium as the UK won the olympics........Nothing more, nothing less.

    You guys want the UK to have the olympics, want the UK to make these promises to get it, and then change your mind as soon as West Ham need a new stadium............

  • Comment number 98.

    The actual truth is if the UK government don't make the stadium available for athletics, we'll never get anything again.

    And we really won't deserve anything either.

    As we'd have lied, and misled people, to get backing for an Olympics

  • Comment number 99.

    What is happening with the top half of the stadium they are disposing of. I know Doncaster has a huge empty field where it would fit nicely to host future athletic events.

    Why not let this be the legacy of the stadium send it up north and develope the facilities across the country.

    We would make use of it i'm sure a new cricket ground could fit in that how good would that be

  • Comment number 100.

    #96 - " The stadium wouldn't have been built if not for the Olympics and also promising that it would remain in place as infrastructure for decent athletics facilities for the future."

    If only.

    Let's pay for essentials before we pay for fun. I don't if you noticed mate, but this country is skint and making massive cuts in essentials whilst you have fun watching a load of junkies run round in circles next Summer.

 

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