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The Battle for the Olympic Stadium

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Gordon Farquhar | 16:11 UK time, Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham United are preparing to deliver into the hands of the Olympic Park Legacy Company (OPLC)the final details of their rival offers to take over the Olympic stadium after 2012.

Much of what the two Premier League clubs are proposing has been kept confidential, including the potentially pivotal details of the financial dividend for the public purse should they be chosen as tenants. But they have to satisfy five criteria laid down by the OPLC at the start of this process:

1. To achieve a viable long-term solution for the Olympic Stadium that is deliverable and provides value for money;

2. To secure a partner with the capability to deliver and operate a legacy solution for a venue of the stadium's size and complexity;

3. To re-open the stadium for operational use as rapidly as possible once the 2012 Games have finished;

4. To ensure that the stadium remains a distinctive physical symbol supporting the economic, physical and social regeneration of the surrounding area;

5. To allow flexible usage of the stadium, accommodating a vibrant programme of events that allows year-round access for schools, the local community, the wider public and elite sport.

Along with those criteria, a prerequisite for making the shortlist was to satisfy the demand for "a stadium solution that supports the intent of the London 2012 bid commitments for athletics, or proposes a credible alternative".

It is on this point that the proposals of both West Ham and Spurs fundamentally divide.

West Ham will keep the running track, retaining the possibility for the stadium to be used as the centrepiece of an anticipated bid for the World Athletics Championships in 2017.

Tottenham's interpretation of the "credible alternative" is to get rid of the track at the stadium and instead propose a substantial refurbishment of the National Sports Centre at Crystal Palace, home of London's international athletics events. As almost everyone will have now noticed, the proposal is proving to be highly controversial. It is the elephant in the sitting room but let's just ignore it for a moment.

Whatever the board of the OPLC decides, the Olympic Stadium will not become just another large football venue, animated only once a fortnight for home games, with the occasional bit of public access to the club's trophy room or museum. It must be at the heart of the local community and have ready a "vibrant programme of events".

Spurs have bid partners AEG to bring their expertise to bear on the events side. Running entertainment arena The O2 certainly ought to mean that AEG are well up to speed. West Ham have involved Live Nation, who are equally credible concert and event specialists.

The Olympic Stadium in Stratford

West Ham and Spurs will reduce the capacity of the stadium from 80,000 once the Games are over. Photo: Getty Images

Both clubs will modify the stadium, reducing its 80,000 capacity at Games-time to 60,000 and making the changes they need to better fit the profile of a football ground, including such vital revenue generators as corporate entertainment areas.

What they spend on that is their own prerogative but they will have to convince the OPLC that they have got the money and can pay the rent as long-term anchor tenants.

There will be £35m available from the Olympic Delivery Authority's budget for the site, set aside for the legacy use refurbishment of the stadium. Both West Ham and Spurs would be expected to take advantage of that money - West Ham as part of their plans at the Olympic Park, Spurs to spruce up Crystal Palace.

Both will have to demonstrate a multi-sport capability. West Ham have been talking to Essex County Cricket Club as part of their plans to satisfy that requirement, with an eye on Twenty20.

So, back to the athletics legacy.

For each bid, satisfying that demand requires a compromise.

For West Ham, it means accepting that the stadium is not configured exclusively with football in mind - and that means there is an impact on sightlines, atmosphere and the fan experience. That is a compromise the club will bear and is asking its fans to accept.

For Spurs, it is others who must be prepared to accept compromise. There has been a disorderly queue of people keen to say that scrapping the Olympic Stadium track is not what was promised in 2005. The debate has become increasingly heated.

What counts is the decision of the OPLC, which has said alternatives can be considered.

A complication for Spurs has arisen in the last few days in the shape of Crystal Palace Football Club, who have announced their ambition to return to the site that gave them their name.

The significance of this development is being dismissed by sources close to Spurs but it adds another element to the already difficult decision-making process.

Once Spurs and West Ham have made their final submissions, OPLC chief executive Andrew Altman faces a long weekend of deliberation. He and Baroness Ford, the OPLC chairwoman, will then make their recommendation to the OLPC board.

If the board are happy, that positive feeling cascades down to the two major stakeholders: the Government and the London Mayor's office, who have the final say.

What is clear is that whichever way this falls, one party will very disappointed, possibly even prepared to mount a legal challenge.

The OPLC will have to be confident its decision will stand up to scrutiny, especially from the Government's audit committee, for whom value for money overrides all other more emotive considerations in these difficult economic times.

Comments

Page 1 of 3

  • Comment number 1.

    Gordon,

    What have the owners of the National Sports Centre arena (UK Athletics?)and their local council (Croydon?)said about the Spurs idea and the CPFC plans?

    If the owners of the National Sports Centre are expecting to move to the Olympic Stadium, and have therefore started to negotiate the sale of theie existing arena to CPFC, then the Spurs plan is dead, isn't it?

  • Comment number 2.

    Bromley council backinwhite. And they apparently back Spurs' plans, saying there's no other option for the redevelopment of the NSC on the table at the moment.

    Whether that means CPFC haven't put their plans forward yet, or whether Bromley don't consider them to be workable, however, I don't know.

  • Comment number 3.

    Srike that actually. Apparently Bromley are coming around to CPFC's plans now they've seen more details:

    http://www.southlondon-today.co.uk/Sport.cfm?id=1982&headline=Bromley%20Council%20welcome%20Palace%27s%20ground%20plans

    Looks like they've got two options for the site, which of course will have direct implications on the Olympic Stadium process.

    The question is, if the OPLC choose Spurs' plan, would that mean CPFC's plans are dead, or would the final decision rest with Bromley council? If the final decision rests with Bromley council in this instance and they chose CPFC's plans over Spurs' would Spurs then have to find an alternative site for a small athletics stadium or would they be let off the hook leaving London with no athletics legacy???

    It gets ever more complicated, doesn't it?!

  • Comment number 4.

    Thanks RobH #3. Anyone else notice the irony of the Bromley Council leader's name? Over a decade as a Spurs player...

  • Comment number 5.

    Neither club should have the stadium.

    It should sit there as a reminder of yet more woeful forward planning and money wasting by the UK.

    How we can be spending £400m on a "temporary" stadium is beyond me. Looking around the world at latest stadium technology, the Olympic stadium could have incorporated flexible/removal seating to cover the track from the outset. Could also have had a removal sliding pitch to allow it to be a multipurpose venue in the way Wembley isn't.

    But no, we build an overexpensive stadium, that is also very boring to look at and utterly useless once the games are over.

    It was a white-elephant even before they started constructing it.

  • Comment number 6.

    YES No. 5
    You're right.

  • Comment number 7.

    There is also a third bid from ISG, which has gone largely unnoticed. Who are ISG? ISG business core is maintenance and impoving "stadia experience" and they have worked closely with AEG in the past. Would ISG work with AEG in the future were they to be successful in their bid? Undoubtedly.
    The question that really needs to be asked is why was a stadium built for two weeks in the summer rather than for legacy?

  • Comment number 8.

    I really hope We at West Ham dont move to a stadium we all know we wont fill .Stay where we are and redevelope the chicken run,to make our capacity 45k.The olympic stadium should remain for athletics and concerts etc.What if we go down and get the stadium we would look pretty sad with crowds of 25 thousand in that massive arena.I havent met or talked to one supporter of either club that wants to move.

  • Comment number 9.

    Why not make them both tenants?
    Inter Milan and AC Milan have done it for decades.

  • Comment number 10.

    Do not like the idea at all of having England's most passionate supporters having to go to a new stadium where they will be furthest away from the pitch.. You either get rid of the pitch or don't move in. West Ham is already a club on the decline and losing its heritage and marbles. If they go ahead with a move to an athletics stadium, the club would have just written its death warrant.

  • Comment number 11.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 12.

    Also, neither set of fans is particularly happy about the bids.
    Spurs fans for the most dont want to leave North London, especially as a well-planned and serious pitch to build a new stadium on the site of White Hart Lane has already been discussed; and West Ham fans dont want their new stadium to have a terrible atmosphere.
    Maybe it will all come down to which club's board is 'better.'
    The Chucklebrothers and Harley Quinn certainly wouldn't get my vote....

  • Comment number 13.

    "England's most passionate supporters"

    Didn't know Portsmouth were bidding Dave

    :)

  • Comment number 14.

    Surely West Ham should get it. They've tried really hard to get the stadium without financially effecting them but Tottenham have already planned for a gorgeous stadium, the plan looks like a real peach. Why shatter their hopes of a beautiful stadium and battle with another team for a stadium.

    AC Milan and Inter Milan play very well in the Serie A and share stadium, perhaps they could do the same? Besides, the stadium is practically in West Ham so geographically, it's theirs! I doubt that Spurs fans would want to travel 20 miles out of Tottenham to watch a home match.

  • Comment number 15.

    I meant 20 minutes from Tottenham. Anyway, what is wrong with White Hart Lane?

  • Comment number 16.

    @5 - your right to a point, however it's around 537 million! No idea how the UK keeps justifying these types of venues at those costs, in North America they do it for a fraction of the price.

    @8 - I think all Hammers fans would rather stay at UP and develop the East Stand, trouble is we are in it up to our necks financially and need to look at the longer term. There are plenty of fans out there who are reluctantly "happy" to move to the OS, a recent (but small) poll has shown that while over 70% were against the move a year ago, then now 60% are in favour, could possibly be since the Spurs bid has ramped up and we know that if they move in there, that really could be a challenge we can't get round?

    @9 - Would rather poke myself in the eye repeatidly with a sharp pencil

    @10 - As the most passionate supporters shouldn't have a problem generating an atmosphere then ;-) If they stay at UP then some will argue the death will be much quicker. It's not going to be just an Athletics stadium though, it's going to be for a number of different types of events and probably a pretty big cash cow.

  • Comment number 17.

    Frankly, I don't think either set of fans wants to move to the Olympic Stadium. The Spurs fans don't want to leave White Hart Lane, half the West Ham fans don't want to move there either, and nearly all the West Ham fans don't want Spurs moving into 'their territory'. Let's face it, Sullivan and Gold seem more interested in the stadium than the current situation in the club they supposedly support. All they've done in the past year is undermine the manager. Some fans they are.

  • Comment number 18.

    Post 14 & 15

    Mate the reason why the spurs board want to leave white heart lane is all in your surname.

  • Comment number 19.

    Why not keep it as an athletics stadium in principle that can be adapted to host cricket matches? England hasnt got a big cricket stadium like Australia, India, etc.. Lords is the biggest at that only holds around 30,000. Im sure the 35 million could be used to adapt the stadium to incorporate moveable turf and any co-orporate requirements. Just a suggestion as surely it would be easier to cover the running track when needed than rip it up and get rid of it!

  • Comment number 20.

    Firstly, I am a Spurs fan and I hope West Ham get it, for a number of reasons.

    1. I would much rather we redevelop White Hart Lane and regenerate the Tottenham area a bit - I think it will help the community a lot more than moving to stratford which has already had a large influx of funding.

    2. I would prefer to have a purpose built stadium, for us. The City of Manchester is ok but it was increased in size so they could make changes to suit them! We would be reducing and therefore will have less options about how to do it!

    3. I would prefer to stay in the area we are in. We have links with the community and its our home.

    4. Whoever gets it, Athletics will never fill the ground. Athletics needs to except this. Surely a ground that is rarely used is a larger waste of money than a stadium that is used every other week as a minimum.

    Spurs, lets get the new ground at the current site as proposed! West Ham,. you are welcome to the stadium!

  • Comment number 21.

    Anyone been to an event in an Olympic stadium after the olympics?
    If you suffer from agoraphobia you had better take a straight jacket.
    Spurs one week, Hammers the next week!
    Running track?
    Anywhere else!

  • Comment number 22.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 23.

    Now, forgive me if I am being stupid here, I may be having one of those days... But would a good idea before building a stadium be to actually figure out what its going to be used for!?

    You don't see car manufacturers spending billions designing and building a new model all ready for its grand debut at some car contest without thinking for a second who will actually buy the thing

    'Well Sir yes the 4x4 2-seat sports convertible is available, and it sure looks great up on the stand today, and if it doesn't suit your needs? Well you can get your hammer out and bash it around a bit after purchase. Do we have a sale?!'

    If you are building a fantastic stadium for athletics, great, now go promote athletics to schools and the public so you might actually fill the thing after the games. If you want a long lasting legacy then for God's sake consult your customers, pick one then build the darn thing with them in mind. I simply cannot get over how stupid this whole idea is and how much money is being wasted.

    So.Typically.English


    Richard, Congo

  • Comment number 24.

    The reason the Spurs board want to move to the Olympic stadium is because of its proximity to the City and Canary Wharf. The fact that they haven't even consulted fans about it says as much because they know that the majority of Spurs fans want to stay at White Hart Lane.

    Daniel Levy's main goal for Spurs is to ensure that the club is worth more than when his company ENIC bought it so they can sell it as a massive profit. Everything else has been done to maximise the club's value so far apart from a new stadium. They're fattening the calf for the sale, the history and tradition of the club doesn't matter to them, once Spurs have a new stadium they'll sell to the highest bidder and that will be the end of their involvement, it's all about money.

    It would be a great shame to leave WHL and I think any achievements Spurs made after going to Stratford would be somehow tarnished by selling out and becoming an AEG (their bid partners)franchise.

    As for the stadium itself, fair enough there should be an athletics legacy but anyone who thinks that after the Olympics any other athletics event can attract 60,000 fans is kidding themselves. If West Ham win (and I hope they do) the ground will be half empty for football matches with bad viewing due to the running track and more than half empty for athletics events. The Olympic stadium would get one big athletics event every 6 or 7 years, athletics would be better off having a legacy elsewhere.

  • Comment number 25.

    @23

    the reason why they are trying to figure out what to do with it after is becuase the only time athletics attracts a crowd of 80,000 is at the Olympics! What's the point of a keeping it for athletics after the games. In Manchester they turned that into Man Citys' ground afterwards and thats worked fine. Athletics will never attract those number outside the Olympics...sorry

  • Comment number 26.

    25. and with the stadium being the size that it is, West Ham won't fill it. If Tottenham fall on bad times, I think they would struggle to fill it as well. One of the athletics bosses used Roma and Lazio as an example of clubs which use an olympic stadium with the running track, good job he didn't use Juventus and Torino as an example as well: half-full stadiums are a regular feature of games in Italy.

  • Comment number 27.

    In this era of spending cuts in all public services, mass job losses etc the simple question that has to be asked is which bid is most affordable. Which bid is going to be the least burden on the tax-payer?

    Is a 60,000 stadium bid by West Ham, going to be regularly used for athletics?? Obviously there will have to be careful scheduling going on there regarding home fixtures.

    Will West Ham fill a 60,000 stadium? Especially as there is a very real danger of relegation this season?

    And will a 60,000 capacity stadium be regularly used and filled when athletics outside of the Olympics is held there?

    In doing so the costs of holding events, stewarding, electrics etc will still have to be paid for on-top.

    As it is the Spurs bid involves redeveloping Crystal Palace athletics stadium but with a 25,000 capacity I believe.

    There is a reason why new football stadiums in the UK do not contain athletics tracks - namely that it isn't good for football spectators. Indeed at present only Rotherham and Brighton play with one I believe, and in both counts its because they lost their old stadiums due to finances, and certainly in Brighton's case are currently building a new stadium. Therefore will West Ham's fans be in favour of having a running track what with the long distance they will therefore be from the pitch??

  • Comment number 28.

    I agree with Ted

    seems also that Spurs only came into the race because of problems with the local ccuncil [now partially resolved]

  • Comment number 29.

    It will be an utter disgrace if Spurs get their way and move to the stadium.

    The Olympic Games has been the biggest thing this country has talked about in the 21st century, the capital has been engrossed by it for 6 years now, and then to take away the symbol of the Olympic games straight away is something that shouldn't be tolerated.

    Spurs don't deserve any help from the Olympic authorities, they've got their own money. They should concentrate on redeveloping White Hart Lane and not up shifting their home to somewhere which isn't. They won't be allowed to be called Tottenham Hotspur anymore due to Intellectual Property laws, they are only moving for financial gain with this massive Sainsbury's they're planning with J Sainsbury and they'll be destroying a modern icon of London.

    If needs must, give it to West Ham, who are actually from East London, will not destroy the stadium and still have a big enough fan base to fill it reasonably well. Spurs aren't a bigger club than West Ham, they're just doing better on the pitch at the moment due to Harry Redknapp's continual spending and Spurs current wealth. It's unsustainable and won't last forever. Let them make their own way in the world.

    Not to mention the critical fact that Spurs moving would destroy the London Borough of Harringey.

  • Comment number 30.

    as i've stated Harringey council seem to be destroying the borough of Harringey

  • Comment number 31.

    What is all this about???

    First of all it was a joke to build a £400m+ stadium for one event, shows how well the Labour govt looking after tax payers' money.

    Secondly, the stadium will not be able to finance itself if not given (I mean sold) to a football club. So if the council decided not to sell does that mean more tax payers' money are going down the drain?!

    Finally, if it is to be sold to a football club, how would the council even consider West Ham?? I am no Spurs fan, but compare the two clubs which one will be able to afford the price? You also need to look at the present status of both clubs : Spurs are on the up and playing European football on a regular basis, they might not qualify for the next CL but I couldn't see they not qualify for Europa. While situation at West Ham is a bit dull - they had been fighting against relegation in the past few season and they are in serious trouble this season to stay up. There must be uncertainties amongst the future of the club, especially if (or when) it goes down.

  • Comment number 32.

  • Comment number 33.

    I can't understand why any football fan would want to watch their team from so far away if a track were to remain. I've been to a few stadia around europe where there is a track and it spoilt the atmosphere.

    West Ham only now average 33k, Spurs 35k which I know is close to both their capacity. However I could only see Spurs even come close to filling 60k stadium on a regular basis. Who wants to watch their team in a half enpty ground? Just ask any Boro fan

    The West Ham bid doesn't make sense to me and I congratulate the spurs board for not pandering to athletics pressures and at least being honest.

    As a UK taxpayer I'm already annoyed at the waste of money spent on the London only olympics. No one else outside of London will benefit yet we all share the cost. Perhaps the simplest solution should be to have an auction, highest bid wins regardless of other politics. If the winner wants a football ground, block of flats or a multi story car park who cares as long as the taxpayer claws as much back as possible.

  • Comment number 34.

    @5

    I agree the price is ridiculous as all major building projects in the UK are these days.

    However, the whole point of this debate on Spurs/WHU is that it won't be a temporary stadium.

    It will serve a club and loads of other activities/arts for years to come. I can't believe that I'm defending beurocracy(!) but apart from the astronomical price tag, I can't see a bad point with this stadium, certainly not on the criteria that the OPLC have designated.

  • Comment number 35.

    Uk Athletics , West Ham and Newham Council THE DREAM TEAM they ain't !!!
    We as a country need this project to make money. I don't care who gets it but an athletics stadium this size will not make money. I've been to Wembley for concerts and some of the seats there are to far away. God knows what it would be like with a running track around it.

  • Comment number 36.

    @26

    I think the talk is the reduce the crowd size by adding match day areas (e.g. hospitality areas) which generate alot of revenue for clubs. I heard they would reduce it to the 60,000 mark, which I think West Ham would struggle to fill on a consistant basis whereas I agree with you regarding Spurs they may well fill it in the Champions league but if they hit a down turn would they be able to have a continual amount of support like Arsenal and Man Utd. I dont think so. I totally agree regarding the Italian League...too many empty seats, even at champs league games! Poor league though to be fair...

  • Comment number 37.

    To be honest this all should have been agreed and planned some time ago. More incompetent political planning, and I'm sure the ConDems will blame Labour, etc the usual tripe.

    You're only going to fill an 80,000 capacity athletics stadium for the Olympics, so they should have found a football club to be the tenant already without these political games. To be honest I think both Spurs and West Ham will struggle to fill an 80,000 stadium. The running track will mean the atmosphere will be poorer in comparison to White Hart Lane and Upton Park. But one of WHU and Spurs either needs to accept that or both need to give up on having the stadium and leaving it to athletics (which certainly won't fill it post-olympics)

    I don't care whether Spurs or West Ham get it. In fact, I think it would be more in their best interests to re-develop their own grounds although I gather Spurs have issues with their local council. The rest of the argument is all petty tribal bickering between Spurs and West Ham fans ("we're bigger than you", "no we're bigger than you" "what have you done to deserve this stadium?" etc) which will be rather tedious to all of us who support neither club. Then the odd athletics person will go "football always gets its own way" neglecting to mention that practically no one gives a monkeys about track and field events when the olympics isn't on. I'm sure such comments will dominate this blog (yawn).

  • Comment number 38.

    Sullivan and Gold want to line their pockets with the sale of Upton Park - their bid has their own interests at heart rather than those of West Ham. Quite clearly, the stadium proposals do not meet the needs of the club.

    Spurs' proposal will not be accepted, as the judging panel have stated that it is imperative that the running track remain. End of story.

    Distasteful though it is, the public money used to fund the stadium will probably end up benefiting the two porn impresarios at West Ham.

  • Comment number 39.

    @37

    I totally agree with you. Of course football gets its own way. It's the largest, most popular and most commercial sport in the country. Apart from the minority of people who do actively pursue/watch track & field, people don't care about it. Unitl Marion Jones admits she took drugs and then we all gasp in shocked unison and tut vociferously.

  • Comment number 40.

    Originally I thought Tottenham's interest was purely to antagonise Harrigey council and threatening them to leave the area if they weren't allowed to build the new stadium at White Hart Lane.

    The more I read about it, the more it becomes clear it is actually because moving to the Olympic Stadium would make more economic sense for Tottenham. One piece i read quoted a saving of around £150 million for moving and doing the work to the OS rather than develop WHL, which is a significant amount of money.

    From a business perspective, then that has to be considered carefully, especially when the board have to consider the impact that will have on the team. Arsenal have somehow managed to protect their champions league status, but at the expense of winning trophies, whilst the business plan for moving to the Emirates kicked in. Tottenham have to be very careful they don't end up redeveloping WHL at the expense of the team's performance or ability to buy players.

    I am not in favour of moving to the OS in the slightest, however, it is not as straight forward as some are making it out to be. The board have to consider what is best for the club in general, both the supporters and the finances. Many will argue, and I wouldn't massively disagree, that Enic will base the decision more heavily on finances than the supporters, but to a certain respect they need to.

  • Comment number 41.

    I hope spurs get it, they can fill 60k capacity in the premiership and champions league should they get there again.

    West Ham will most likely be a championship side next season (no offence but highly likely) and won't fill the stadium, plus there board can't manage a football club properley and frankly haven't done anything to deserve such a gift of tax payers money.

    Get rid of the track, athletics in this country does not warrant a massive stadium for 1-2 major events a year that, lets face it, no one watches or cares about in this country.

    In addition as an Arsenal fan there is only one club in North London and Spurs should move out of our shadow and into a part of London which has teams of a similar stature.

  • Comment number 42.

    with the all the talk about who is going to take over the olympic stadium no one is giving a thought to my team LEYTON ORIENT who are just around a mile away from from the stadium , things are hard to say the least at the moment with WHU - Tottenham and Arsenal as close as they are at the moment i think it could damage us very badly , as to the orient taking over the stadium no thank you , and certainly not with the running track . if either of the them DID move to the stadium i think orient should receve compensation big enough to build a new stadium somewhere else , shearing with the new owners ? i just dont think any orient fans would want that , neither would the host club fans ,also would orient have a legal right to object ? perhaps with the help of the football league , i agree complety with all the comments that this stadium was a botched lash up from the start , it should have been planned with a closing roof and a moveable pitch it would then have been adaptable fo almost any type of event

  • Comment number 43.

    I'd have thought West Ham fans would have welcomed being as far away from the piych as possible judging by the way their team has been playing this season!!

  • Comment number 44.

    Does no one else see that the key long term issue for both clubs is that under current proposals neither club would actually own the ground. They would be tenants and therefore exsit under the possiblity that 30, 40 or 50 years from now they could lose the lease and become homeless. Spurs, under Levy, have spent years buying property around White Hart Lane and buttering up Harringey council, why move to east London and rent a stadium after so much initial investment? Spurs still haven't forgiven Arsenal for moving north from Woolich, moving east would make them no better than the gunners.
    Also, West Ham couldn't fill a 60,000 seater and especially not in the championship.
    Finally could Levy stop concentrating on the stadium for a moment and buy a world class striker so spurs have the best chance of actually qualifying for champions league, which will produce the most amount of revenue in the short term.

  • Comment number 45.

    Both clubs have the same problem - decent stadia (West Ham's has one side requiring completion) but lousy positions that create travelling nightmares on match day, especially at Tottenham.

    I don't care if Spurs get it - they become East Londoners over-night and Newham gets 2 top clubs with Orient and Dagenham nearby, threatening to explode one day - it's a local football fan's dream, surely!

    Why Orient kick off is beyond me. Hearn seems to be peed off that no one is paying them any attention and his criticisms of West Ham also apply to Spurs. The stadium may be closer to Orient but it's in the old London Borough of West Ham which is now a part of the borough where West Ham currently exist. How is that Orient's patch? There are many clubs that are closer together - eg the Dundees in Scotland.

    If we get it I'll just have to live with it. If Spurs get it - still all good. Empty seats? Even Man. City are getting those. Atheltic legacy should be Crystal Palace AND the re-development of the nearby Terrence McMillan stadium. In any case, it's brilliant for an area that has just improved massively over the last 35 years. Anyone remember the strikes on the docks?

  • Comment number 46.

    Half a Billion pounds for yet another stadium in London that is pencilled in for a few weeks usage alongside massive spending cuts across the UK to public services....Spurs/West Ham?? Who cares??

    We're missing the point completely.

  • Comment number 47.

    Firstly I want to say that as a Spurs fan I am completely opposed to moving to Stratford. However, I don't really see an alternative.

    The whole process of leaving a lasting legacy has been poorly managed from start to where we are now. The reality of the situation is that West Ham would have difficulty filling the new 60k seater stadium especially one that doesn't offer the best specatator experience. Tottenham are the only realistic tenants.

    As I mentioned before I really don't want to leave WHL but we are not competing on a level playing field with other clubs. Manchester City were given a favourable rate to take over the City of Manchester Stadium and Arsenal were given public money to help fund their project. This despite the fact that Arsenal had in their previous stadium a very valuable piece of land that they could build luxury housing on. Unfortunately Tottenham doesn't have the same opportunity as housing would be restricted to the affordable kind and would bring in nowhere near the same amount of revenue. We do not owe Harringey anything and the fact that we are prepared to spend around half a billion pounds developing and regenerating one of, if not the most deprived areas in London without any government support is nothing short of a disgrace.

    Either The governement and local council needs to help Tottenham stay where they are by helping to fund the project and improve transport links or they need to be prepared for us to walk away. It's really up to them.

  • Comment number 48.

    two prefered bidders were asked to bid (not ISG). Atheletics cannot support a stadia on their own. They had one in Sheffield built for the world student games. Apart from the annual Garnd Prix for about 5 years it is now just used by schools and some elite athletes use the warm up/indoor track and facilities. It is quite superb, and UK athletics doesn't need another white elephant!!

  • Comment number 49.

    Neither West Ham nor Spurs would be ideal tenants; West Ham's fans would be compromised on being able to watch the game, while Spurs' fans would be compromised in abandoning North London. And how can West Ham think they can afford to redevelop the stadium when they already have a mountain of debt far beyond what they could raise by selling Upton Park?

    Speaking as a Leyton Orient fan, I don't want any football team there. Let it go to AN Other bidder (ISG?) for it to be another O2-type of venue with an athletics legacy.

  • Comment number 50.

    Every day we get nearer to finding out who will get the olympic stadium. The more media, including the BBC are coming out in support of Tottenham.? Now it could be, Tottenham PR machine is being cracked up too 11.? Or maybe the gentlemen of the press, have a soft spot for "Harry." And his plucky boys. Down at the lane. Or maybe they still feel, West Ham are not deserving enough to have a new stadium. In there own back yard.? Or maybe they just feel like putting the boot into Mr Gold and Sullivan.? (I can't believe that last one. The media in this country, would never do such a thing.) Or it may just come down too Tottenham ability to charm the right people.?

    One thing for sure. When they award the stadium to Tottenham next week. I won't be surprised.!

  • Comment number 51.

    The thing I don't get about the stadium is why Tottenham want to move there because a few months ago we were going to build exactly the same stadium in White Hart Lane so why bother moving to Stratford. It is harsh on the community because the stadium is really the only thing in Tottenham so without it the place would be even worse.
    Also where would all the burger vans, pubs, sweetshops, and chip shops be? I cant imagine the Olympic village having these things, and they help to make the atmosphere of the game.
    And I don't get why West Ham want to move there because their stadium design will mean it is the biggest one in London apart from Wembley so it will be a tall order to fill. So why not stay at Upton Park?
    I think both teams should stay where they are and leave the Olympic village open to the public. I would love to go for a jog there!

  • Comment number 52.

    I think everyone has pretty much picked up on the main points:

    # the planners are morons for not thinking about the "legacy" before even drawing up the plans.
    # if one of the prerequisites was to keep the track then why wasn't the stadium designed with removable seating/turf, etc etc?
    # Let's assume West Ham are in the Championship next season, though I've got a tenner on it so they'll probably survive - will they fill the stadium for matches either if they stay in the Championship for the 12/13 season (no) or get promoted after 11/12 season (no) and therefore be able to afford the rent (no)?
    # I think the olympic stadium is about 5 miles or so from Tottenham - Sunderland is about the same distance from Newcastle - would Sunderland fans fancy travelling to Newcastle for home games or vice versa?
    # I remember when we were first discussing a bid for the Olympics there were all these 13-15 year old athletes in training being pranced round in front of the TV cameras and all these presenters saying these are the people who'll be competeing for GB in London 2012 - so far I've just seen the same old names and very few 18-20 year olds (Tom Daley the obvious exception) - was there as much money and assistance given to schools/ local athletic clubs as the organisers said there would be to get more people involved and give them the best training possible?

    I would love for the 2012 olympics to be a roaring success in all the venues and for GB to do well in the medals, and the "Legacy" to be a good one. Unfortunately I think it was massive plans instigated by mediocre minds.

  • Comment number 53.

    Both boards want to move purely for financial incentives, Spurs see it as the considerably cheaper option rather than spending the dosh on a new stadium in their yard which evidently they thought would be low-cost.
    The west ham board simply want to move to a brand new stadium, re-develop it slightly and then move onto another club, quite a situation the OPLC have on their hands and one which should have been planned much better beforehand

  • Comment number 54.

    The whole issue is a complete mess and was even before it started.
    If a Premier League Club takes it over it will rip the heart and soul out of that club.
    I'm not sure what the current poll is from Spur's fans, but moving to West Ham's turf (pardon the pun) is bizarre.
    Whether it's a good idea for Levy given his plans for selling the Club (which clearly seems his intention) it's not in the best interest of the majority of Spur's fans nor London Borough of Haringey.
    However Haringey played hard ball with Spurs over the Northumberland Development project and the Spurs board probably felt caught between a rock and a hard place the Haringey only have themselves to blame if the OS deal goes through.
    At first the move to the OS seemed to be an intersting business tactic for Spurs but it's now created such a head of steam it could become a reality.
    The expression "be careful what you wish for" is apposite in this case as the fan fallout could be significant if they want to fill a 60,000 seater stadium.
    Spurs currently enjoy an average of c35,000 a home match so to get another 25,000 is a stretch (but achievable as there are - so Levy states - 20,000 + fans on the season ticket waiting list).
    At £1,000 a pop, for some Spurs season tickets, the price of seeing Spurs play is not cheap and can only increase in a shiny new Stadium.
    This would be less of a problem if the current ground is redeveloped but asking people to trek out to the OS is another matter.
    So Levy needs to beware that all that glitters is not Gold, unless West Ham win it and a certain Mr Gold will be more than happy!!

  • Comment number 55.

    This is a tough one. As a Spurs fan there is no way I want to be supporting my team of 40 years in East London. We have the plans to build a magnificent stadium at WHL and that is where we belong.

    On the other hand, as hugh athletics fan there is no way the Olympic stadium is suitable to hold athletics events other than the Olympics. During the summer, whether it is CP, Birmingham, Sheffield, Gateshead or Glasgow, we watch athletic events with the stadia not even half full. The revamping of Crytal Palace is a great idea, but that sadly would mean Spurs playing in east London.

  • Comment number 56.

    Who ever gets use of this overpriced white elephant it demonstrates (in part) how bad a day it was for the UK when the overpriced, overhyped, money draining olympics were given to London

  • Comment number 57.

    Surely CPFC's proposals and THFC's proposals for Crystal palace make it even more of a workable venture.

    How would CPFC fund what they want to do? and if Spurs added upto £50m to that pot surely they could provide a stadium that met the needs of both the FC and UK Athletics.

    For football clubs of the scale of CPFC, sharing facilities would be a much better long term approach to a new stadium than having a purpose built stadium...look at the likes of Southampton who built a new stadium and nearly went bust. CPFC are pretty broke anyway.

    There must a a design that meets the criteria of CPFC, but also provides an athletics track and a flexible design & layout so tempoarary seats can be added or remove to suit to occasion.

  • Comment number 58.

    As a Spurs fan, i also am completely opposed to the Stratford move, but at the same time, i do not want our club to be held over a barrel by Harringay Council. I think the way they have publicly lambasted Tottenham's plan to leave the area is a disgrace and perhaps should come to there senses and accept they need Spurs more than Spurs needs them.

    Yes, Tottenham have spent money buying houses, businesses etc to make room for the plans already laid out last season, so just how much money are the local council asking for if Spurs are willing to write that all off as well as re-develop Crystal Palace?!

    As for the West Ham bid, i don't beleive it would be in your best interests either. Whereas i think you would fill the ground on occasions, for the most part it would be half empty and the running track would make it seem like a ghost town without being full.

    I say Spurs and West Ham should walk away from it, let the Olympic Comittee convince themsleves that Athletics is a growing sport and watch the place become more and more derelict. Give the ground to Leyton Orient, who by geographical rights should lay claim anyway. Yes, it would be a massive waste of public money, the same public who craved for the olympics in the first place.

    I'd much rather this, and i'm sure most W.Ham fans would agree to take this just to avoid the ongoing slanging matches and watch our clubs be dragged through the dirt.

  • Comment number 59.

    Comment 5 hits the nail on the head. Lets turn back the clock to 1995. Why the heck didn't the Millennium exhibition, new National Football stadium and centrepiece for a likely Olympic bid get combined as one? The site had been secured on the Greenwich peninsular, and there was definite space to build a 120,000 capacity stadium with opening roof where the O2 now stands. (And please don't harp on about how Football must have its own space... French Football does not.)

  • Comment number 60.

    The real people to blame here aren't the parasitic football clubs, but the people who designed such an inflexible stadium. If the stadium had a retractable track then it could have been leased to a football club, and used to host athletics events during the summer. Although such is the nature of athletics these would have been incredibly infrequent. I'm not sure that a legacy was ever possible. Most Olympic stadiums double up as national stadiums. England, more specificially, London, already has the second largest stadium in Europe as a national stadium for football, the fifth largest stadium in Europe as the national stadium for rugby, two iconic cricket grounds, and a host of other football stadiums plus Wimbledon and the O2 for tennis. What it doesn't have is an athletics stadium of a world class standard.

    Revamping Crystal Palace to a world class venue does seem a great option, but Spurs moving for that expense is an awful idea. Spurs fans clearly don't want to move.

    West Ham, although they'd keep the running track, aren't really bringing anything to the table.

  • Comment number 61.

    A lot of people seem to be ignoring (or dont know) a major fact about the Spurs bid.

    They are not moving to the Stadium, they are moving to the Stadium site.

    Spurs plan is to DEMOLISH THE WHOLE STADIUM and build a brand new 60K seat football only ground on the site.
    This makes perfect sense for Spurs board (but not the fans) as they can have a state of art football stadium with all the new transport and infrastucture already in place for less money than the NDP plan.

    However, how can the OPLC justify demolishing a £500 million pound stadium payed for by the tax payer!

  • Comment number 62.

    Simmo

    Well said. My sentiments precisely.

    Furthermore, observers call the £500m spent of the Olympic Stadium a waste if THFC knock it down BUT surely it is no more of a waste if WHU half fill it 20 times a year and UK Athletics fill about 5th of it a couple times a year and maybe sell it out in a 1 in 25 year event like the European Championships.

    Why should the taxpayer pay £550m on a stadium, only for it then to be under used by a football club and UK athletics when its use by Spurs will likely provide a much more significant return to the taxpayer, while creating an athletics legacy elsewhere?

  • Comment number 63.

    ive got the perfect solution,let spurs have the os and they give us the 35 million avaiable funds to upgrade the chicken run and make it a 45,000 stadium,then everybody is happy,well i would be anyway,or west ham have the os and use the 35million to have seating that will extract when athletics have a meeting simples.

  • Comment number 64.

    I dont understand why West Ham still want the OS. They couldn't fill their ground in the FA Cup at home to Birmingham! How do they expect to fill a 60,000 stadium in the Championship?

  • Comment number 65.

    @ 23: well said sir! White elephants usually have politicians' and entrepreneurs' fingers stuck deeply in the pie - follow the money trail.

    After following this debate for some time, I am of the feeling that the majority of Spurs supporters would like to remain in N17, as would the club itself, but are prepared to trust the board's judgement in the matter, trusting that they will make the decision that is in the best long-term interest of the club. I just wish the noisy minority would stop pressuring the club to buckle in to the local council's unreasonable demands and instead start putting pressure on the council itself to facilitate the club's expansion in Haringey. By demonstrating against the club, all you are doing is weakening its bargaining position and jeopardising its plans to return to the pinnacle of European football, where it belongs! Can't you see that?

  • Comment number 66.

    @ 46

    That is a cheap and irrelevant point. The Olympics was decided in 2005, long before the credit crunch, recession, and cut backs.

    The Olympics will bring significant benefits and financial returns to this country, and the Olympic Park and enhanced public transport to Stratford, plus new housing and retail will regenerate that whole area.

    The only failure I see was to determine the legacy issue at such a late stage. Surely it should have been considered at a much early stage. UK Athletics knew they couldn’t take on the stadium of that size and the refusal at the early stage to consider football was people (many in Athletics) burying their head in the sand. A stadium design that allowed for more ready adaptation to a football stadium, or a stadium that could be more easily downscaled for athletics would have been the way forward.

    I am not critical of the money spent, that is how much stadiums cost (Arsenal 60,000 seater, £470m, Spurs 56k, £450m) but rather the lack of foresight and vision of those looking for a post games legacy for the stadium, typified by the initial snobbery towards having a football club tenant.


  • Comment number 67.

    Are the redevelopment of CP Stadium and the arrival home of the football club mutually exclusive? I would have thought the if Palace were shrewd then they would get a cheap stadium? Unless they expecting crowds of 50,000?

  • Comment number 68.

    As a Spurs fan who lives in Kent I would welcome the move. Let's face it, not all Spurs fans actually live in Tottenham and the Stratford site is much more accessible.

    I would feel very sorry for West Ham fans if they got it. I would certainly not want to watch football from the far side of a running track.

  • Comment number 69.

    I've just been on the Olympic site on a work related issue, I heard the early option was to build stands on the Warm Up Facility which is not far from the main stadium and looks perfect for it - wouldn't it be nice to have all the facilities still there but in more realistic proportions.

    Another point frequently overlooked is that the stadium was designed partially in concrete with a capacity of 25,000, with the remaining 55,000 accommodated in the steel structure above. Following market forces and the possibility that they would have to fund the white elephant it would become, the legacy committee are exploring the alternatives that would presumably contribute positively to the upkeep of the stadium as well as the surrounding infrastructure.

    I agree that it is typically British that we are only having this debate now, but look on the positive side that the construction is well advanced and we should have very positive images for the duration of the olympics.

    With regards the remainder of the country paying for these facilities - I live in london and have been paying an Olympic surcharge on my Council Tax for the last 6 or 7 years so this has been recognised. Also the construction camp employs people from all over the country (and Eastern Europe) so there has been some positive cash flow to the overall economy.

    Besides all of this I am a Spurs Fan and don't want to enter the tribal warfare taking place on these discussion boards, but I cannot help thinking that the facilities in Stratford will be world class and a leisurely stroll to the station in a landscaped park might be more pleasant than walking through Northumberland Park watching the shadows, and then joining a considerable queue for the train, or walking about 3 miles back to the car.

    Does anyone else think it ironic that Spurs play in a location perfect for IKEA/Tesco whereas these two companies have stores located next to the rail lines and north circular road, that would be perfect for a football stadium - now that is what I call planning!!!

  • Comment number 70.

    @ 40: exactly!

    I am a little saddened to read such disparaging remarks about athletics in the UK. The entire country loves to see us do well at the Olympics, and there is a huge uproar if we 'underperform'. Yet Olympic success depends on years of training and preparation, which has to be sponsored somehow. You can't just ignore the sport for 4 years and then demand successful Olympic results! Okay, I know there's intermediate events, such as the Commonwealth Games and World and European Championships, but you get my point, right?

  • Comment number 71.

    spurs fan here - really hope we dont get it.
    and stratford hotspur - please tell me that is not true?!

  • Comment number 72.

    I think it is disgraceful that the Spurs board are even considering the proposed move to the Olympic Stadium.

    The club has been situated in N17 for nearly 129 years, where Spurs have made history such as being the first English Club to win the League and FA cup double. By moving to the OS you will betray the memory of legendary Bill Nicholson.

    And on top of that, it will ruin the traditional derby days between the scum (arsenal). The most anticipated day that both set of fans wait for all season will be lost, it would make spurs look hypocritical if we move to east London as we have battled for supremacy after all these years.

    As a loyal and true Tottenham fan I would honestly, I will give up my season ticket if the move goes ahead. I’m sure I speak for all Spurs fans when I say NO TO THE OLYMPIC STADIUM

  • Comment number 73.


    1. The stadium was designed to be converted to around 25,000 capacity after the Olympics.
    2. Facilities are mostly outside the stadium - ie toilets & catering.
    Inside is only designed to accommodate the 25,000 capacity.
    3. Most of this stadium cost was spent on decontaminating the land. The actual structural cost is less than £150m - The cloth roof only covers 2/3rds of the ground & there will probably be no external cladding.

    If West Ham win the bid, you do have to wonder about its affordability, especially with their current league position. Also, would Athletics be able to afford to run/rent the stadium for events? The bigger the stadium, the bigger the running costs, etc. and who gets priority on use?

    How often have Athletics sold out events at Crystal Palace? Even with Usain Bolt in town, they only managed 17,000.

    The only reason Spurs are doing it is for money. They get to build a stadium while playing at their current stadium. I believe the WHL development plans included building 1/2 a stadium & then knocking down 1/2 their old stadium, which would cripple their revenue & risk competitively on the pitch & in the transfer market.

  • Comment number 74.

    As a Spurs fan, I have a lot of time and respect for the board of my club. They have put us on a very sound financial footing and the club are enjoying our best spell for many years and that is in many ways down to them.
    Their view as I understand it is that the proposed new stadium on the WHL site presents many logistical/engineering challenges that will actually make it significantly more expensive than the Olympic/Crystal Palace option. They have doubtless had the options costed out, so this is not really an arguable point.
    I certainly don't relish a move to the Olympic stadium for Spurs, but I relish even less saddling the club with any more debt than is necessary to provide us with a new stadium. Football is unpredictable. We may be riding high now but who knows what lays 3-5 years down the road. Just ask Leeds Utd or dare I say it West Ham.
    Having said that, it is a nonsense for OPLC, UK Athletics or anyone else to stipulate or demand that the Olympic stadium should retain an athletics capability, when the only viable purchasers are 2 football clubs. The only occasions when Athletics will ever fill an 80,000, 60,000 or even 40,000 seat stadium is for an Olympic Games, European Games or possibly a World Athletics Championship. One will happen next year, we don't even know if we are even going to bid for the 2017 Europeans and I have heard nothing on the third possibility at all.
    So what we have, unless it becomes a football stadium is another white elephant along the lines of the Millenium Dome.
    Athletics needs to get real. Take the offer of redeveloping Crystal Palace because that's the only viable option for you. You clearly cannot afford to do it yourselves or it would have happened long ago as the place is falling down !

  • Comment number 75.

    Post no. 29, Gavelaa...

    You talk about Tottenham "making their own way in the world" but essentially, West ham would be getting a new stadium far cheaper than they could afford to build.

    Your comments on Tottenham not being bigger are interesting too.

    *Tottenham have spent over 20 seasons more in the top flight than West Ham have.
    *Tottenham have a record attendance of 75,000. West Ham's is 42,000 (thus making a complete mockery of their "need" for a 60k capacity stadium)
    *Tottenham 17 major honours to their name, including the famous double. West ham have 4 major honours to their name and have never even finished in the top 2 in the league before.
    *Tottenham have 35,000 people on a paid for season ticket waiting list (it costs extra to upgrade your membership and join the waiting list for those that assume members just automatically join the waiting list. At the last count, Tottenham have over 70,000 registered members, all of whom can buy tickets) West ham cannot even sell out their current ground and advertise tickets for cheap prices on local radio for such big games as a League Cup semi-final (now if they cannot sell out their current ground for a semi-final, why do they "need" a 60k capacity stadium?)

    I personally feel neither club should get it. Tottenham should stay in Tottenham and West ham should not trade the genuine football stadium they currently have for an athletics venue that will be awful for football. No atmosphere, half empty and basically a waste of time.

    Reduce it to 25k as originally planned and keep it for athletics. Legacy intact.

    Also, the GENUINE local club of the area, Leyton orient (not West Ham as quite a lot of you keep getting wrong) won't be affected and can continue.

  • Comment number 76.

    Could someone/some people answer my perhaps naiive questions:

    Why are just WHU and Spurs bidding for this? Why are other clubs not interested. Arsenal I know have a brand new stadium anyway and I know QPR, Chelsea, Fulham, et al are at the other end of the city.

    Are there any other bids outside of football in for it? A Rugby club or even the England Rugby Association.

    Why could it not have been pre-designed as a huge and comprehensive sports facility cartering for a plethora of sports and thus ensuring its own legacy and relevance in the future? This is more rhetorical as I am fully aware the any government body is going to be far too short-sighted to do anything that intelligent.

    I live in Shetland (as far as you can get from London in the UK), so I apologise if any of these question are silly!!

  • Comment number 77.

    @ 66

    I AM critical of the money spent and about to be spent. Consider that the Sunderland Stadium of Light ground cost an eye watering £15m for a 49,000 all seater which can be extended to 63,000. Anyone who has been will agree it is a fabulous footballing arena. All this talk of £500m and the likes are simply getting ripped off on a ridiculous scale. They continue to get away with it because people accept that as the going rate.

    Clubs and fans should think twice before spending these kinds of sums of money. In the early football days a big ground equalled higher revenues to get the best players (fair enough). Nowadays the actual gate receipts are practically irrelevant. For example Spurs revenues in 2010 were £120m of which just £20m was from the stadium attendances (from their own plc accounts).

    To me it seems more to do with bragging rights than any hard financial sense to buy / build a new stadium - especially in London.

  • Comment number 78.

    Once you have boiled everything down only 1 bid means there will be a Football Stadium for a Football Club and an Athletics Stadium for Athletics events. The choice is pretty simple really.

  • Comment number 79.

    It's good there's somewhere for all the Olympic-bashers to scream and shout. 2012 is coming, it'll be wonderful. Get over it.

  • Comment number 80.

    RE: 79

    You make a fantastic point. I cannot fathom why nearly everyone in England is so determined to cast doom over having the olympics. It seems hte majority of people don't won't it now you have it.

    In Scotland, we have the Commonwealth Games in 2014 and are ecstatic about it! Yes, it'll cost money but it'll be a great event that will raise Scotland's profile and boost our economy. I perfomed in India at the flag handover ceremony to Glasgow and had literally the best time of my life. The positive effects I saw in India were epic, it far from fixed everything, but it put right many wrongs.

    As with 2014, 2012 will be expensive, but if the English were just to get behind, it might not seem so bad...

  • Comment number 81.

    Both options are not ideal, and I agree with many comments on here that the legacy committee should have made up their mind long before the foundations were laid. Spurs want the olympic site as the Haringey council will never approve their redevelopment. Transport links at WHL are terrible, compared with the 5-6 tube/overground stations around the emirates, and the benefits of a brand new site at Ashburton Grove has made it a policeman's dream.

    Levy @ Spurs just wants to increase the value of the club so he can sell it off for a profit, and no doubt mafia Redknapp will have his fingers in that pie too.

    West Ham will never fill 60,00 (neither will spurs for that matter), but the move could help the rengeneration of the club if marketed correctly.

    Why what happened with the commonwealth stadium, couldn't be replicated I'll never know. Take the athletics track out and fill in with seat to make for a footballing stadia (with no need to knock down and start again!), and then redevelop Crystal Palace, which already has more of an athletics legacy than the Olympic stadium ever will!!

  • Comment number 82.

    @ Comment #75

    Speaking as an O's fan you make sense. Couldn't care a less about the stats between your lot and the Hammers though.

    Tottenham stay in Haringey.
    West Ham at the Boleyn.
    O's at Brisbane Road.
    Olympic fans get their original 25,000 all-seater stadium.

    How simple is that?

  • Comment number 83.

    @ 41: Gooners getting nervous about Spurs' ressurgence, are they? :o)
    @ 43: cruel, but couldn't help laughing. Thank God for British humour!
    @ 47: good on ya Simmo!
    @ 49: bear in mind that Wembley is already struggling to make events cover the cost of the redevelopment.
    @ 50: strangely, I thought there was a media campaign cranking up to scupper the Spurs bid. Maybe we're both paranoid???

  • Comment number 84.

    So what happen to the whole legacy plan? Wasn`t the entire bid based on creating facilities which would encourage participation and interest in all sports. The last time I looked there were a few more sports other than Football in this country, and while looking I noted that there are football stadiums on just about every street corner, but no “state of the art” athletics stadiums. Surely the powers that be might expect interest in Athletics to increase after the games? People will want to come and watch, we could be on the edge of putting Athletics back on the map, with top home grow talent performing and winning at the highest level. But given the proposals on the table, where would these extra spectators go to watch these elite athletes in the UK, Gateshead, Crystal Place? That will kill off any growth in the sport. Ask yourself why do we not host the World or European championships? Because our facilities are inadequate, old and quite frankly embarrassing.

    Athletics is not the only sport which can benefit from the venue, how about saving the Wembley pitch and playing the America Football games on it? How about Rugby league and Union, Cricket, Gaelic sports and motocross? the list is long as it is wide, a true multi-use venue which brings benefit to the whole nation. Then there are concerts, conference facilities, exhibitions, and so on.

    It doesn`t take much imagination to ensure the facility is used by a wide range of events and sports and enjoyed by the entire nation, wasn`t that the original promise?

  • Comment number 85.

    Any football ground with a running track will end up looking like the 80s re-visited (cars on the pitch, fans miles from the action). No fan would want a football stadium with a 20 metre no mans land included.

  • Comment number 86.

    Spurs should get the stadium and that coming from an Arsenal fan. They have the ability to fill it to capacity where as West Ham don't have a hope of doing. I posted something similar a few days ago at http://jackbradshaw.blogspot.com/

  • Comment number 87.

    Is it just me or is there a hint of brinkmanship in the Spurs 'bid' for the Olympic Stadium?

    My personal opinion is that a football stadium with an Athletics track is far from an ideal solution, especially for a club currently enjoying its best years for some time (Spurs obviously not West Ham!). Do we really want to be pushing for and playing in the Champions League in the Olympic Stadium? Quite frankly West Ham can do what they like, that up to them. As much as it pains me the Arsenal Stadium is fantastic and should be what we are looking for, 60,000 seats in our home area purpose built for football to help us take the club to the next level.

    My thoughts are that Spurs have had some issues with the local council in redeveloping WHL and I wonder if this 'bid' is serious or is it just the board saying to the local council "Look guys, if you are not going to pass our WHL plans, we will take all our money and the jobs that go with it that that would have come with redeveloping the ground and the local area, and don’t forget the 36,000 people every other week using local shops and transport putting money into the local economy, and we will take it elsewhere. Look we even have a credible (?!) alternative in the Olympic Stadium."

    My view is our bid is unpalatable and i think Spurs know it so it will be rejected, but it shows an intent that might just swing the local council. Anyone else agree or is it wishful thinking?

  • Comment number 88.

    Either way if Tottenham nor West Ham have the Stadium, whether as is or in another format, this country is going to end up with yet another great white elephant, just like the Millenium Dome was for many years.

  • Comment number 89.

    Why Gold and Sullivan think keeping the running track is an acceptable compromise for a football club with the tradition and atmosphere of West Ham is beyond me. For the past 20 years or so football clubs around Europe have been trying to do away with running tracks around the pitch because it puts the fans so far away from the action and impacts negatively on the atmosphere. Juventus had a huge stadium with a running track that was built at great cost for Italia 90, but it became a souless, lifeless blot on the landscape that has now finally been demolished, and the club are still waiting for their new reduced-capacity stadium to be completed.

    How about this for a simple solution that will never happen...

    -West Ham redevelop the parts of Upton Park that need redeveloping and stay there

    -Spurs build a new stadium in Tottenham itself - and in doing so regenerate an area of London that desperately needs it

    -Crystal Palace go ahead with their plan of relocating to the national sports centre, and build themselves a nice new stadium

    -The Olympic stadium reduces it's capacity as planned, and becomes a multi-purpose sports venue for athletics, cricket (test matches, international & Essex T20 games), rugby (union or league), american football etc.

  • Comment number 90.

    @77

    I dont agree with your comment that it is about bragging rights. With the new financial constraints coming into play from UEFA in the next few seasons effectively saying that if you dont breakeven* (*scaling down from £37m injection from sugar daddy's in the first years etc) then you as a club will be puniched, up to and including a ban from European competition now is exactly the time to be ensuring that your club maximises its revenue streams.

    A major part of that is gate reciepts so in theory if you have a big stadium you get more ticket sales, means you can buy and pay wages to the best players and in theory be a strong team. So to mirror your point i think this will revert it back to the old days.

    This is exactly why i worry these new rules will mean the league table will represent the average attendance table in a few years once it has all levelled out, and the 'dream' for a smaller club (Like Blackpool for instance) making it into the Premier League will be even harder.

  • Comment number 91.

    Sunderland Boy - can you get me the phone number of the builders please!

    £15m wouldn't have built the foundations! I would assume this the cost of the more recent increase in capacity from 42,000 - 49,000. Brighton are spending £44 million on a 20,000 capacity, Reading was about £50million for a bit larger. I seem to remember Colchester (circa 10,000) being £10 million as they had to do a new junction on the A12.

    The level of costs vary substantially, a modern stadium will include restaurants, bars, toilet facilities and places like Wembley (and the Emirates) have lifts and escalators etc. As mentioned by others the Olympic Stadium has minimal facilities as they are all outside so will not be affected when the steel structure is removed.

    Also the level of gate receipts is the precise reason Spurs want to increase capacity to challenge the likes of Arsenal / Man Utd etc. The current lowly proportion means they would struggle to challenge the next tier in the premiership on a regular basis. Even Liverpool recognise this as they have circa 44,000 capacity but limited opportunity for corporate hospitality facilities, so they too want to build a modern state of the art facility.

    I've commented on other blogs, but just after Spurs were forced to remove some elements of housing to retain the "listed" or Conservation Area buildings, the costs went up (not now subsidised by said housing) and I think Spurs realised the costs associated with funding such a development. In these circumstances any legitimate PLC is forced to explore all options in future development.

  • Comment number 92.

    @59 "And please don't harp on about how Football must have its own space... French Football does not."

    And who watches French football.....The English premier League is the most watched football league on the planet and its main attraction is the passsion of the fans, the atmosphere and how these factors drive the players on the pitch. That would be utterly lost in the OS. Most WHU fans don't want to move there for these reason. Those that do just want to stop Spurs having it!

    Comparing the EPL to the the French league is like comparing the Olympics to a school sports day!

    @ 61

    The stadium cost £500m.....why is WHU occupying it, half empty at most occasions, and the occasional Athletics meet in front of 15000 and maybe just maybe the European Athletic Championships once every 20/25 year a better use of the site when Spurs would create a stadium sold out every game and used as a venue for concerts etc, bringing people to the area from the locality, from the rest of UK and from Europe?

    If the Spurs proposal, whatever it is, offers more to the taxpayer , regardless of whether they demolsish it or not, then taxpayer would already be getting a better deal than if WHU took the stadium.

  • Comment number 93.

    I really do not understand the argument with regards to the the "demolition" of the stadium.

    What people seem to forget is that the whole concept of the design was that it was a temporary structure and only 25,000 seats were meant to be permanent. So it was going to be revamped in a large way.

    With regards to the argument abouth whether Spurs or West Ham should inherit it. Well thats simple.

    1) Spurs need a new stadium, West Ham dont (Despite offering "Kids for a quid" tickets on the radio they still dont sell out, Spurs on the other hand have 35,000 plus on the season ticket waiting list, and sell out every home game)

    2) Spurs have the finance and are cash rich. West Ham are not.

    Its pretty obvious who should get the stadium.

  • Comment number 94.

    I don't believe Spurs are serious in their bid to move to the Olympic Stadium. I understand that the White Hart Lane redevelopment has hit a sticky patch with the local council demanding a significant sum is spent regenerating the surrounding area.

    Threatening to move one of the larger businesses out of a seriously deprived part of the borough would appear to be an effective way to persuade the council to make a few concessions.

  • Comment number 95.

    re #87
    i agree
    check my posts #28 and #30

  • Comment number 96.

    Couldn't we just do what Qatar are planning to do with a number of their world cup stadia? Just take it apart, give it to another country who would love to have a shiny new stadium, and move on. Sell the land to property developers, or sell a portion of the land, and build a modern equivalent to the athletics stadium at Palace. Continue the olympic legacy, but claw back a chunk of the olympic cost. Its not a stadium designed for football. Even Hampden, as an example of a stadium with pushed out ends, is terrible to watch football in, and that doesn't have a full track. Its a huge area of land, its not far from the city, it can continue the regeneration of the area, and we don't have to live with the constant reminder of how much of the tax payers money the government wasted. Just move it and let the developers have their way with the land.

  • Comment number 97.

    Make tottenham and west ham share the stadium like ac milan and inter milan

  • Comment number 98.

    SPURS MOVING THERE WOULD BE ABSOLUTELY RIDICULOUS!!!! ITS IN EAST LONDON!!!

  • Comment number 99.

    This article says: a prerequisite for making the shortlist was to satisfy the demand for "a stadium solution that supports the intent of the London 2012 bid commitments for athletics, or proposes a credible alternative".

    Spurs HAVE made the shortlist. So does that not mean that this question of "legacy" has already been decided in Spurs' favour?

    The only things left to be decided are the other 5 criteria, which are largely to do with finance?

  • Comment number 100.

    Daniel Levy knows exactly what he's doing & Spurs have been in safe hands under his chairmanship the past few years as our finances prove. Spurs are fully committed to the Northumberland project on the current site, they've bought most of the land around the current stadium over the past few years.
    However, Haringay Council have tried to bleed the club dry with outrageous demands as part of allowing the new stadium development. Daniel Levy is a master of negotiation and will not be held to ransom as he has proved in the transfer market. Tottenham's Olympic stadium bid is a calculated move to put pressure on Haringay council and threaten them with taking Spurs out of their borough.
    I am sure that Mr Levy also did not want West Ham, a rival, to have an unchallenged bid for the Olympic stadium and he will no doubt be enjoying the anger in the West Ham boardroom at his plans.
    It is crazy in these times of financial hardship that we are building a stadium for an event that most people will only want to watch 10 seconds of.
    However, I am certain that Tottenham will build the new stadium at White Hart Lane and West Ham will probably get the Olympic site, if they don't get relegated. But in the end will anyone care that there is an athletics legacy? Probably not. In time it will be known as West Ham's ground and not the UK athletic stadium.

 

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