Tottenham and West Ham lead London 2012 stadium bid

The Olympic Stadium in Stratford The winning bidder for the stadium must show a commitment to the regeneration of east London

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Tottenham and West Ham football clubs have been named as the two preferred bidders to take over London's Olympic Stadium after the Games in 2012.

The venue in Stratford must remain a "distinctive physical symbol" and help to regenerate east London, the Olympic Park Legacy Company (OPLC) has said.

Tottenham plan to make the east London stadium an 80,000-seat venue.

West Ham want to create a 60,000-capacity arena for football, athletics, concerts and community use.

The Tottenham bid has been submitted in collaboration with AEG, which runs the O2 Arena beside the Thames in Greenwich, south London.

West Ham have teamed up with Newham Council for their application.

"We are very pleased with the extensive and serious interest shown in the stadium," said Margaret Ford, who chairs the OPLC.

"We will go forward to start negotiations with the two consortia.

"Securing the most appropriate and viable solution is crucial for our long-term aspirations for the future Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park area."

It is hoped the successful bidder will be announced by the end of March.

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They will then be pressed to reopen the stadium "as rapidly as possible" after the Games have finished.

West Ham and Newham Council issued a joint statement saying they were "delighted" to have made the final shortlist.

They promised to "deliver the best legacy for the stadium by making it a busy, iconic centre of sport, education and culture that benefits not just east London, but the nation as a whole".

The chief executive of AEG Europe, David Campbell, said neither he nor Tottenham were commenting on the shortlist.

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