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Encouraging signs on Olympic venue legacy

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David Bond | 11:45 UK time, Tuesday, 4 May 2010

No white elephants - that was the mantra of London's successful Olympic bid.

But ever since London pipped Paris and Madrid in the race for the 2012 Games, there has been uncertainty over how the £537m Olympic Stadium would be used once the flame is extinguished.

The 'flatpack stadium', as it became known by virtue of its adaptable design, was originally going to become a 25,000-seater athletics stadium. But organisers scrapped that and ordered a review last July when it became clear track and field alone would not cover the estimated £1m-a-year running costs.

Having allocated £9.3bn of public money for the Games, the idea of leaving London taxpayers with the costly burden of running the venue after the Olympics has caused many an official to break out in a cold sweat.

Financial turmoil at West Ham - caused by meltdown in Iceland - looked to have ended any hopes of the only realistic Premier League club moving in.

But then new owners David Gold and David Sullivan announced last March they would be interested in taking on the stadium and converting it from an 80,000-seater stadium to a 60,000-capacity football ground, crucially keeping the running track to ensure London maintained its commitment to athletics.

The Olympic StadiumAEG, who own London's O2 arena, have shown an interest in the 2012 Olympic Stadium

Yet there are serious question marks over whether Gold and Sullivan will be able to raise the £100m-£150m cost of converting the venue. That is why Baroness Margaret Ford, the woman charged with leading a search for a long-term tenant or owner of the stadium, will be relieved AEG has thrown its hat in the ring.

At this stage, it is no more than an initial interest but the American sports and leisure giant insists it is keen to explore the possibilities, perhaps not only with the stadium but with other venues at the Olympic Park in Stratford.

AEG's track record in turning the troubled Millennium Dome into the successful O2 arena will give Ford and ministers hope it could do the same with the stadium, although there have to be doubts over whether the East End of London could accommodate two multi-sports and concert venues.

And beyond a professional football or rugby team, how many sports events could AEG realistically attract to Stratford given the Football Association's need to keep Wembley's schedules busy to pay off its huge debts?

At this stage, it is hard to tell exactly what AEG might have in mind. But it is worth noting that Baroness Ford played a key role as a Government adviser in setting up the £700m deal for AEG to take over the Dome.

Could it be she has encouraged AEG to show an interest with the Olympic Stadium to ensure West Ham are not the only bidder in town? Even if that is the case, at least the signs are a little more encouraging on venue legacy.

On the wider vision of using the London Olympics to inspire a sporting renewal in the United Kingdom, things are a little less clear.

All three of the main political parties talk in their manifestos of ensuring a legacy from the Olympics. All three are light on detail, it is fair to say. For now, there is no sign that the £100m a year Britain's top athletes receive to prepare for the London Games is unlikely to be cut by whoever is in the Treasury come Friday morning.

But, given the huge squeeze that is coming to cut the public sector deficit, sport's great fear is that funding will be cut after the Games. If that happens, then delivering that legacy will only get harder.


  • Comment number 1.

    I don't see what the issue with West Ham taking over the Stadium is?
    The will never re-coup the money spent on the stadium, Gold and Sullivan are just providing the option to lease and maintain the stadium. Im sure almost every football fan in the country would want West Ham to move into the Olympic Stadium rather than letting it rot to the ground. Why not do a public concensus, we have paid for the stadium now let us decide what to do with it. Just because some life peer was appinted Olympic legacy secretary why does she feel the need to complicate the matter? Surely the fact there will still be an Olympic Stadium there is what counts the velodrome and the swimming centre are just next door, even more legacy! They could tear that stadium town and erect a statue of the Baroness herself and people still will not forget that there was an Olympics there!

  • Comment number 2.

    Hi David, good blog.
    It seems that we have done this all back-to-front. We seem to have committed to building a brand new athletics stadium and various other top-class facilties with no real thought of how to make them economically viable long-term, rather than actually thinking about how to make viable plans and building the facilities to suit.
    Surely it would be far more prudent to build a national stadium complex somewhere easily accessible from all parts of the UK which could then be used for future bids for World Cups of various descriptions, Olympic bids and Commonwealth Games, while the associated velodromes, pools and other facilities could host top-class National and International competitions of relevant disciplines also?
    I'm afraid this has all come about due to the London-centric thinking of Sebastian Coe and his cronies. If they had considered the long-term economic implications of building yet another large stadium in London when one really wasn't required in the first place and thought more along the lines of a national integrated sporting srategy, we wouldn't have to scratch around for charity from the Americans.

  • Comment number 3.

    Only Premiership football would fill a stadium that size. Athletics or Cricket would stuggle to get £15k people inside.

  • Comment number 4.

    Tom, I see no reason why West Ham seem to feel that they are obliged and that it is their right to take residence within the Olympic Stadium? West Ham may like to have a bigger stadium – but let them build and pay for it themselves, not have it paid for by the Government. THAT is what would leave a very sour taste in the mouth, and much more so than if the stadium – in whatever ilk – struggled to find a purpose, post-Olympics.

    Personally I don’t feel that it will struggle to find a purpose at all, especially not now that AEG have shown an interest in taking it on. The issue here should be about maximising returns and/or profit – to the taxpayer – from the building and/or complex, and NOT about subsidising West Ham United Football Club, which – in essence – is exactly what you’re/they’re proposing by “providing the option to lease and maintain the stadium.”

    You proposed that the Taxpayer should be asked as to what they want? It’s simple: they want their money back, and entering into a piecemeal, 999-year lease with West Ham United Football Club isn’t exactly going to achieve that, now is it? Have no idea how you arrive at the conclusion that “...almost every football fan in the country would want West Ham to move into the Olympic Stadium,” either.

    The conclusion is very simple: if West Ham want a bigger stadium, then let them fund it themselves, and let us not – the Taxpayer – be seen to be subsidising a Premier League club ergo detrimentally effecting the validity of the competition itself. You need to earn the right – through success – to be able to afford a bigger stadium, not have one gifted to you.

  • Comment number 5.

    At the very least I'd like to see the stadium being used for all those events other than football (and occasionally rugby) which are currently being staged at Wembley and turning the playing surface there into the laughing stock of the footballing world.

    Admittedly that would take a co-ordinated effort between Wembley Stadium, the FA, LOCOG, the BOA and various other bodies, not to mention the minister for sport, but surely at some stage all these overpaid dopes have got to get their fingers out and prove themselves capable of organising the proverbial brewery extravaganza.

  • Comment number 6.

    If the stadium is to be used for football and keep its running track, how do you solve the issue where the nearest row of seats would be at least 20 feet or so from the pitch, and a lot more for seats at the goal-ends?

    I would not want to view a footy game from 20 feet away at ground level, may as well watch on a big TV.

  • Comment number 7.

    The Olympic stadium is just a short hop on the DLR from the O2 Arena. So it's clear that creating a second mega sport/music venue is not the best solution. In my view this is going to be a white elephant of epic proportions. Remember, Stratford is no Barcelona.

  • Comment number 8.

    We should not have even TRIED for the 2012 Olympics! Now, in the middle of a huge recession, we have more expense over and above the build costs. Premier League teams are also having money troubles, so West Ham moving in would be problematic anyway. Well done, Seb Coe et al, for giving the UK Taxpayer a huge headache for years to come; I hope you're happy.

  • Comment number 9.

    I don't want my taxes being used to give West Ham a leg up - if they want it they should buy it at it's proper value!

  • Comment number 10.

    They should have built the stadium so that the seating could slide in over the running track for football and other pitched based sports - then retreat back to full width for athletecs etc.

    Instead of building the cheapest stadium possible that will be useless because of its inflexibility, a few more million could have given us a World class multi-use venue.

    Why is there no forethought in Britain anymore?

  • Comment number 11.

    This comment has been referred for further consideration. Explain.

  • Comment number 12.

    While agreeing with the comments regarding West Ham not being subsidised by us the taxpayer, the olympics were afterall awarded on the basis of the athletic legacy - and this must be maintained as a priority. The cost meanwhile is always likely to be way beyond what was budgeted. Simply in terms of the security issues - what the olympics will have done is made this country (or the event) more of a target to international terrorists - and obviously whatever is deemed to be the cost of prevention will have to be paid.
    British taxpayers are going to be paying for this for years to come - there never was a monetary justification in hosting these games!!

  • Comment number 13.

    And for all those who whinge about the whether it will cost 9 billion or 10 billion or 12 billion...
    considering alister darling just spend 200bn at the snap of finger on quantative easing - get some perspective.
    The money is there, so such up and enjoy the worlds greatest event that any nation should be honoured and proud to be the host and be behind it 100% no matter what the cost. If it was not for the olympics and the redevelopment of the east end of london, that area would continue to be a dire slum for another 50 years or more!

  • Comment number 14.

    Oh forgot, why does the DLR extension END at the new Stratford International station, it would have made far more sense to carry it the extra 2 miles to walthamstow central so that those in that area do not have to make a 1.5 hour commute just to get to the site or to canary wharf.

  • Comment number 15.

    Shiekh your kind of missing the point here - which is that how is the stadium going to make money once the Olympics have gone.

    West Ham are a potentially large football team with huge support who are the largest team who would regularly play at the stadium, and so therefore is surely the best option?

    If West Ham make a telling financial contribution in return for playing at the stadium - all of the arguements that West Ham are getting a "leg up" - are missing the point, totally.

    Put simply, if West Ham play 20 games a season with crowds of 50k, making a contribution of 10-15% per match, then money will be coming into the stadium, rather then if they didnt, nothing will be going in at all. (In a similar situation to what happened at Man City after the commenwealth games I believe?)

  • Comment number 16.

    I don't see that this announcement really changes the picture that much. While I acknowledge that AEG are world class entertainment venue operators, the inescapable commercial reality is that a stadium with no main anchor tenant is almost impossible to run profitably, regardless of who you are and what expertise you have. The other point of simple fact is that athletics simply cannot sustain this project long term. There simply aren't enough international events or domestic dates which attract the necessary crowds. The organisers of the Manchester Commonwealth Games realised this. Which is why Man City have Eastlands (and use it), the community also gets access, and the training track has been retained.
    In terms of competition, the scenario I can see developing is that if AEG take it on (almost certainly as a multi-purpose entertainment venue) and start to programme and promote it as 'the' major stadium for concerts in London, this puts it in direct competition with Wembley.
    The improved transport and infrastructure at Stratford would be a major advantage (it's the big flaw of the O2 and Wembley) and Wembley will end up losing the major events and will have to focus on football, which, as gordonhillbilly notes, can only be a good thing for football given the disgraceful state of the Wembley pitch.

  • Comment number 17.

    It was stupid of those who put the bid together to promise the IOC that the stadium would be used for athletics after the games without having done their sums and realised that an athletics-only stadium does not make financial sense.
    And that a shared stadium is not an attractive proposition because of the distance between the spectators and the pitch.

  • Comment number 18.

    i dont see why west ham cant have a go at the new stadium, but, and it is a big BUT. the cost and up keep of something like this would be huge. it did work in manchester when city took over the new stadium after the euro games. now, AEG do have lots of money and somthing could be worked out between west ham and AEG, it would be good for the west ham people and bring lots of work to there area.
    noel forsythe

  • Comment number 19.

    I'm no economist, but I am failing to see how hard this can be. For an 80000-seat stadium, to meet running costs of 1 million per year means making a profit of 10-15 pounds per seat per year. You don't need too many concert bookings to manage that - I reckon an afternoon of ringing round a few bands' agents could sort it out.

    Presumably the real issue is negotiating who pays for conversion to whatever it ends up being, so having competition in the bidding process sounds like a very good idea if we (the taxpayers) aren't going to get screwed over by paying all the capital cost for no return.

    But what's wrong with just keeping it and running it ourselves? I've never understood why anything that can make a profit has to be given away to big business so that public money can be siphoned into shareholders' bank accounts. It's almost as if the politicians are on the side of the billionaires whose yachts they get holidays on, rather than fighting our corner...

  • Comment number 20.

    Shame that AEG are being touted. I'm hugely disappointed with the high ticket prices they charge for the O2, not to mention the difficulty and expense of even getting there.

    Once again it looks as though the taxpayer is paying through the nose to create these white elephants only for big (non-British) companies to reap the benefits.

  • Comment number 21.

    I've got no problem with West Ham moving into the stadium - Manchester City benefitted in the same way from the Commonwealth Games - as long as it's mutually beneficial to all involved. Presumably the new stadium will mean higher gate receipts for them, perhaps some kind of development/exchange deal involving the Boleyn Ground could be in order. That's a smaller venue better suited to many of the events being suggested that would be lost in the whacking great big new ground. Better that than West Ham having their cake and eating it.

  • Comment number 22.

    Post 10-

    There is foresight in the U.K. The problem is bean counters, who have jobs specifically to 'value engineer' and save money. A noble exercise at times- sometimes identifies cheaper ways to do things, but inherently dangerous when someone comes in, states that "not having moving seating would save £20m off the build", changes things and goes off patting themselves on the back to a job well done without considering the full consequences on lack of flexibility and money lost long term- of course well after they are gone!

    We do far more cost benefit and value engineering exercises than those over on the continent and I have to say we get a bit obsessed with the money over flexibility and design.

    Money- the root of all evil!

  • Comment number 23.

    Re: No2 Martman

    My understanding is that the international olympic commitee will only consider bids from Capital Cities, which is why London HAD to be the bid.

    Who are Seb Coe's cronies, or did you just make that up for effect?

    In terms of easy access to the citizens of the UK, 8 million people live in Greater London, and it is the hub of road, air & railways, plus it has the best access to Europe and the rest of the world.

    I don't live in London btw.

  • Comment number 24.

    "there is no sign that the £100m a year ... is unlikely to be cut by whoever is in the Treasury come Friday morning."

    Hmmm no sign that it is unlikely to be cut. I love BBC reporting double negatives. I am not sure I misunderstand that.

  • Comment number 25.

    "7. At 2:46pm on 04 May 2010, John B wrote:
    The Olympic stadium is just a short hop on the DLR from the O2 Arena. So it's clear that creating a second mega sport/music venue is not the best solution. In my view this is going to be a white elephant of epic proportions. Remember, Stratford is no Barcelona.

    Actually the area they developed in Barcelona was very run down before they redeveloped it for the Olympics making it an area that many tourists now visit. The accurate comparison is not between Stratford and Barcelona but between London and Barcelona - the regeneration of East London can easily have the same impact to the area regenerated in Barcelona.

  • Comment number 26.

    Surely you West Ham fans are missing a key point, the stadium is quoted as being in the region of £1m per year just for upkeep, along with the more regular use of the stadium which would come with its regular premiership use, that would make it more expensive. I did read Sullivan had put all the West Ham team up for sale as the club cannot sustain the wages, there have been many staff laid off and Sullivans exact words were that if the hammers went down it would be armageddon! So with this in mind, where is the money coming from? As a Birmingham fan, I can guarantee it aint comin from gold or sullivan. Best way forward is multi-use and then wembley can focus on football.

  • Comment number 27.

    #11. nice profit you're gonna make on that my son. won't ever happen.

    David Bond eh? More David Milliband to me. :#

  • Comment number 28.

    I think AEG becoming interested could be a good thing. Maybe this is the first step for a Full-Time, Professional London Team for the NFL Franchinse? After all, Wembley sells out all the time when they have one-off matches. Failing that, perhaps Leyton Orient or West Ham Utd could Ground-share with Saracens?

  • Comment number 29.

    Strange to say no one can give west ham a leg up because it's not fair blah de blah when that's exactly what man city got with the city of manchester stadium!

  • Comment number 30.

    why not use it as a home for a London NFL franchise???

  • Comment number 31.

    the stadium is ideal for nfl games, also the 2018 football world cup and the 2015 rugby world cup is coming up as well

  • Comment number 32.

    SteveChorleton wrote:
    "My understanding is that the international olympic commitee will only consider bids from Capital Cities, which is why London HAD to be the bid.

    So why did we have Sydney & Barcelona ?

    And with whatever use the Olympic Stadium may have in the future, the Taxpayers will be funding it, but to compound matters, will be paying twice, as it is us that would buy the tickets to attend the events.

  • Comment number 33.

    23. At 5:40pm on 04 May 2010, SteveCholerton wrote:
    Re: No2 Martman

    My understanding is that the international olympic commitee will only consider bids from Capital Cities, which is why London HAD to be the bid.

    Sydney, Atlanta, Barcelona, Los Angeles, Calgary and the infamous Munich to name a few.

    And we know that the rules haven't changed since then as its Rio de Janeiro's turn after London.

    So yes your understanding is wrong.

  • Comment number 34.

    Everyone who argues against West Ham United football club taking the stadium for anything other than the promise to maintain an athletics legacy is missing the point.

    This would be no "leg up" or indeed be financially subsidising West Ham - quite the contrary, in fact. While the West Ham offer does bring wider benefits to the community, the main attraction of the offer is purely financial (West Ham have a significant East London supporters base and could bring in, admittedly at reduced ticket prices, crowds of 50,000+ on 20-24 occasions per season).

    If the West Ham bid was to succeed, it would do so on the basis that it is the most financially rewarding offer. If it doesn't succeed, the winning bid would be one that either financially compensates the UK taxpayer more substantially or one that had less tangible, more romantic benefits (such as an athletics legacy).

  • Comment number 35.

    AEG will do an excellent job with the stadium. Unlike West Ham - Who wants to watch a League 2 football team (which is what they'll be by 2013) with a few thousand supporters in a big venue like that? If West Ham want it they can lease it from AEG at commercial rates.

  • Comment number 36.

    Hi. After reading through the majority of the past comments I think some of you have missed a trick, mainly due to the fact that although I would agree that around 70% of the Olympic bill will be paid by Londoners, it is the whole country who is footing it long term. As has been already established, there is no chance UK Athletics could stand to pay for the whole thing alone, nor (in my mind) could West Ham United, given the fact that they are not nowhere near the financial juggernaut that is Manchester City, neither are they in a position to boast that they are going to be a regular team in the Premier League (especially after their poor show this season). So, in my view, I believe the Olympic Stadium should be used primarily as the new National Rugby and Athletics Stadium, with other events that can be organised in conjunction with the owners of Wembley Stadium, so as not to tear into their profits, as I'm sure the Capital could host a few more events per year than what is already being provided at the O2 and Wembley. My reasoning is this; English Rugby deserves to have a new stadium after their showing at the last two Rugby World Cups. As a major footballing nation we have got nowhere near that feat, but the England Football Team got new stadia? A bit perplexing in my view. Also I'm sure with the revenue from athletics, concerts, motorsports (that could be hosted there instead of ripping up the apparent state-of-the-art Wembley pitch) the £1 million costs can be maintained. If only any branch of authority would actually listen, because I'm sure the Sports Minister, and whoever her successor will be, surely won't consider the opinion of the main funders for their "legacy".

  • Comment number 37.

    There's so much ill feeling shown towards west ham,man city never had any of this and as much as i am against moving from upton park i dont see any other option that will guarantee regular income for this stadium,and whoever it was that said we'd be a div 2 team by 2013 got it wrong there did'nt you!!!!

  • Comment number 38.

    To respond to a couple of posts -

    The IOC does not and has not specified that it will only accept bids from capital cities.

    However, it does set out in its specification things like number of hotel rooms, size of venues etc etc These are freely available on the IOC website.

    Given the size of the games and the number of athletes and officials (approx 20,000) plus the media circus (another 20,000 ++) and spectators it tends to be large cities (and therefore generally capital cities) that bid.

    However not all capital cities are large. There is no way that e.g. Canberra would have been able to stage the 2000 games instead of Sydney. Ottawa could not have substituted for Montreal in 1976 or Washington DC for any of the US host cities.

    Athens, a capital city, struggled to stage the games.

    Manchester City FC were not 'given' the City of Manchester Stadium after the Commonwealth Games. They pay a baseline commercial rent plus a share of the income if there are more than (I think and stand to be corrected) 30,000 spectators at a game. The stadium is owned by Manchester City Council and leased to the club. The club paid for the conversion costs from athletics to football.

  • Comment number 39.

    Re: comment 4.

    Sheikh. From what you have written here I can only assume you must be a Spurs fan?

  • Comment number 40.

    £1m in running costs is nowhere even close when considering salaries, catering, maintenance, rates and utilities. So if that's what's been published (the fact that none of this is in the public realm continues to really get my goat) they're on a loser from the start.

  • Comment number 41.

    a) Having an athletics track is not an issue at all as Messrs Sullivan and Gold know. There will be very few athletics meets each year, and when there are, some seats can be easily removed to recreate the original athletics circuit. Exactly as the Stade de France does from time to time.

    b)The stadium will go to West Ham for a song, a peppercorn rent simply because no-one else will want to move there. The precedent has already been set by Manchester City, and unless there is a London franchise of an NFL team playing there, the only hope for the stadium's future use is for West Ham to go there.

  • Comment number 42.

    I support another London football club and I usually enjoy watching West Ham losing on the football pitch. But we're never going to get that £537m back, for goodness sake let the Hammers move in if they'll allow the running track. Or even if they don't want the running track. Any chance of some 20/20 cricket as well as athletics/football? Better use the stadium than see it rot.

  • Comment number 43.

    1 million a year doesn't sound like much. Basically 50 staff on 20k pounds a year. You sure you've got this story right? It's less than 0.2% of the 537 million pound figure you say the stadium will cost. A million pound a year is 114 pound an hour, could they hire it out for birthday parties or something?

  • Comment number 44.

    Several things I have noticed throughout the comments:

    a) West Ham have said they would find the money to pay for the re-development costs associated with making the stadium ready for football.

    b) They are proposing to reduce the capacity by 55,000 to make the stadium suitable for athletics. How many athletics events will there be? 1 diamond league meeting? 1 Trails? GB championships. They cannot even sell out Crystal Palace athletics center at such events.

    c) People talking about making this a rugby stadium, I take it nobody has actually been to Twickenham? The RFU already own there own 85,000+ state of the art stadium so why would they downgrade to a 50,000 seater stadium?

    d) I know Gold and Sullivan are viewed as slightly shady at times but do people genuinely think they were only trying to pay the 1 million only? Arsenal make 3 million profit a game from there 60,000 seater stadium, now West Ham have the potential to make 1-1.5 million a game profit. Across the season thats 20-30 million a year in profit even if the government wanted 10% of all profit it could ultimately turn into a regular although small income for the government that could be used to maintain an Olympic 'legacy' or be put into grassroots football.

  • Comment number 45.

    From an athletics point of view:

    While I have read carefully all the arguments above, my personal interest is in athletics.

    I would agree that while public interest in athletics has dropped massively, i think this is a direct result of mismanagement of the National Governing Body in the 90's. However since UK:A has come into to take over the running of athletics, Grand Prix attendences have increased massively and participation amongst the general public (primarily from a young age) has also increased.

    Athletics would hugely benefit from a world class stadium in which it could put on international meetings, up until a few years ago we hosted quite a few international events, but there has been a decline in these. It is fundamental that athletics has primary use of the facilites, I do agree that it will struggle to draw the kind of crowds that football games can, but the influence of many of the athletics sporting stars, such as Usain Bolt, Blanka Vlasic, Yelena Isinbaeva and Asafa Powell, has resulted in a packed out Crystal Palace stadium at the London Grand Prix, an event which is now run over two days, the atmosphere there has been fantastic.

    Crystal Palace is in need of major refurbishment if it is to continue hosting such events and in fact drawing bigger crowds, which as long as we don't fall back into a even worse recession, could be achieved through public's exposure to world class athletics on its door step.

    I closely followed the conversion of the City of Manchester stadium from athletics to football, it was a great shame to see that all that athletics was left with, was the warm up track with the addition of seating around the edge, which is far from a perfect setting. The track should not be removed from within the Olympic stadium as hopefully any records that are set on it can be revisted and smashed in the future. I think Britain can learn sharp lessons from the legacies of former Olympic hosts, that the key to the success of the legacy is to continue promoting it as a multi sport destination, hosting world class events, drawing in international teams and interest and keeping London as the centre stage for the next generation.

    I've been involved in programmes working with rising sporting stars from around the Olympic park area and its clear to see that this project has created a sence of pride amongst young londoners, who are clearly going to be the ones in the future who want to follow in the footsteps of the greats that will be decending on London and Britain in the next two years.

    Just look at the Berlin Olympic stadium, which was regenerated for last years World Athletics Championships, it highlighted the posabilites of hosting international events far after the original year of completion

  • Comment number 46.

    It's all about London is'nt it?
    In defiance of almost every non London based football fan,the national football stadium was yet again sited in the capital instead of central England! To build another large venue a few miles away is sheer stupidity and highlights the fact of London rules,and to hell with the rest of the country! We have the national cycling stadium at the velodrome in Manchester,and it's a very successful one too...but Coe and his mob insisted on a new build.just to ensure the provinces input to the Olympics will be minimal!
    When the games are over,will the national cycling association move to London also? At the moment this has been denied but if London wants,London tends to get!
    As far as A.E.G. is concerned,the thought of the people of this country financing the stadium just to hand it to an American company beggers belief! Regardless of any rent/income they may offer,the fact that Spurs/W.H.U.can make this stadium a home should have priority!
    But their is a price.
    The C.O.M.S. that Man City now inhabit DOES cause a bit of tension in Manchester! In a game of vast commercial revenue,the fact that city moved from an outdated,run down stadium to a new build,with minimum outlay,whilst other clubs(Everton/Pool and other smaller clubs)have to cost any move themselves,was and is unfair!
    Man Utd improved Old Trafford themseves..but it cost approx £200m!
    As I stated earlier,the National Stadium should be just that..for the nation,not just London!
    Steve Manchester.

  • Comment number 47.


    Its not ALL about London, its about the whole of the UK. Admittedly the majority of the events in the Olympics take place in London, but there are events out in the football stadiums elsewhere (like Manchester or Newcastle), and the tourism boost will help the whole of the UK rather than just London. Back the Bid!


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