West Ham beat Tottenham to win Olympic Stadium
WEST Ham United will move into the Olympic Stadium in 2014 after beating Spurs in the battle for the site.
The Hammers were given the green light this morning by the Olympic Park Legacy Company to take over the Stratford stadium after next year’s Games.
Along with partner Newham Council and events promoter Live Nation, they will adapt the current design to create a 60,000-seat stadium that will keep the athletics track and be a base for the local community.
The OPLC unanimously favoured West Ham’s bid over that of Tottenham, who wanted to knock the stadium down, build a football-only ground and redevelop the athletics stadium at Crystal Palace.
Baroness Ford confirmed the decision at a press conference this morning, stating that West Ham fulfilled all five of the criteria they were looking for, as opposed to Tottenham fulfilling just three.
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She said the West ham bid would have a positive impact on the community and would be the best one for the people of east London.
Baroness Ford said “We are confident that this represents the very best for the stadium, it’s cracking for the communities of east London, it’s great for Londoners and it’s very good news for the UK taxpayer.
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“We believe in this recommendation. It’s also a very good outcome for sport.”
She rejected suggestions the decision was a “fait accompli”, as various news sources reported the decision had already been made yesterday
She also refused to go into detail about the strengths and weaknesses of Spurs’ and West Ham’s bids, as she did not want her comments “to get in the way” of London Mayor Boris Johnson and the government ministers who will rubber-stamp West Ham’s bid.
The Hammers will have to take out a �40 million loan with Newham Council and will also face question marks about whether they can fill it regularly, particularly if they drop out of the Premier League.
The decision is not a final judgement, and the government and Mayor of London still have to give their backing to the OPLC’s recommendation.