Advertising Console

    West Ham wins bid for Olympic Stadium


    by ODN


    West Ham will have to guarantee to keep the running track at the Olympic Stadium for the long term after the club were formally confirmed as winners of the race to take over the venue after the London 2012 Games.

    Hugh Robertson, the minister of sport and the Olympics, said the Hammers would not be permitted to scrap the track after just a few years if they were unhappy with its impact on the venue for football matches.

    Robertson also insisted there had been no political pressure brought to bear on the Olympic Park Legacy Company (OPLC) to choose the West Ham bid over Tottenham's, which would have seen a football-only stadium without a track.

    The unanimous decision to back the Hammers' bid was announced by the OPLC following a four-hour board meeting on Friday morning, but was widely expected after it became known that officials working for the legacy company favoured that option.

    That infuriated Tottenham who are keeping their powder dry over possible legal action.

    OPLC chair Baroness Margaret Ford insisted there was no "fait accompli" and that board members had gone through a thorough process, while Robertson said he hoped Spurs would not go down the legal route.

    Robertson added: "I sincerely hope not. When you have been through a process like this which has been pretty robust and pretty competitive people say things in the heat of battle.

    "I hope when everybody has calmed down and had a think about this that that will not be necessary.

    "It is quite a big step for any football club to take a Government to judicial review."

    London Mayor Boris Johnson described the decision as a "very significant step" forward towards delivering the Olympic Park legacy.

    He said: "This milestone means we now have the prospect of a local football club and a multi-use venue capable of hosting athletics, a range of other sports and a vibrant programme of events for the local community and schools.

    "I am thrilled that the Legacy Company board has arrived at a recommendation for me and my colleagues in Government to consider. I am confident that we will be able to respond quickly to the advice of the Legacy Company in making our decision."