Spurs' Olympic bid is minus track

05 October 2010 05:11
Tottenham Hotspur's bid to move into the Olympic Stadium would not include an athletics track remaining at the London venue.

The sport and entertainment company, AEG, which runs the 02 arena in Greenwich has joined forces with Spurs in a surprise last-minute attempt to be tenant after the 2012 Games.

West Ham have long made it clear they wish to move into the venue in Stratford, east London, and their bid is being backed by Newham Council.

But while they intend to keep the track, Tottenham and AEG wish to convert the stadium into a more football-friendly venue.

"I think it is a crime if you sacrifice having a perfect football stadium for convincing yourself you are going to do a track and field event every 10 years," said AEG president and chief executive Timothy Leiweke, who is meeting Tottenham executives during a whistle-stop visit to London.

"It makes sense long term. The government and everyone needs to make a decision to ensure that it is usable.

"You make that stadium the best football stadium in the country for Tottenham because if you do that then you are going to make it the best stadium for the next 30 years."

London 2012 promised the International Olympic Committee (IOC) when it won the right to host the Games that an athletics track, capable of staging major events, would be part of the legacy of staging the Games.

However, AEG Europe chief executive David Campbell reckons the issue is not a deal breaker.

He claims that the wording of the invite for expressions of interest in the stadium by the Olympic Park Legacy Company (OPLC), which will decide the venue's future, does not oblige bidders to retain a running track.

"It is about fan experience which is absolutely a part of what we do," said Campbell.

"It is great for the fans and for the artists - be it in football or basketball or concerts. If you get a Premier football team you cannot have a running track around the stadium."

Source: Team_Talk