Coe gives backing to West Ham stadium bid

23 January 2011 11:00

Lord Coe offered passionate support for West Ham's bid to take over the 2012 Olympic Stadium.

London 2012 chairman Coe declared there is a "moral obligation" to ensure that the arena retains a multi-sport legacy when the decision is made on its future on Friday. West Ham, in a joint bid with Newham Council, want to create a 60,000-capacity facility for football, athletics, concerts and community use.

Coe told BBC Radio 5 Live's Sportsweek: "There is a bid that delivers against the vision that we took to Singapore and we have a moral obligation to make it work. It's not beyond the wit of all of us to make this work and we have an obligation to make it work. The West Ham bid meets those commitments. I would have to vote West Ham."

Tottenham have pledged to create an athletics legacy elsewhere by contributing to the refurbishment of the National Sports Centre at Crystal Palace, with the Olympic Stadium used solely for football.

One of the key promises London 2012 made to the International Olympic Committee when it won the right to stage the Games was that the arena would remain multi-sport.

Coe added: "This is about our ability to be taken seriously again in the corridors of world sport."

"I find it inconceivable that grandparents will take children back to a Premiership football ground, stand among the tiers of sponsorship boxes and say actually somewhere among this lies dormant the memories of Jessica Ennis or Usain Bolt reaching the heights of sport.

"It just does not smell right to me."

Source: PA