West Ham In Box Seat For Olympic Stadium


West Ham United have been confirmed as the preferred bidder to take over the London Olympic Stadium.

The Olympic Park Legacy Company (OPLC) announced that West Ham were their preferred candidate to inherit the stadium ahead of fellow English Premier League club Tottenham Hotspur.

The decision must be ratified by the British government and mayor of London Boris Johnson, but they are not expected to reject the OPLC’s choice.

“We are confident that this represents the very best legacy for the stadium,” OPLC chief Baroness Margaret Ford said.

“It is cracking for the communities of east London, it is great for Londoners, it is very good news for the UK taxpayer and we believe in this recommendation it is also a really good outcome for sport.”

West Ham had become embroiled in an increasingly acrimonious bidding war with Spurs, who intended to demolish the stadium and construct a football-only venue in its place.

The bid by West Ham is believed to have won the favour of the OPLC due to its intention to preserve the stadium as a multi-purpose venue, including the retention of the running track for future athletics use.

“This is a very significant step forward towards delivering the Olympic Park legacy and the Legacy Company has run a thoroughly professional and robust process,” Johnson 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 program 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.”

UK Athletics boss Ed Warner also welcomed the decision.

“The pledges have been met and there will be a long-term athletics legacy in the Olympic Park,” Warner said.

“The retention of the track means we now have a fantastic opportunity to ensure that athletics cannot only make the most of the 2012 opportunity, but ensure that it continues to inspire for generations to come.”

Spurs are reportedly considering legal action to challenge the decision.

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