Spurs And Hammers Olympic Clash

Either Tottenham Hotspur or West Ham United will be playing Premier League soccer at the new Olympic Stadium following the 2012 London Games, after the two were short-listed as the final bidders.

The announcement by the Olympic Park Legacy Company Nov. 12 confirms it has accepted that a venue used primarily for athletics isn’t financially sustainable.

The fact the winning bidder would need to make provision for track and field events makes the Hammers favourites. The club is bidding alongside Live Nation and has the support of the local Newham Council.

“Live Nation Entertainment always look to get the best from any venue it is associated with,” LN international chief ops officer Paul Latham told Pollstar after the shortlist was made public. “Events are ephemeral whereas buildings are permanent, therefore it is imperative that the most diverse, and regular, programming is achieved to sustain the bricks and mortar.

“There are many examples of ex-athletics stadia being put to further use with football clubs as their anchor tenants. Thus the local input of Newham Council, West Ham United and ourselves can deliver the best legacy for the Olympic Stadium,” Latham added.
Spurs, which is bidding in cahoots with U.S. entertainment giant AEG, would prefer to tear up the track and focus on soccer, concerts and other events.

The club has said it’s happy to financially support an athletics legacy as long as it’s established elsewhere. That may not be enough because the promise of an athletics stadium was part of London’s bid to stage the 2012 Olympics.

Many feel the Spurs bid is no more than club chairman Daniel Levy hedging his bets in case he can’t come to an agreement with London’s Haringey Council over the building of a new stadium next to the club’s current home at White Hart Lane.

The council has granted the club planning permission to build the stadium, but the terms of the consent could put a further £50 million on the cost of the project.

Haringey Council leader Claire Kober says the authority recognises “the importance of keeping Spurs’ rich heritage, history and future where it belongs.”

She said the council has offered to assist with some of the compulsory purchase orders needed to make way for the development.