Hammers Win And Spurs Cry Foul

West Ham United is the preferred bidder for London’s Olympic Stadium, but north London Premier League rivals Tottenham Hotspur may well seek a judicial review over how that decision was reached.

Tottenham chairman David Levy had hinted at legal action if his club failed to win the battle to take over the building after the Games. Within hours of the Olympic Park Legacy Company announcing the outcome at 11 a.m. Feb. 11, he was asking for legal guarantees that the athletics track would remain.

The government and London Mayor Boris Johnson will make the final decision on who will use the venue, but it seems unlikely they’ll overturn the OPLC decision.
West Ham’s bid had received support from former Olympics minister Tessa Jowell and London’s Olympic Games Organising Committee chairman Lord Coe because it makes provision for its continued use as an athletics venue.

Spurs – which made its bid in cahoots with US entertainment giant AEG – would have torn up the athletics track and demolished part of the £570 million building to replace it with a custom-built 60,000-capacity soccer ground.

Live Nation international chief ops officer Paul Latham, whose company is bidding alongside West Ham and its local Newham Council, was delighted with the result.

“The more I have worked with the Newham-West Ham bid the more I have been impressed to deliver the very best facilities that will deliver a long term legacy for the community,” he told Pollstar.

“There is no doubt that the retrofit West Ham scheme will be more beneficial to us event promoters and producers with more flexibility and Live Nation Entertainment is delighted to be part of the winning team.”

West Ham is expected to be able to move into the venue for the start of the 2014-2015 soccer season. Live Nation is reported to be planning six live music events each year.

Tottenham put out a statement asking for legal guarantees that the athletics facility will be retained. At press time it wasn’t known if Levy will seek a judicial review of the bidding process.