Spurs May Stymie Stadium Usage

Tottenham Hotspur’s legal challenge to the government’s decision to award the future use of London’s new Olympic Stadium to West Ham United could stymie the city’s chances of staging the 2017 World Athletics Championships.

The north London club’s interest in moving to the stadium has already been blamed for thwarting the city’s efforts to host the 2015 staging of the event.

If Spurs had made a winning bid, the club would have demolished most of the new building and ripped out the athletics track, which meant London’s bidding committee would have no guarantee of having a venue to host a major track and field event.

The waters have been further muddied by Leyton Orient, the east London League One side, mounting its own legal challenges to the Olympic Park Legacy Company’s government-endorsed decision to let The Hammers have the stadium.

Orient does at least have the soundest geographical reason for getting the ground, and fears how its attendances will be affected by having what is currently a Premier League side playing on its doorstep.

The legal challenges have already delayed the completion of the Legacy Committee’s negotiations for the handover to West Ham, which should have been wrapped by the end of last month. Now they threaten to occupy the courts beyond August’s bidding deadline for the 2017 World Athletics Championships.

London’s bid for 2017 has already received significant government backing, and it’d be awkward if its decision to let the stadium go to West Ham – which has said it will keep the running track – resulted in a legal battle that prevented it going through with it.