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Olympic stadium race: Levy attacks Brady stadium comments

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Tottenham Hotspur chairman Daniel Levy has condemned remarks made by West Ham’s Karren Brady as the two Premier League clubs’ efforts to move into the Olympic Stadium intensified

Brady made headlines after she claiming Tottenham’s scheme would amount to a ‘corporate crime’ - referring to Spurs’ plans to build a 60,000-seat venue in place of the ‘bulldozed’ Olympic Stadium and not retain a running track, which West Ham would.

However Levy branded The Apprentice star’s remarks that as ‘scaremongering and highly irresponsible’.

Levy said: ‘Accusations that we would ‘demolish’ £500million of stadium are hugely inaccurate and highly irresponsible and I want to be very clear on this issue. Our proposal will retain around £420million worth of the Olympic Stadium, and we will re-use or recycle the £80million that will be dismantled with zero landfill.’

He added: ‘We are proposing one of the most advanced, state-of-the-art stadiums in Europe that will deliver an exceptional spectator experience.

‘Fans will be closer to the pitch than at any other comparable size stadium in the UK, while its acoustic design will ensure that the noise from spectators remains within the stadium.

‘It is also important to remember that two thirds of the Olympic Stadium, under the original legacy plan, was to be dismantled - it was not designed to be a permanent structure. Recent scaremongering conveniently forgets this fact.’

However, West Ham vice-chairman Brady claims that tearing down the stadium does not make sense and would be a waste of money.

She said: ‘It’s a corporate crime to spend £500million on a stadium and, just four weeks after the Games have finished, bring the bulldozers in. The Olympic Stadium was built on a promise, made in the Queen’s name, to have a legacy for athletics.

‘Through [West Ham’s] design there will be over £90million spent on reconfiguring the stadium so it sits perfectly for athletics and football and cricket and major events.

‘Once the conversion is done, with the roof and some of the seats, there won’t be a single seat within that stadium that has a worse view of the pitch than Wembley.’

Previous story (AJ 04.02.11)

East London councils slam Spurs Olympic Stadium bid

The Olympic Park Legacy Company has received letter from twelve London borough council leaders, requesting that West Ham be appointed the new owners of the Populous-designed Olympic stadium

Awarding preferred bidder status to Tottenham Hotspur’s rival proposal, which involves removing the running track and building a new purpose-built football stadium, would be ‘astonishing’, the council bosses said.

The letter states: ‘This is a vital decision - one which must deliver lasting benefits for all Londoners, not just serve the interests of one football club.

‘Any decision which paved the way for a project which would see the stadium knocked down and then rebuilt would, in our view, be a gross misuse of public resources.’

It also says that the continuing regeneration of the capital could be boosted by the West Ham bid, which is in partnership with Newham Council.

‘We urge the legacy company to put London first when it makes its recommendation on the future of the Olympic stadium,’ it adds.

The letter is signed by the leaders of Labour-controlled Barking and Dagenham, Brent, Camden, Ealing, Haringey, Hounslow, Islington, Lambeth, Lewisham, Merton, Newham and Southwark.

Previous story (AJ 02.02.11)

Architect calls for Olympic Stadium share plan

West Ham United and Tottenham Hotspur should ground-share the Olympic Stadium after the London 2012 games, according to the architect who wrote an original study for the arena more than a decade ago

The two Barclays Premier League clubs have submitted individual bids to play on the Stratford site after the Games, with the Olympic Park Legacy Company (OPLC) to announce the preferred bidder within the next few weeks.

Steve Lawrence, who was commissioned by Stratford Development Partnership more than 10 years ago to carry out a feasibility study for the venue after the Games, insists his original idea of the clubs ground-sharing, which was rejected, is the only option.

Mr Lawrence, a partner in London firm Carrick, Howell and Lawrence, has urged the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) to intervene and take control of the decision from the OPLC.

He told website insidethegames: ‘By having both clubs as joint anchor tenants, it would create double the revenue stream. That additional revenue could then pay for an athletics facility. It’s a win-win situation.’

Previous story (24.01.11)

Olympic stadium legacy decision delayed

A decision on who will move into the £537 million Olympic Stadium scheduled for this Friday has been postponed, the Olympic Park Legacy Company has confirmed

A spokesman said ‘more time is needed to consider the bids’.

Premiership London rivals West Ham and Tottenham Hotspur are in a head-to-head race to move into the stadium in Stratford, east London, after the 2012 Games.

An Olympic Park Legacy Company (OPLC) board meeting on Friday was widely seen as the point when a final decision would be made for the showpiece stadium.

The OPLC is in charge of securing an economical viable future for the Olympic Park.

Final submissions were made by the rival bidding teams last Friday.

An OPLC spokesman said: ‘Given the detailed nature of both bids received, we need more time to seek further clarification with both bidders in order to identify a preferred bidder.

‘The stadium is a significant public asset and we have a duty to run a robust process.

‘Securing the most appropriate solution for the stadium is vital to our long-term aspirations for the future Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and the wider regeneration of the area.

‘In addition to the two shortlisted bids, the Legacy Company also has the option of the original plan to convert the Olympic Stadium to a 25,000 seats, mixed-use venue. In going to market, the Legacy Company’s aim was to consider options which would enhance and build on that plan.’

West Ham, in a joint bid with Newham Council, want to create a 60,000-capacity arena for football, athletics, concerts and community use.

Tottenham, in a joint bid with sports and entertainment giant AEG, have pledged to create an athletics legacy elsewhere and contribute to the refurbishment of the National Sports Centre at Crystal Palace.

An athletics legacy was one of the key promises that London 2012 made to the International Olympic Committee when it won the right to stage the Games.

  • 1 Comment

Readers' comments (1)

  • For logical practical and financial reasons football clubs who are close to each other should share stadia. For the same reasons those stadia should be designed to be multi purpose to make maximum use of a very expensive entertainment.leisure facility. Wembley could and should have been designed in that way. If it had we would not have had to build another "National Stadium" for the 2012 Olympics. I designed a multi purpose stadium for Sunderland equi distant from Newcastle in 1970 hoping to get Newcastle to share it. Could not even get the Newcastle directors to even discuss the possibility. Governments, the planning system and the resistance of the FA to contemplate having athletics included when the design technology exists to overcome the problems. As an Arsenal supporter I am delighted that we have stolen a march on Spurs with our magnificent Emerites Stadium but it would have made far more financial sense if Arsenal and Spurs had developed a joint multi use facility stadium. The absurdity of the present situation with the 2012 "National" Stadia the issue of retention of athletics and future use should have been resolved before it was built not now.

    Owen Luder CBE PPRIBA

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