West Ham beat Tottenham

  peter99co 22:47 09 Feb 11
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Common sense at last?

  Forum Editor 23:01 09 Feb 11

from a football spectator's point of view, but of course that's not the point as far as the Olympic Park Legacy Company is concerned.

They've taken the decision to back West Ham's proposal because it doesn't involve demolishing the existing stadium. It will involve public money, whereas Tottenham's proposal would be privately funded, but everyone thinks the general public will overlook that, as long as the stadium isn't demolished.

The overall cost to the taxpayer will therefore be higher, and the combined athletics track and football stadium will not work in the long term - anyone with a knowledge of football knows that. The combined stadium will run at a loss, and guess who will pick up the bill?

London taxpayers, that's who.

The final decision will be made by Boris Johnson (The London Mayor) and David Cameron, so technically the decision isn't yet final. I would be astonished (but delighted) if they voted for the Tottenham solution - that really would be common sense at last. It won't happen however - they'll back the OPLC.

Let's sit back and watch how many people turn up for all those athletic meetings. If Athletics can't even fund the maintenance of Crystal Palace (and it can't) it certainly isn't going to do any better in a stadium with far higher maintenance costs.

  peter99co 23:21 09 Feb 11

In other words it is another MONEY PIT then.

What a strange world we live in.:0(

  Forum Editor 23:51 09 Feb 11

if the West Ham solution is adopted. It would be Tottenham's money pit if we let their solution go ahead.

In my view the realistic way to look at this is to understand that the stadium's building cost is money spent - it will not come back whatever happens. We're staging the Olympic games, and leaving aside all the agonising about whether we should be doing it or not we have to accept things the way they are - that stadium is not going to pay us back one penny either way.

Once you get your head around that it gets easier. What we need to do above all else is find a way to not spend any more public money, yet here we are, confronted with the fact that we're about to start doing just that, all because the people who mmake the decisions are scared of an angry public. They're frightened to say 'We're going to let a big London football club tear down a stadium that was built for the Olympics, and let it build its own purpose-designed football stadium and pay to renovate the Crystal Palacve athletics facility. We know it goes against the grain to demolish something you've just paid for, but actually it is the right decision in the long term. We decided to let a footbal club take the risk, instead of you'.

And that's why we'll end up with yet another failure - because political pressures trump common sense and vision every time.

  Kevscar1 08:33 10 Feb 11

FE
Are you saying the Olympics will be a money losing venture because even if it only makes 1p profit we haven't lost anything.

  Bingalau 08:46 10 Feb 11

Maybe they would have been better building the stadium oop north? That would have saved the poor London ratepayers a few bob.

  QuizMan 08:46 10 Feb 11

At the outset, let me say that as an aging, but still competing athlete and as an Arsenal season ticket holder, I am hoping that the decision goes in West Ham's favour when it is finally made.

Despite any apparent bias on my part, I always thought that the Tottenham bid was doomed to failure. My main argument here was their plans to redevelop Crystal Palace. I have watched many athletics meetings there and even competed in a few. Anyone who has had to make the journey to the stadium (if you can call it that) will know that the local transport infrastructure does not support it. I saw nothing in Tottenham's bid that made reference to paying for any upgrade in that regard.

Perhaps I should add a third bias on my part. I live in the London Borough of Bromley which currently is responsible for the upkeep of Crystal Palace. Maybe that financial burden will be lifted if Stratford becomes the major athletics venue for London.

  morddwyd 09:01 10 Feb 11

Any scheme involving the demolition of the stadium is unlikely to get approved.

The head of the IOC has already said that the one of the factors in awarding the games to London was the prospect of the legacy of a state of the art athletics facility.

If the stadium is then demolished, regardless of any replacement or other factors, the IOC will feel London's bid was not entirely kosher, and the UK is unlikely to see another Olympics for many years, and bids for other major sporting festivals are also likely to be viewed with a jaundiced eye.

  Forum Editor 10:59 10 Feb 11

is about the government's desire to show that the cost of building Olympic venues isn't going to be wasted. It didn't help that the previous government made a pledge to the IOC that there would be a permanent athletics venue after the games.

I have nothing whatever against an athletics venue, it's a great idea if the funds can be forthcoming to sustain it. What I find a bit silly is the idea that a premier division ground can possibly be a success with a running track between the pitch and the spectators, or that athletics field events can take place on a world-class football pitch. It can never work successfully as far as the football club is concerned, and everyone in football secretly (or not so secretly in many cases) knows it.

The public purse will be dipped into to support the athletics activities, and West Ham will not have full control over their home stadium - this story will write itself.

  Bingalau 11:16 10 Feb 11

The FE's above post is completely correct. The two pastimes just will not mix. It's bad enough when they have horsey events at Wembley. It must cost a fortune to get the sward back to anywhere near what it should be for football matches. The only solution is to keep the new stadium as an athletics stadium alone. (Somehow build up an interest in athletics in this country, maybe bring back PE lessons in schools). Then use Christel/Chrystel Palace as a football ground.

  Bingalau 11:16 10 Feb 11

Christal??

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