Decision over fate of Olympic stadium delayed

Aaron Morby 13 years ago
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The fierce battle over which football club will redevelop the 2012 Olympic Stadium will run for weeks after the body making the decision called for extra time.

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

But the bid war has stirred up controversy because Spurs plans to completely demolish the Olympic Stadium.

Lord Coe has warned this would see the UK effectively renege on its pledge to keep it as an athletics venue and trash the country’s reputation.

Today the body making the decision, Olympic Park Legacy Company, said it was not ready to select the winner on Friday as expected and called for more time to collect information from the two bidders.

“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,” said the OPLC.

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

A new date for the board meeting has not yet been set, but it is expected the next meeting could be within a fortnight.

Lord Coe entered the fray this week and argued it was the UK’s moral obligation to go with the West Ham plan because the UK’s 2012 bid for the games always envisaged an East London legacy for athletics.

West Ham has proposed a £100m makeover to retain the athletics track in a mixed-use stadium design.

The £250m Spurs plan is to entirely rebuild the Olympic Stadium as a dedicated football ground and upgrade Crystal Palace as the home of UK athletics.

The OPLC fears that a hurried decision could spark a lengthy legal challenge.

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