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Olympic Stadium will 'go broke in 10 years' say AEG

Thu 10th Feb 2011 | Football Stadiums & Facilities

West Ham and Tottenham will find out tomorrow who will be handed the keys to the Olympic Stadium after the Games in 2012.

The Premier League rivals have both submitted their plans for the future of the Stratford Stadium which is being built for the London Olympic Games 2012.

The decision had been delayed after the Olympic Park Legacy Company (OPLC) admitted they needed more time to consider each bid. West Ham, who have a joint bid with Newham Council are said to be favourites to takeover the stadium.

Their plans include keeping the running track as to provide a lasting athletics legacy which is the preferred option for the OPLC who last night hinted they would back this option.

Tottenham voiced their opinion saying that the Olympic Stadium would "go broke in 10 years" if an athletics track were retained in a venue used primarily for football.

Tim Leiweke, the president of Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG), who are joint partners in the Tottenham bid insisted the company was very pro-Olympic legacy but that keeping a running track inside a football stadium would be an economic disaster.

Tottenham and AEG plan to pull down the stadium and rebuild a purpose built stadium for football that would also stage large concerts.

London 2012 chairman Sebastian Coe is among those calling for the track to be maintained, but Leiweke said in the experience of AEG, the world's largest owner of sports teams and entertainment venues, it would not work.

Leiweke said: "I believe in the Olympic visionaries including Seb Coe - early on we invested a million dollars in support of London and got a lot of flak in the USA as New York was also bidding.

"That said, you should be trying to create a lasting legacy for sport, not just encouraging athletes to participate but events that work.

"What they are trying to do is force a legacy for track and field into a venue that won't work for football if it has a track. And guess what - it won't work for track and field either.

"People may not like to hear that but you cannot build a 60,000-seat stadium anywhere in the world that works for both.

"It would be broke in 10 years."

 

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