Spurs bid for Olympic 2012 stadium without athletics track

Attempt to move into Olympic ground could hit stumbling block
Tottenham's bid to move into the Olympic Stadium after the 2012 games does not include any provision for an athletics track.

Spurs made a shock last-minute move last week to be able to take over the Stratford venue after the London Olympics have concluded in conjunction with entertainment gaint AEG.

London rivals West Ham had also moved to use the stadium.

But the Lilywhites do not want a track running around the outside of the pitch should they move in, claimed chief executive Timothy Leiweke, which makes it extremely unlikely their bid will be accepted by the Olympic Legacy company.

“I think it is a crime if you sacrifice having a perfect football stadium for convincing yourself you are going to do a track and field event every 10 years,” Leiweke was quoted as saying in the London Evening Standard.

London 2012 promised the International Olympic Committee when it won the right to host the Games that an athletics track, capable of staging major events, would be part of the legacy of staging the tournament.

AEG Europe chief executive David Campbell believes the athletics track is not a deal breaker.

The wording of the invite for expressions of interest in the stadium by the OPLC, which will decide the venue's future, does not oblige bidders to retain a running track, he claims.

Campbell said: “It is about fan experience which is absolutely a part of what we do.”

West Ham also want the stadium but Campbell added: “Spurs is economically and commercially viable — I think it is more commercially viable than other bids. We are not crazy. We do not do things that do not work in the end. We do not back losers.”
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