POSTED: January 24th 2011

Tension eased over London Olympic Stadium after board delays decision

London's stadium - the heart of the issue / lake images
London's stadium - the heart of the issue / lake images

KEIR RADNEDGE / Sports Features Communications

LONDON, Jan 24:  A decision on a 'preferred bid' to take over the London Olympic Stadium will not now be made on Friday as had been scheduled. A postponement has been confirmed by the Olympic Park Legacy Company to take the heat out of the debate after the war of words escalated over the weekend.

Premier League clubs Tottenham and West Ham have both submitted bids which were to have been considered at the OPLC's board meeting this week. Controversy had erupted over the sharp difference between the bids since West Ham would retain the athletics track while Spurs would remove it.

The responsibility of the OPLC is to secure an economically viable future for the Olympic Park after the 2012 Games.

A 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."

Alongside the two shortlisted bids, the OPLC also has the option of converting the stadium into a 25,000 seat, mixed-use venue.

The spokesman added: "In going to market, the Legacy Company's aim was to consider options which would enhance and build on that plan."

Tottenham, in a joint bid with sports and entertainment company AEG, has offered to create an athletics legacy by contributing to the refurbishment of the National Sports Centre at Crystal Palace.

The north London club have been given planning permission to redevelop White Hart Lane but chairman Daniel Levy has voiced concerns about the "viability and deliverability" of the proposed update of the ground in Tottenham. West Ham will be loaned £40m by Newham Council to help with their redevelopment plans if they are chosen as preferred tenants of the Olympic Stadium.

The eventual OPLC recommendation will have to be ratified by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, and the Department of Communities and Local Government, and the London Mayor's office.

Keywords · London 2012 · Olympic Games · OPLC · Sanderson

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