Page last updated at 17:19 GMT, Tuesday, 19 January 2010

West Ham keen to move into London Olympic stadium

2012 Olympic stadium
The Olympic stadium is still under construction

Premier League club West Ham would have to keep a running track if they want to move into the Olympic Stadium after the Games, London 2012 has said.

New West Ham owner David Sullivan said the east London club wants to leave Upton Park for the Olympic Stadium in nearby Stratford.

London Mayor Boris Johnson is also keen on a football club taking over the running costs of the stadium.

But the decision will have to be taken by the Olympic Park Legacy Company.

A London 2012 spokeswoman said: "The Olympic Park Legacy Company (OPLC) are looking at the legacy of the Olympic Park, including the stadium.

"Everyone is clear that the stadium will have a running track in legacy but additional sporting use is a matter for the OPLC."

There's a precedent with Manchester City getting the Commonwealth Games stadium so we should get it
David Sullivan

Mr Sullivan said: "It is nice to get the club back in the hands of east Londoners and these are exciting times.

"We hope to persuade the government to let us move into the new Olympic stadium and I believe the people of east London would support that move."

Asked whether they would be happy to live with the track around the pitch, he said: "Ideally no, but there may be a way we could lay the running track for three months or something.

"I don't think running tracks work, particularly behind the goal. The customers are so far back it doesn't work."

Mr Sullivan continued: "We don't want to buy [the Olympic Stadium], we want to rent it.

'Augurs well'

"There's a precedent with Manchester City getting the Commonwealth Games stadium so we should get it, but we are in negotiations."

The Mayor of Newham, West Ham season-ticket holder Sir Robin Wales, said: "This is great news and augurs well.

"We have always argued the Olympic stadium deserves a top-flight football team after London 2012.

"In my eyes there is only one obvious choice - and that's the Hammers."



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