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Last Updated: Wednesday, 7 February 2007, 18:14 GMT
Hearn intrigued by Olympic move
By Ian Hughes

Leyton Orient owner Barry Hearn
A move to the 2012 Olympic stadium intrigues Hearn
Leyton Orient owner Barry Hearn has revealed that the club are discussing the possibility of a move into the London Olympic Stadium after 2012.

Hearn told BBC Sport: "In principle, Leyton Orient fits the criteria as occupants of the Olympic stadium.

"We are probably the only football club in the region who could move into the stadium but we need lots of talks yet."

On Wednesday, the London Olympic Board turned down West Ham's request to use the Olympic stadium after the Games.

The Olympic Board said it would not be able to deliver an Olympic stadium on time and on budget in collaboration with West Ham, or any other Premiership club.

However, Hearn feels Orient's lesser need for capacity would prevent the "design changes and associated time delays", which the Olympic Board felt West Ham would need.

We want to discuss the validity of being there and ask ourselves if we can be of benefit to the community

Barry Hearn

Orient's current home, Brisbane Road, will be expanded at the end of this season to hold 10,000 - which remains 15,000 fewer than Olympic Stadium.

And Hearn also feels that Orient fits in with the Olympic Board's commitment to provide "a mixed sport offering combined with commercial, school and community use" after the Games.

"The Olympic movement has laid down certain criteria for the Olympics legacy," said Hearn.

"It wants to leave a lasting investment in the area in which the Games were held.

"In our case, we are already involved in working hand-in-hand with the community.

"We have our sports program, which reaches out to, and helps, thousands of kids. It is a registered charity and something we are very proud of.

"Having these ties with the local community is part of our role - and that is all part and parcel of the Olympic ideal."

606: DEBATE
CM

Hearn admits there are lots of issues that would need to be resolved but sees the potential move as a possible dawn of a new era for Orient.

"We need to ask ourselves if we want to be in a 25,000-seater stadium - it might be a bit lonely," said Hearn.

"And will a ground with an athletics track around it lack atmosphere?

"Also, how will we resolve the operational costs?

"But we want to discuss the validity of being there and ask ourselves if we can be of benefit to the community.

"We owe it to ourselves and our fans to look into the chance of moving into the Olympic Stadium."



SEE ALSO
Hammers' Olympic move ruled out
07 Feb 07 |  West Ham Utd
London 2012 seeks more UK backers
01 Feb 07 |  Business
Orient reveal Olympic switch hope
08 Nov 06 |  Leyton Orient
West Ham in talks on 2012 stadium
20 Oct 06 |  West Ham Utd
2012 stadium could house Hammers
20 Apr 06 |  Olympics 2012
Mayor makes Olympic Stadium vow
28 Mar 06 |  Olympics 2012
Hammers handed Olympic blow
06 Oct 04 |  Olympics 2012
Hammers keen on Olympic move
16 Jan 04 |  West Ham Utd


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