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West Ham deliver 2012 Olympic Stadium bid to Downing St


West Ham present Olympic Stadium bid

West Ham stars Carlton Cole, Mark Noble and Scott Parker were at Downing Street on Thursday to present the club's joint bid to run the 2012 Olympic Stadium.

The Hammers and Newham Council formally delivered their bid to the Olympic Park Legacy Company earlier in the day.

Their plan is to convert the stadium to a 60,000-capacity arena for football, athletics, concerts and community use.

"For players it'll be great playing in front of that many people every week," Parker told BBC London 94.9.

West Ham is the Premier League club based closest to the Olympic stadium site in east London.

The OPLC has previously said the winning bidder must retain the stadium as a "distinctive physical symbol" and support the regeneration of the area.

But Hammers midfielder Parker said the stadium would be perfect for the club and the surrounding area.

"It's obviously going to be good. There are a lot of big stadiums in the Premier League now and that's the way football's going, and it'll be brilliant," he said.

"Obviously it'll be hard to leave Upton Park, but regarding the new stadium, it is going to give more opportunity for people to come and watch us play."

There have been calls for the Olympic Stadium to be adapted for athletics use after the 2012 London Games.

And there have been concerns that using the stadium for football would not be ideal because the presence of a running track around the perimeter would spoil the atmosphere.

But Parker said the club could turn that to its advantage.

"We'll be playing there every week and away teams won't, so they'll be coming to something that is new to them in terms of a running track," he said.

"Hopefully we'll be quite used to it so I suppose you could look at it both ways.

The last thing anyone wants is for the Olympic Stadium to become a ghost

West Ham vice-chairman Karren Brady

"There's no hiding that it is going to be a lot different to Upton Park, which is very hostile, it is very tight, but there are a lot of other benefits which outweigh the running track."

Newham Young Mayor Kaycee de Belen, 16, said: "It's essential we secure the use of the stadium to benefit Newham's youngsters as well as those living in the neighbouring host boroughs."

The joint bid focuses on enticing the whole community to use the facilities, with plans to get thousands of youngsters visiting education resources, while adults will be encouraged to take up health and well-being programmes.

West Ham and Newham say the initiative could incorporate an Olympic visitor centre and football museum at the stadium.

The relocation of West Ham would mean the current Upton Park stadium site could be redeveloped for housing, shops and community facilities.

Newham's Mayor Sir Robin Wales said he hoped the plans would create a venue which would attract more than two million visitors each year.

West Ham's vice-chairman Karren Brady said: "The last thing anyone wants is for the Olympic Stadium to become a ghost of Olympics past. The only realistic solution is to make the stadium work for a Premier League football team and that should be West Ham United."

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see also
London 2012 stadium bidding ends
30 Sep 10 |  London
Stadium downsize pledge 'flawed'
17 Sep 10 |  London
Coe pleased with 2012 progress
27 Jul 10 |  London 2012

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