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Page last updated at 14:33 GMT, Wednesday, 8 October 2008 15:33 UK

2012 chief makes stadium demand

An artist's impression of the Olympic Stadium in Stratford, east London
An artist's impression of the Olympic Stadium in Stratford, east London

The Chairman of the Olympic Delivery Authority has said London's new stadium for the 2012 Games will not become the home of a Premier League football club.

John Armitt suggested a Football League or rugby team could use it but the venue will be primarily for athletics.

"We had a legacy commitment to ensure the stadium was to be used for athletes and athletics," he told BBC Sport.

"You then have to say; is it possible to mix a Premier League club with an athletics stadium and that's not easy."

He added: "I think the likelihood of those two things ever coming together was always slim because we have this commitment to an athletics stadium."

If you wanted to use it for a Premier League football club you would have to completely redesign it and I think we have gone past that point.

John Armitt
Armitt did, however, back-up London Mayor Boris Johnson's comments that talks were on going with football and rugby clubs, but due to the stadium's design a Premier League football club moving in was highly unlikely.

Saracens rugby club, who currently play at Watford's Vicarage Road stadium, and West Ham football club have been mentioned as possible new tenants and when asked possible suitors Armitt said: "Saracens, not so sure about West Ham because they are a Premier League club and that is going to be very difficult.

"But there are other football clubs in lesser leagues who I think could be interested.

"The plan is to reduce it in scale to a 25,000-seat stadium; it's been designed for that to be taken back from 80,000 to 25,000 and that's how it is being designed, that's how it is being built.

606: DEBATE
"So, if you wanted to use it for a Premier League football club you would have to completely redesign it and I think we have gone past that point."

Lord Coe, the chairman of the London Organising Committee, originally said the 525m venue would be a "stadium with track and field as its primary legacy; a stadium that will be reduced from 80,000 seats in Olympic mode to a 25,000-seater community base".

In September, the London Development Agency, the body responsible for the post-2012 use of the site, also denied they are seriously considering a plan to flatten the stadium after the Games.

Armitt also told BBC Sport that funding for the Athletes' Village and the Olympic Broadcast Centre has been threatened by the global economic downturn.

"Originally, they were going to be financed with large elements of private sector funding, but the credit crunch has now put that funding at risk," he said.

The government may be forced to make up any financial shortfall to ensure these key elements of the 2012 Games are built.




see also
2012 bosses deny demolition plan
05 Sep 08 |  London 2012
Q&A - Olympic Stadium 2012
07 Nov 07 |  London 2012
London 2012 stadium in pictures
07 Nov 07 |  London 2012
London unveils 2012 stadium plan
07 Nov 07 |  Olympics 2012
Hearn intrigued by Olympic move
07 Feb 07 |  Leyton Orient
Hammers' Olympic move ruled out
07 Feb 07 |  West Ham


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