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Page last updated at 22:31 GMT, Thursday, 9 July 2009 23:31 UK

Minister makes 2012 stadium vow

The Olympic stadium in Stratford
The 2012 Olympic stadium has been designed to downsize to hold 25,000

Olympics minister Tessa Jowell insists that the 80,000-capacity stadium being built for the 2012 Games will be downsized to a 25,000-seat venue.

The Stratford stadium has been the subject of constant speculation, with suggestions it might be used by one of London's many football teams.

Recently, London Mayor Boris Johnson suggested the 2012 venue could help the bid to host the 2018 World Cup.

But Jowell said: "We don't need another football stadium - we've got Wembley."

Post 2012, the plan is for the Stratford venue to host athletics meetings, while it will also house a secondary school, a sports academy and the English Institute of Sport.

Go to Sydney and look at the 90,000-seat stadium that sits there empty, it's gone bust three times

Deputy chairman of London 2012 Keith Mills

"Funding the maintenance of a stadium between 2012 and 2018 is quite a stretch, so I think we will continue to develop the plan that we have for the Olympic stadium," added Jowell.

"We made a very clear commitment in the bid book that the Olympic stadium in legacy will be a 20-25,000-seater athletic stadium with the provision for a warm-up track so that London and indeed the UK will have a grand prix athletics stadium."

Keith Mills, who is deputy chairman of London 2012 and a non-executive director of the 2018 World Cup bid, backed Jowell's stance.


"Go to Sydney and look at the 90,000-seat stadium that sits there empty, it's gone bust three times," he said.

"We've got Twickenham, we've got Wembley, we've got the Emirates, and Tottenham are building a new 60,000-seat stadium.

"We're not short of stadiums, but we are short of an athletics stadium and an athletics stadium doesn't have to be 80,000 seats.

"The bigger the stadium, the bigger the economic challenge. Because you go to an event and you put 25,000 people in an 80,000-seat stadium it looks lost."

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see also
2012 stadium 'for World Cup bid'
30 Jun 09 |  London
FA asked to consider 2012 stadium
26 Jun 09 |  Olympics
Coe joins 2018 World Cup bid team
18 Feb 09 |  Football
London unveils 2012 stadium plan
07 Nov 07 |  Olympics 2012
Hammers' Olympic move ruled out
07 Feb 07 |  West Ham
Spurs Olympic Stadium plan dashed
20 Oct 05 |  Olympics 2012
Mayor makes Olympic Stadium vow
28 Mar 06 |  Olympics 2012

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