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Wembley Arena wins 2012 backing

Wembley Arena
Wembley is a possible alternative to an expensive temporary venue

Wembley Arena has won the backing of British Gymnastics as the row over the venue's London 2012 future rolls on.

Badminton and boxing officials are opposed to making the switch to Wembley as organisers seek to cut costs.

They argue that axing a £40m temporary venue near the Olympic Park will result in long travel times for competitors.

But Brian Stocks, the chief executive of British Gymnastics, said Wembley Arena would be a "great venue" for the rhythmic gymnastic competition.

The artistic gymnastics event in 2012 will continue to be based at the 02 Arena, where next month's World Championships take place.


"We would be delighted to be in a historical site like Wembley, host of the 1948 Olympics," Stocks told BBC Radio 5 live's London Calling programme.

"We staged a World Championships there several years ago.

"Yes, we'd like to be closer to the centre of the Village, we'd like to reduce some of the travel time.

"But Wembley would be an ideal venue as opposed to a drafty tent that could have some air-handling issues."

Wembley Arena is around an hour's drive from the main Olympic venues, but London Mayor Boris Johnson is keen to make use of the venue in a bid to reduce the cost of staging the Games.

Reports suggest he was involved in a row with the British Olympic Association over the issue at an Olympic board meeting last week.

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see also
2012 boxing may move to Wembley
15 Jun 09 |  England
BOA opposed to 2012 boxing switch
16 Sep 09 |  Olympics
Boxing chiefs voice 2012 concerns
15 Jun 09 |  Olympics
Wembley may stage Olympic boxing
23 Apr 09 |  Olympics
London 2012 'on time and budget'
23 Apr 09 |  London
IOC to check on London's progress
20 Apr 09 |  Olympics
Olympics 2012 venue guide
03 Dec 08 |  Olympics

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