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Spurs release images of proposed Crystal Palace revamp

Proposed Crystal Palace Stadium
A computer-generated image of the redeveloped stadium

By David Bond
BBC sports editor

Tottenham Hotspur have released images showing for the first time how Crystal Palace would look following a facelift which forms part of their legacy plan for athletics in London after the 2012 Olympics.

Spurs, who are in a contest with West Ham to take over the main Olympic Stadium after the Games, have come under fire from London 2012 chairman Lord Coe and IAAF president Lamine Diack for their plans to break bid promises to turn the venue into a permanent home for track and field after the Games.

But the north London club argue their plan to invest in the sport's traditional home at Crystal Palace would leave a better and more cost effective legacy for the sport.

Proposed Crystal Palace Stadium
Tottenham plan to develop existing athletics stadium

The images show an expanded stadium with 9,500 extra seats boosting the capacity to 25,000. Under Spurs' plans the stadium could be expanded by a further 15,000 - the level needed to stage a World or European Athletics Championships.

But in addition Tottenham say they will provide a legacy fund for the sport which will help fund five young athletes in their preparation for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

Meanwhile, West Ham have released a computer-generated image of how they envisage the Olympic Stadium would look after changes to the roof should the Hammers prove successful.

The club held a reception in the House of Commons on Wednesday at which more than 50 MPs signed up to support their plan.

West Ham say that in addition to football, the venue could provide 20 days of top-class athletics, a programme of live gigs with room for up to 107,0000 concertgoers and the Essex county cricket team playing first-class matches.

West Ham's vision of the Olympic Stadium
West Ham's vision of the Olympic Stadium

"The computer-generated image show an extended roof which would add to the intimate feel created by the impressive sightlines and seating lay lay-outs," said a West Ham spokesman.

Earlier this week, in an interview with the BBC, the Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy said that his club's offer to the Olympic Park Legacy Company, who put off a decision on the future of the stadium due for Friday until next month, was a better long-term option for athletics.

He said Tottenham's partnership with O2 operators AEG was the better financial option and that the plans to redevelop Crystal Palace would give athletics its own dedicated home rather than having to share with a Premier League football club.

"The legacy of the Olympics is far greater than one particular sport," he said. "And the legacy for athletics is far greater than one building in the Olympic Park.

"The original proposal wasn't viable. Of course we are worried about Olympic legacy and we wouldn't be at the final stage of this bidding process if our plans for Crystal Palace were not acceptable. Plus we are talking about three regeneration projects in London - the Olympic Stadium, White Hart Lane and Crystal Palace.

"Would you rather have one big white elephant in the Olympic Park instead?

"We don't believe athletics and football can go together. Football's all about passion and over the long term I believe that there is a danger with a running track between fans and the pitch that you won't be able to attract big crowds and the club will slide.

"There is not a club in Europe who you can cite as an example where attendances have held up as a result of having a running track."

But UK Athletics, which has formally supported West Ham's bid, has described Tottenham's plans for athletics as "incredibly thin".

"It's nothing like the sort of legacy that was envisaged in 2005 in the London bid," said Ed Warner, UK Athletics' chairman.



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see also
Olympic stadium decision on hold
24 Jan 11 |  London 2012
Spurs and West Ham put stadium cases
23 Jan 11 |  London 2012
Coe backs West Ham stadium plans
23 Jan 11 |  London 2012
Council chief slams Spurs' stadium plans
21 Jan 11 |  London 2012


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