WEST HAM PREFERRED OLYMPIC PARK BIDDER

West Ham United Football Club and Newham Council looks set to take over the 2012 Olympic Stadium after the Games.

The Olympic Park Legacy Company (OPLC) selected the joint bid over Tottenham Hotspur earlier today. The decision must now be rubber stamped by two government departments and the mayor of London.

Karren Brady, club vice chairman, told whufc.com: "Today is a momentous day. I would like to thank the OLPC for making us preferred bidder and acknowledge everyone involved in what has been a truly professional process.

"I would also like to recognise the significant contribution of Newham Council, who have shared in our exciting vision from day one, and thank our supporters for trusting in us to take West Ham United to a new level," she added.

West Ham plan to convert the 80,000-seater stadium to a 60,000-seater venue and keep the athletics track. It is expected to cost £95m but means the Olympic Stadium could be used for football, athletics and cricket.

Spurs' plan was widely criticised because it involved demolishing the stadium and building a new one. The club intended to pay for an expansion of the athletics facility in Crystal Palace, rather than keeping a legacy for the sport in Stratford.

The North London club will now turn their attentions to the redevelopment of White Hart Lane.

A delighted Brady added: "We are proud to have been passed the Olympic torch and fully embrace the responsibility we have for keeping the flame alive. We have been working on this project for some time now and are just at the starting line of the race to make this a stadium that will really make the nation proud."

Posted on 11/02/2011