Belfast Telegraph

Brady - Bid honours London promise

West Ham vice-chairman Karren Brady has told MPs her club's bid to take over the Olympic Stadium would ensure London had kept its promise to the Olympic movement.

The Hammers' proposal has been boosted by support from more than 50 MPs. Additionally a BBC poll shows 81% of Londoners are opposed to Tottenham's rival bid to demolish the stadium after the 2012 Games and build a new 60,000-seater ground without the running track, which West Ham would retain within the original structure.

"It would be a truly multi-purpose, multi-event stadium that would stand as a true home for sport in this country," said Brady at a House of Commons reception where the support from the MPs was revealed. "On 6 July 2005, a promise was made in the Queen's name. We believe in that promise and we believe in legacy."

She added: "It's important for the UK's credibility as a sporting nation - especially in the wake of the 2018 FIFA World Cup disappointment - to keep that promise. Pulling down the stadium would waste half-a-billion pounds in taxpayers' money."

Both clubs have been asked to provide more information to the Olympic Park Legacy Company by February 3, although they have yet to fix a date for the board meeting to decide which bid should be recommended to the Government and the London Mayor's office.

Tottenham and their partners AEG, the American entertainment giant that turned around the O2 arena, claim the Hammers' bid is not economically viable.

Sarah McGuigan, the senior executive director of AEG Europe, said their scheme for football and other public events would attract three million visitors to the Olympic Park every year.

McGuigan said: "Crucially, our plans will stand the test of time and require no public subsidy.

"We would bring this excitement to the Olympic Park and help ensure it becomes a vibrant and sustainable place to live and visit, not just for a year or two, but for the long term.

"We chose to work with THFC as we believe that, as a partnership, we can have a stadium tailored to reflect its customer's needs that will be filled week in, week out. We know the importance of getting this decision right has huge implications not just for the stadium site, but for the long-term success and viability of the Olympic park as a whole."

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