Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 19 April 2014

Levy: Spurs stadium would be great

Daniel Levy

Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy has promised Spurs fans "one of the finest stadiums in the world" if they take over the 2012 Olympic Stadium.

The north London club have submitted their bid to take over the stadium to the Olympic Park Legacy Company - they and West Ham are on the shortlist.

Levy said in an open letter to fans: "Our proposals for the Olympic Stadium site include an iconic 60,000 seater stadium, the construction of which is fully financially guaranteed. It would rank amongst the finest in the world and deliver one of the best fan experiences anywhere in Europe."

He continued: "It is designed along the lines of that which we incorporated in our planning application for the NDP [Northumberland Development Project], with a single tier end and seats close to the action on the pitch."

Spurs' plans would see them demolish the stadium and build a new one without a running track - West Ham's plan is to keep the structure at a reduced capacity and with the athletics track retained.

Levy said: "The easiest option for us would undoubtedly have been to bid for the Olympic Stadium site with a retained athletics track. But it would have been the wrong option.

"The front row seats in the Olympic Stadium with a retained athletics track will be up to 45m from the pitch; in our stadium design they would be 8m from the action. Football and athletics cannot co-exist successfully in the same stadium.

"There are examples all over the world of where clubs have removed tracks or moved stadiums simply because of the poor spectator experience and the lack of sustainability in the long term due to decreasing attendances. We never considered for one moment placing our fans in such a stadium environment."

Brazil football legend Pele has also written to the OPLC supporting Tottenham's bid for the stadium.

His letter says: "I understand they are based on creating a dedicated football stadium and providing an athletics legacy at the original home of athletics (as I remember it!) Crystal Palace. That would be a great stadium. I really don't understand wanting to play with a track around the pitch. The players won't like it and it probably won't last."