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Mills: Hammers lead stadium race


Olympic Stadium

Olympic Stadium

Olympic Stadium

Sir Keith Mills, the deputy chairman of London 2012 and Tottenham director, admits West Ham are in pole position to take over the Olympic Stadium - but only if their bid "stacks up economically".

Tottenham/AEG are bidding against West Ham to take over the Olympic Stadium after the 2012 Games - but the Spurs' bid would see the running track removed while the Hammers' would keep it.

Mills said: "West Ham's proposals are to leave the running track in place and if it stacks up economically I am sure the OPLC will award it to them. If it doesn't stack up they have an alternative in Tottenham with an athletics legacy elsewhere."

He added: "We promised in our bid to leave an athletics legacy. The IOC president has made it clear that it is more important not to leave a white elephant in London than whether that legacy is in the stadium or elsewhere in London.

"The OPLC's job is to ensure there is a legacy and to ensure there are no white elephants.

"We have been told we will have an answer by Christmas and look forward to them coming up with the right decision."

Mills said that even if Tottenham were chosen that did not definitely mean they would chose that over a new stadium at White Hart Lane.

He continued: "Even if we are the preferred bid we need to see what the deal is, what the economics are like and only then make a proper assessment about which option makes more sense."

Mills said it was important not to saddle the club with huge debts if it made financial sense to move to the Olympic Stadium in east London.

"We'll be moving to a part of London that is 100% more accessible; we'll generate more revenue; it's closer to Canary Wharf and to the City; and it'll attract more sponsorship," he told the Evening Standard.