Filed: Friday, 11th November 2011
By: Staff Writer
The Olympic Stadium will stage at least one major sporting event in 2017 - but it won't have anything to do with West Ham.
It was confirmed minutes ago that London has beaten Doha - by 16 votes to 10 - to the right to stage the 2017 World Athletics Championships which, like next summer's games, will be hosted at the Olympic Stadium in Stratford.
Although it remains unclear what impact this will have on West Ham United's bid to rent the stadium from the Goverment, what is certain is that the stadium's current configuration - which is suited to athletics and not football - will now remain in place until the 2017 games have finished, at the very least.
London's successful bid was presented earlier today by London mayor Boris Johnson, sports minister Hugh Robertson and London 2012 chairman and IAAF vice-president Lord Coe - the man chiefly responsible for ensuring that the Stratford stadium will continue to host athletics after next summer's Olympic Games.
How today's decision will affect West Ham - whose board remain intent on moving the club to Stratford despite having seen the original decision in their favour overturned recently - is unknown at present, although the under-pressure Olympic Park Legacy Company - who confirmed a 99-year athletics lease at the stadium last week - will no doubt be delighted.
Hammers chairman David Gold, commenting on the news via Twitter this afternoon (Friday) insisted that his bid to move to Stratford would be unaffected by the news. "We wouldn't anticipate any problems," he said.
However it is clearly bad news for those who believe an athletics legacy is the wrong choice for the 80,000 capacity stadium, which has cost the taxpayer in excess of £500million to build.
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07:17PM 11th Nov 2011
''Still waiting for my response re: one season ticket, one vote re: move to the Olympic Stadium. Funny that.''
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