London’s Olympic Stadium awarded to West Ham of English Premier League
The Olympics only come around every so often, well four years between each summer games and winter games, but just two years between them both. Put it this way, every two years there’s an Olympics of some sort. But over the years there have been a lot of stadiums built for the Olympics that have gone to waste after all the athletes packed up and left town.
London, England doesn’t want this to happen and that’s why the new Olympic Stadium will be kept in use after the Games are finished next summer. Two London-based English Premier League soccer teams, West Ham and Tottenham Hotspur, were desperate to get their hands on the venue.
But Tottenham had some strange plans for the place as they wanted to knock it down and rebuild it because there’s an athletic track running around the pitch. Therefore, it came as no surprise when on Feb. 11th West Ham was named as the likely tenants.
The stadium, which has a capacity of 80,000, will be the new home of West Ham when they leave their current home Upton Park. However, the stadium will also be used for track and field events according West Ham. The proposition from Spurs meant the stadium’s capacity would be reduced to 60,000 and would be used for soccer only.
The decision came down to the Olympic Park Legacy Company (OPLC), and it went with West Ham by a unanimous decision, but the British government will still need to agree to it and confirm the move. This is expected to be done over the next couple of weeks. The fact West Ham was willing to share the arena with athletics clubs was the clincher.
Naturally, Spurs are disappointed as they’re looking to get out of their stadium, White Hart Lane, which is pretty old now. The club was also hoping to pack more people in as they may make the Champions League again next season.
West Ham won’t be the first soccer team to take over a public stadium as Manchester City moved to the City of Manchester Stadium from Maine Road. Their new home was used for the Commonwealth Games in 2002. Also, Spanish team Espanyol played in the 1992 Olympic Stadium in Barcelona between 1997 and 2009, and Italian teams Roma and Lazio share Stadio Olympico in Rome which was used for the 1960 Games. And let’s not forget the Olympicstadion in Germany, which was used for the 1936 Olympics, is home to Hertha BSC of the German Second Division.