The BBC is reporting that Spurs have held informal talks about moving in to the Olympic stadium after the Games are finished.
Though no formal bid has been made, the news is surprising for two reasons. West Ham have already made a lot of noise about their desire to make the stadium their new home; a joint bid from the club and Newham council was submitted in March, and though there are severe logistical problems in a football club playing at a stadium designed to temporarily host large-scale sporting events, at least geographically it makes sense, as the Irons would remain in the same borough where they’ve long plied their trade. Tottenham, on the other hand, is a good five miles away from the stadium as the crow flies.
Secondly, Spurs themselves are aiming to build an all-new 56,000-seater stadium near to their existing White Hart Lane ground, one they originally hoped to complete by the start of the 2012/13 season. However, progress on the stadium has been slowed by conservation groups, who objected to the planned destruction of several 19th century buildings nearby.
It’s highly improbable that the club will be uprooted from N17 and moved two boroughs away. Yet doing so would re-draw the map of London’s footballing rivalries. Tottenham’s long-standing animus with Arsenal began when the latter club upped sticks and moved from Woolwich to Highbury in 1913; Spurs fans’ hostility to these preening arrivistes has made the north London derby one of the more entertaining over the decades. What would West Ham or Leyton Orient supporters make of a moneyed new club parking itself in their manor? And who would Arsenal fans hate? Barnet hardly seem worth the bother.