West Ham and their home borough of Newham are planning a joint bid to occupy the Olympic stadium in Stratford after the conclusion of the Games.
Following months of flirting with the idea, the bid proposes a stadium that can be used for athletics and football, a prospect that will please the IOC, who want the legacy to incorporate athletics. A whimsical statement reveals a vision of the cupcake as a "vibrant centre of sport, culture and education", which would "[inspire] learning and achievement and... create a better quality of life for tens of thousands". The plans include the establishment of an Olympic visitor centre and football museum, and the lofty aim of turning Stratford into "one of the nation's favourite destinations".
Hammers chairman David Gold has warned that the stadium risks becoming a "white elephant" if tied to a pure athletics future. But the logistics of turning what was built as a small-scale athletics stadium, with a temporarily increased capacity, into a fully-fledged, 50,000-seater bowl, remain complex. Toilets and catering facilities are grouped in hubs outside the stadium, though one unintended bonus could be that Newham's rate of heart disease will plummet as fans forego the long shlepp for a half-time pasty.
Gold's quixotic vision of a "people's club" with European Cup-winning aspirations remains at odds with the club's current problems: last night they posted a pusillanimous performance at home to Wolves, lost the game 1-3 and failed to gain a foothold in the scrap to avoid relegation.