West Ham United have released details of their plans to transform the Olympic Stadium into a football ground. Not to be deterred, Tottenham have also unveiled their own plans for redeveloping the National Sports Centre at Crystal Palace.
Kitted out in the Hammers' claret and blue, and set against a dramatic London nightscape with the Orbit tower next door, the stadium does look impressive. To judge by the rather narrow-looking running track, however, the designers may have taken artistic liberty in depicting how close to the pitch supporters are likely to be (see this webcam from inside the stadium for comparison). According to the club, it would include facilities for "elite, club, community, and school athletes of all disciplines", and could be open as early as summer 2014.
A decision on which of the two clubs (if either) will be awarded the site was due today, but the Olympic Park Legacy Committee has delayed any announcement while they mull over the two bids. That hasn't stopped anyone and everyone even tangentially associated with the 2012 Games poking their snout into the matter. Seb Coe is on West Ham's side, as are most of Labour's London MPs. A poll on BBC News revealed that most of the public also believe the east London club should get the nod.
Tottenham hope to knock down the stadium, scrap the running track, and build from the ground up, a scheme which would involve redeveloping the National Sports Centre into a world-class venue, and to that end the club published their plans today. They include boosting the ageing stadium's capacity to 25,000, and involve a legacy fund to help train Britain's next generation of athletes.
The proposal comes a week after Crystal Palace unveiled their own plans to move back to the site of the NSC. Their plan would destroy the old stadium, building a new one in its place, but would include a new aquatics centre.
A decision is expected in February.