Brady adamant over stadium plan

Published Nov. 24, 2010 7:15 p.m. ET

The east London club's push to move to the venue in Stratford, east London, after the 2012 Games is a long-term plan and one they would not risk if they could not afford it, Brady claimed on Wednesday. West Ham's campaign with Newham Council is now a head-to-head battle with north London rival Tottenham's joint bid with sport and entertainment giant AEG. Both plans are being scrutinised by the Olympic Park Legacy Company (OPLC) which is deciding the future of the £537million venue. "We have been planning our bid, let us not forget this, for the last 12 months," said Brady. "Everything we are doing has been meticulously planned and well worked out. This is a not a last-minute application. "I think that if you think about it the hint is in the title - it is the Olympic Park Legacy Company and that is what it is intended to be." Brady hopes the Hammers may have the edge as they are a local club and a Spurs move would necessitate them moving cross-town from Haringey. West Ham plan to covert the 80,000-seater stadium into a 60,000-capacity arena for football, athletics, concerts and community use. AEG have said they had no plans to retain an athletics track. Many West Ham fans may be looking for the team to drag themselves from the bottom of the Premier League, having collected just one win from 14 matches, but there is an understanding that being based at the Olympic Stadium could be a good move, she claimed. In the face of football becoming "overpriced" for fans Brady said: "What people want is their team to be doing well and in a stadium where they can have easy access where the seats are affordable. These are the things that football supporters want and the Olympic Stadium fits these points.'' Keeping a running track was not a problem, according to Brady, as the gentle slope of the stadium gives it a "real sense of intimacy". She said it is a "really breathtaking" structure. She added: "We know that it was built for athletics but it can work for football and athletics. "The stadium is less than two miles away from us and in our own borough. We think that it sits comfortably with what we want to do (as a multi-use venue) and it should get the legacy it was promised.'' UK Athletics and Westfield, a new retail landmark in the region, regard West Ham as their preferred bidder. Sir Keith Mills, the deputy chairman of London 2012 and Tottenham director, admits West Ham are in pole position to take over the Olympic Stadium - but only if their bid "stacks up economically". Mills said it was more important to avoid having 'white elephants' than insist on keeping a running track inside the Olympic Stadium, so long as an athletics legacy was created elsewhere in London. Spurs' plans for that legacy have remained under wraps. Mills said: "West Ham's proposals are to leave the running track in place and if it stacks up economically I am sure the OPLC will award it to them. If it doesn't stack up they have an alternative in Tottenham with an athletics legacy elsewhere. "We promised in our bid to leave an athletics legacy. The IOC president has made it clear that it is more important not to leave a white elephant in London than whether that legacy is in the stadium or elsewhere in London. "The OPLC's job is to ensure there is a legacy and to ensure there are no white elephants. "We have been told we will have an answer by Christmas and look forward to them coming up with the right decision.'' Mills said that even if Tottenham were chosen that did not definitely mean they would chose that over a new stadium at White Hart Lane. He added: "Even if we are the preferred bid we need to see what the deal is, what the economics are like and only then make a proper assessment about which option makes more sense." The OPLC is set to pick a preferred bidder by December and to confirm a tenant for the stadium by March 2011.