Premiership teams bid for stadium

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Tottenham and West Ham became the official would-be tenants of the Olympic Stadium after the London 2012 Games.

The Olympic Park Legacy Company (OPLC) confirmed it would enter final negotiations with the bids led by Tottenham Hotspur Football Club with AEG and a consortium of West Ham United Football Club and the east London borough of Newham.

The rival bids will go head-to-head, with the OPLC picking a preferred bidder by December. The OPLC, which is in charge of securing the future of the Olympic Park in Stratford, wants to confirm a tenant for the stadium by March 2011.

OPLC chairman Baroness Ford said: "We are very pleased with the extensive and serious interest shown in the stadium.

"We started this process to ensure the very best legacy for the stadium, and we are now at a point where we have selected the two strongest bids. We will go forward to start negotiations with the two consortia of Tottenham Hotspur and AEG, and West Ham United and Newham Council.

"The stadium is a vital and vibrant component of the Olympic Park - securing the most appropriate and viable solution is crucial for our long-term aspirations for the future Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park area."

The formal bidding process started on August 18. The OPLC had urged bidders to look at options which would enhance and build on the existing and Government-approved plans, for a 25,000 seat mixed-use stadium.

West Ham plan to covert the 80,000-seater stadium into a 60,000-capacity arena for football, athletics, concerts and community use.

AEG, the global sports and entertainment company who are bidding with Premiership football club Tottenham, said they had no plans to retain an athletics track. Last month AEG Europe chief executive David Campbell said he believed an athletics track was not a deal breaker.

The wording of the invitation for expressions of interest in the stadium by the OPLC did not oblige bidders to retain a running track, he claimed.

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

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