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Alex Deane: the Olympic Stadium must remain an athletics venue - whether that's the best use for it or not

Olympics Crystal Palace WEST HAM (apologies) and Tottenham Stratford Hotspur are bidding to take possession of the Olympic Stadium at the conclusion of the 2012 Olympics (about which I have written here before).

For all I know (or care) either (or both) of these bids would put the Stadium to good use - with either or both being perhaps much more productive than keeping it for athletics (and, to be fair, I gather that both bids claim to offer some kind of athletics provision, with Palace even going so far as saying that they wouldn't knock the stadium down...).

But, as I understand it, we bid for the Games on the basis that the Stadium would be used for athletics in the future. (I suppose that part of the ostensible purpose of the Games in the modern era is not merely the hosting of a sporting event at a given time, but also to assist in the growth of specified sports in a specified place for the future - an aim which applies equally to the developed world as the developing.) Those involved with that bid confirm that this was specifically asked about by the IOC, and this promise specifically given.

If we intend to host international events in the future - and it does seem that we're rabidly keen on such things - then breaking our word on this significant legacy issue would seem a very bad idea. How could anyone trust a British bid again..?


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