1 Feb 2011

Growing concern over plans for Olympic stadium

11:55 am on 1 February 2011

Britain's Olympic gold medallist Sally Gunnell is absolutely horrified the main venue for the 2012 London Olympics could be knocked down to make way for a football stadium after the Games.

The 1992 Barcelona Olympics 400 metres hurdles winner and former world record holder was the latest figure to voice concerns in an increasingly acrimonious battle over the future of the 496 million pounds ($NZ1027 million) stadium.

Premier League club Tottenham Hotspur, in a joint bid with the United States entertainment giant AEG, want to knock the Olympic stadium down and replace it with a purpose-built football ground, saying a running track does not work for their fans.

To fulfil the London Olympic athletics legacy promise, made in 2005, Tottenham intend to revamp the Crystal Palace track and field venue in south London to host international events.

However, a growing number of athletics figures have criticised the plan, favouring a rival bid by Premier League West Ham United who in partnership with the local council say they will retain the track.