Johnson admits 2012 stadium uncertainty

Johnson admits 2012 stadium uncertainty

London mayor Boris Johnson has refused to rule out the possibility that the Olympic stadium might be pulled down and rebuilt following the Games in order to host a football club after 2012.

The stadium will be the centrepiece of the venues to be built at the Olympic park in Stratford, east London and will host the athletics during the event.

The stadium will have a capacity of 80,000 during the Olympics but it will then be reduced to a 25,000-seat venue.

West Ham and Leyton Orient have both been suggested as potential tenants after the Games although Tottenham curtailed their interest in moving there two years ago.

Now Johnson is preparing himself for all possibilities to ensure the venue has a use after the Games, including potentially razing it to the ground.

Johnson told BBC Five Live: “That is the 64,000, or 580 million, dollar question but it depends which football club and depends what their needs are.”

Johnson also acknowledges that another tenant – or tenants – may have to be found if negotiations are not successful with a football club.

He added: “If we had a serious offer from a big Premier League football club then of course we’d look at it.

“At the moment that is not the case.

“That doesn’t mean we are not looking at the football options, we are looking at all options.

“And we are having all sorts of talks but we’ve got to prepare ourselves for the possibility that we’ll have to go away and get on with some other permutation.

“Maybe a partial use by a rugby club, maybe some kind of athletics school, there are all sorts of mixes we might end up with and I don’t think you can necessarily guarantee football is going to be part of it.

“There have been some overtures on both sides and in both directions with some clubs.

“I don’t want to prejudice any negotiations we might have by going into them but we are talking the whole time to various candidates but their names will not be any surprise to you.”

When asked whether an announcement could be expected, he continued: “I think it unlikely there will be an imminent announcement but there is a lot of talk going on.”

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