Crystal Palace FC’s plans to move into their new stadium may be in peril as Premiership teams make a dash for the Olympic Stadium.
A decision on the future of the Olympic stadium has been delayed indefinitely, as the body responsible for the stadium cites the need for proper scrutiny.
Both Tottenham Hotspur FC and West Ham United FC have bid to move into the Olympics stadium.
The Olympic Park Legacy Committee (OPLC), who are responsible for making the decision, may also be hoping the delay will allow some respite in what has become a heated debate.
“Given the detailed nature of both bids received, we need more time to seek further clarification with both bidders in order to identify a preferred bidder,” said the OPLC. “The stadium is a significant public asset and we have a duty to run a robust process.”
Tottenham want to knock down the stadium and start again, where as the Hammers would keep the running track, as was promised in the British bid for the Olympic Games. However, the tender document for the bid did not insist that the track be retained, merely that provision be made for one at the park or elsewhere.
Tottenham have promised they will refurbish the National Sports Centre in Crystal Palace Park, to replace the athletics track they propose to demolish at the Olympic Park in Stratford.
If the Spurs bid succeeds the Eagles could be forced to stay at Sellhurst Park, rather than continuing with their plans for a £50 million renovation of their original ground, the National Sports Centre, into a 40,000 seat stadium.
To further complicate matters, the board of directors of east London team Leyton Orient FC have asserted that a move by either West Ham or Tottenham to Stratford would rob them of casual fans. They said the move would place “a huge question mark over our long-term viability at [their home ground at] Brisbane Road”.