Ambitious Sullivan plots a move to the Olympic Stadium
NEW WEST HAM owner David Sullivan has put a move to the Olympic Stadium as one of the top priorities as a new page in the history of the club begins. Sullivan promised the cheapest ticket prices in the Premier League if their plan to move to the new sta
NEW WEST HAM owner David Sullivan has put a move to the Olympic Stadium as one of the top priorities as a new page in the history of the club begins.
Sullivan promised the 'cheapest ticket prices in the Premier League' if their plan to move to the new stadium in Stratford is granted.
"It is a major part of our strategy that West Ham move to the Olympic Stadium," he confirmed.
"It is three miles from this ground and in the borough of Newham which we are in now.
"If we can have a huge ground, we could take football back to the people. We could reduce prices to levels that supporters can afford because we have the capacity to do it."
Plans for the 80,000 seater Olympic Stadium are that it would be reduced following the Games to a 25,000 seater which would be the prime venue for athletics in the country.
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Sullivan though is convinced that would not work. "To me, I cannot comprehend how a government can build a ground and then reduce it to 25,000 capacity for rugby, which will be empty, they will probably get 5,000 people," he said.
"In the credit crunch world, how can you spend a huge amount of money on building a stadium, only to then smash it down? - It makes no sense.
"There is also the precedent of Manchester City getting the Common-wealth Games Stadium, so why shouldn't West Ham in the borough of Newham, get the Olympic Stadium, which is also in the borough of Newham?"
The prospect of a running track around a new football stadium doesn't appeal to the new West Ham owner either, though he has come up with some contingency plans.
"Ideally we wouldn't want an athletics track round the outside of the pitch. But there may be a way we can lay the running track for three months, or maybe it would be cheaper to build a running track somewhere else," he said.
"I don't think that running tracks work, particularly behind the goal. On the side I don't think it makes a lot of difference, but behind the goal, the customers are so far back, it doesn't work."
So who would fund a possible move to the Olympic Stadium after 2012? Well, nobody actually.
"We don't want to buy it all, we want to rent it," confirmed the West Ham head.
"The government have promised to keep it alive for 30 years, but with us it will cost them nothing, we will pay all the running costs, so we would rent it off them."
Talks are expected to begin with the council over the plan in the next couple of weeks, and Sullivan and co-chairman David Gold will talk to all other relevant parties about their plan.
So how likely is it to work?
"I would say that at this moment in time, you would have to speak to other people, but I would say that if it is not better than 50/50 I would be very surprised," he said.