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The Olympic Stadium will hold 60,000 after the Games but some athletics events will attract crowds in the hundreds. Photograph: Westfield Group/PA Wire/PA
UK Athletics has admitted it will be almost impossible to fill the Olympic Stadium when it stages meetings following the Olympics. The main event, the two-day London Diamond League Grand Prix, attracts a 17,000 capacity crowd to Crystal Palace where it is currently held and some of the lesser meetings are likely to struggle to attract spectators.
The next most prestigious events are the UK Championships, currently held at Birmingham's Alexander Stadium which has a capacity of approximately 8,000. Ed Warner, chairman of UK Athletics, a partner in West Ham United's bid, said those national championships attract a crowd "in the high single thousands".
He acknowledged that the other athletics event on the list, which includes the English Schools championships, south of England senior and junior championships, and Newham and Essex Beagles' British Athletics League meets, will be watched in a mostly empty stadium.
West Ham's bid to occupy the £496m stadium, incorporating a track permanently in place around the football pitch, succeeded crucially because of the commitment to 20 days of "top class athletics" per year.
"'Top class' is not a technical term in athletics as 'first class' is in cricket," Warner explained. "By 'top class' we mean the two days of the Diamond League, down to championships for each major age group. Some will attract a significant paying public, others a smaller paying public. We will also be able to bid for major European and world championships."
Explaining why it makes sense to have a 60,000-seat stadium for events watched by crowds in the hundreds, Warner said: "We have never argued that athletics makes the stadium commercially viable. But we want our athletes to aspire to run on the track in a facility of such quality, and the warm-up track underneath is also important. West Ham made the call that they can make the stadium work financially, and we were able to piggy-back on that."
Retaining the track permanently, as urged by Lord Coe, was acknowledged by the Olympic Park Legacy Company to have been crucial in their decision to prefer West Ham's and UK Athletics' bid to that of Tottenham Hotspur, which argued that refurbishing Crystal Palace is a more sustainable option. Spurs have hinted in their reaction that they believe West Ham will not retain the track long-term, because their supporters will be far from the action, and the athletics will almost never attract a crowd.
However, Warner said West Ham have agreed the track will be a permanent feature in the stadium's future. "We have a commitment to an IAAF category one facility, to be maintained in the stadium, for the duration of the lease," he said.
 

mil1lion

Bad Banter
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#2
West Ham will be lucky to get 40'000 in the League. I also think ticket allocation will lead to fans being spead out and thus further losing some of the atmosphere. I'm just glad we haven't agreed to have a running track because i'd rather stay where we are than to go that way. Good luck to West Ham, they'll need it.

I still think despite what the agreement is, the running track will be replaced in a few years.
 

mpickard2087

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Jun 13, 2008
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#5
I cant see how competing to a vast, empty stadium is 'inspiring', if anything its embarrassing!

Its been said many times, but its going to go tits up most probably a few years down the line. Kids for a quid and other cut price tickets, however noble in theory, are not going to generate revenue.

Oh and rep to the OP, not for the article but for being from Stotfold! :grin:
 

jazz15c

SC Supporter
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#6
The fact remains, that in the 12 months immediately post-Beijing Olympics, their Olympic Stadium was used for Athletics twice...TWICE...fucking twice! So why the hell the BOC (or whatever the governing body of Athletics is in this country) couldn't be grateful for a re-vamped Crystal Palace I will never know.

Athletics and football simply do not mix. How many football grounds in this country is anyone allowed onto the turf between games? So how the hell are field athletes gonna chuck their spears etc around and practice.

Lord Sugar was right...good luck to them, but it won't work. It's gonna be an absolute car crash.
 

Kyras

Tom Huddlestone's one man fan club
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#8
They're actually going to lose money hosting those events, ticket sales won't cover the security and cleaning. Brilliant.
 

Hoowl

Dr wHo(owl)
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#10
I cant see how competing to a vast, empty stadium is 'inspiring', if anything its embarrassing!
They're comprimising West Ham by making them have a track.
They're comprimising Themselves by having a stadium that is 50 times too big.
But they didn't break any promises (in the Queens name).
 

worcestersauce

"I'm no optimist I'm just a prisoner of hope
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#12
The fact remains, that in the 12 months immediately post-Beijing Olympics, their Olympic Stadium was used for Athletics twice...TWICE...fucking twice! So why the hell the BOC (or whatever the governing body of Athletics is in this country) couldn't be grateful for a re-vamped Crystal Palace I will never know.

Athletics and football simply do not mix. How many football grounds in this country is anyone allowed onto the turf between games? So how the hell are field athletes gonna chuck their spears etc around and practice.

Lord Sugar was right...good luck to them, but it won't work. It's gonna be an absolute car crash.
And when everyone accepts that they can propose removing the track & rebuilding and there will be no objections, by that time Lord Coe will have his senior position in the Olympic movement and West Ham will get the stadium they always intended.
 

AngerManagement

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May 15, 2004
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#13
And when everyone accepts that they can propose removing the track & rebuilding and there will be no objections, by that time Lord Coe will have his senior position in the Olympic movement and West Ham will get the stadium they always intended.
Yea I can't see West Ham keeping the running track, there should be stipulations and penalties in place for if they remove it but no doubt it will all happen come such time that no one cares any longer.
 
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