"We are keen on having an athletics track to remain and I'm confident that they will find the right solution," "We have been assured it will have an athletics track".However, an OPLC (Olympic Park Legacy Company) official followed up on that comment by saying that
"no final decision" over whether to keep an athletics track beyond 2012 isSo what does it mean when a IOC president is “keen” on something?
Well that certainly depends on if it would affect an upcoming Olympic games per se or just what happens when the Olympic Circus has moved on.
One way to evaluate such a statement is to try to remember how many times you have seen IOC members, not from the specific country, getting involved in a discussion about what happened to a city or country after the Circus has left. Can’t remember any (bar Beijing maybe)? Me neither. No, the Circus will, as allways, move its focus toward the next Olympic Games and, as is true for any Circus manager, not worry much what the tent site looks like after they have left.
The decisions on who is going to run it after the Games and whether to keep or not to keep the tracks will be based on economics and economics alone.
If the cost/benefit analysis of taking the tracks out say they should stay, they will stay and the talk of the “Olympic Legacy” will get a last outing. If not, Sir Sebastian will have to make do with some smaller venue, maybe better suited to house the 7.500 athletics fans that will come to the annual GP show.
So what is the chances (or risk if you are so inclined) of West Ham moving there?
I’d say the chances are great that we, as I said in this post, will see the first West Ham game there in 2015. Not only on our own merits as I doubt there are any other takers with a concept that is backed by money rather than people. Money talks, and no one else should be bothered to argue with it (Coe/West Ham fans) as they have a very slim chance of winning the discussion.
In March 2011 West Ham will be revealed as the new tenants, or to be formal, there is supposed to be a decision on what the stadium will be used to and who gets to run it. Then we may also have a decision on whether the tracks will remain, but that is still something that may be changed later in the development.
Note: I'm certainly not advocating tracks at any football ground, on the contrary, but Gollivan won't care much what I or other West Ham fans say on this matter. They will be banking on that we will get over it. At least enough to go to the games.