Tottenham’s plans to demolish Olympic Stadium would save club cool £200m

TOTTENHAM hope to save around £200m by tearing down the Olympic Stadium and building a new ground in its place, if they see off West Ham in the battle to move to the site after the London 2012 Games.

Spurs want to scrap the track at the Olympic venue and deliver an athletics legacy by instead redeveloping existing facilities at Crystal Palace, taking the total cost of the project to the region of £250m.

A new purpose-built stadium next to their current home, White Hart Lane, remains a possibility, and would cost around £250m for the arena itself. But it is understood the final bill would come to nearer £450m once other costs, such as developing transport links and local infrastructure, were taken into account.

David Keirlie, the architect working with Spurs on both projects, said of their plans for the east London venue: “It’s not entirely demolition. We will be using some of the undercroft but we’re not using much. We may be taking some elements to Crystal Palace for its redevelopment.”

West Ham have pledged to keep the track, earning them the official endorsement of UK Athletics, and were quicker to go public with their plans. Yet Spurs feel they have a compelling case of their own as the two Premier League rivals await a decision from the Olympic Park Legacy Company on 28 January.

It is understood Tottenham believe retaining the track would mean supporters having a worse view, and that trends in the European game show that clubs are increasingly ditching grounds with tracks for football-specific stadia.

Spurs, for whom Gareth Bale (left) has shone this term, are also thought to be confident they represent a more financially viable proposition than West Ham, based on a greater demand for tickets and stronger revenues.

Significantly, the club also believes its proposals for Crystal Palace, which involve increasing the capacity to 25,000 and building a warm-up track, make for a more tangible and sustainable legacy than retaining the track in Stratford, where access may be restricted by regular football matches.

David Lammy, the MP for Tottenham, last night said it would be “astonishing” if Spurs were allowed to demolish the Olympic Stadium, which has cost £496m of public money, after just a month of use.

Meanwhile, Tottenham yesterday confirmed that midfielder David Bentley has joined Birmingham on loan until the end of the season.