Siân (sianisit) wrote in ontd_football,
Siân
sianisit
ontd_football

David James: "The Olympic stadium needs football after 2012, not athletics"

 

I find it hard to sympathise with all this hand-wringing going on over the issue of the Olympic Stadium. Whoever wins the bid, be it Tottenham or West Ham, British athletics will receive a new – or newly revamped – stadium which, when you consider the venues they have at the moment has to be seen as a big improvement for the sport.

Over the past few days we have heard various figures in athletics talking about a "broken promise", but the "promise" should never have been made in the first place because it was so unrealistic. Who would fill such a stadium? If you have ever seen an athletics crowd at Gateshead you will know what I am talking about. Without a proper plan ever having been secured for the future of the stadium in the first place it is unsurprising that the sport now finds itself in this mess.

If the Olympic Stadium does go to Tottenham, it won't be the first athletics stadium to go to a football club. Eastlands was originally designed for Manchester's failed Olympic bid, it then hosted the Commonwealth Games in 2002 before being taken over by Manchester City. Perhaps that should have issued a warning to the athletics governing body: if there was an athletics crowd to fill Eastlands then it would still host athletics. As harsh as it sounds, British athletics needs to accept that the sport just isn't that big in this country.

Rather than worry about stadiums, the athletics governing body should start worrying about participation. With the Schools Sport Partnership cuts going ahead – reports say 84% of services will have their funding withdrawn – where are we going to find our next generation of athletes? It's all very well having an Olympic stadium for athletes to compete in 20 years down the line, but if we're not producing more Daley Thompsons or Jessica Ennises then what is the point? That is a far more important, and pressing, legacy issue than what happens to an overpriced and rather unattractive pile of bricks and mortar.

Source: www.guardian.co.uk/sport/blog/2011/jan/23/david-james-olympic-stadium-football-athletics

What are your opinions on this? It's all a bit of a mess. I think Spurs should win the bid, personally. Not really convinced that West Ham taking it over would be financially viable.

Also, lol, we don't have a West Ham tag.


Tags: club: tottenham hotspur, david james
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