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West Ham United supporters continue to get behind the joint bid with Newham Council to occupy the Olympic Stadium after the 2012 Games.
Positive messages from fans flooded in as the club released new images showing how the Olympic Stadium in football mode would compare with well known world-class stadia including the new Wembley Stadium.
This supports a recent Premier League poll which showed that almost 60% of supporters felt positive or very positive towards the proposed move.
This favourable split is supported by a poll on the east London club’s leading fan forum and came as sports fans during a recent Sky Sports poll voted 77% in favour of West Ham United operating the Stadium.
A range of national polls also continue to show independent backing for plans to preserve the public investment in the Olympic Stadium and the range of community projects it will
Indeed 70% of those polled in a recent YouGov survey claimed to want to ensure the stadium is kept for use as a multi sport venue, including football and a retained athletics track. Only 5%
of those polled wanted it to be rebuilt in to a football only stadium with a redevelopment of the British athletics’ current home at Crystal Palace to make it a world championship-standard
venue. 56% of those polled want West Ham to win the Olympic Stadium bid with only 6% supporting a successful Tottenham bid.
Club great Paolo Di Canio was one of many to add weight to the bid. He said “Having played at the Stadium Olimpico in Rome for Lazio which also has a running track, the atmosphere has always been fantastic. I am certain the passion of the West Ham supporters will create just as much of an amazing atmosphere at the Olympic Stadium in Stratford as they do at Upton Park”
Support also continues to grow at the highest level both from within and beyond the world of football.
World-class athlete Jessica Ennis, England football captain Rio Ferdinand and Iron Maiden rock star Steve Harris have all spoken positively about the joint-bid that is aimed at preserving the £500m venue as a multi-sports and multi-event destination for the nation.
Earlier this week, more than 50 MPs signed a pledge in favour of protecting the promises made to the IOC when London were awarded the Olympics back in summer 2005.
World heptathlon champion Ennis will be going for gold in the capital next year and spoke out against plans to demolish the iconic venue. She said: “I think it would be such a shame if we lost it. I just hope the right decision is made and Britain still has that track.
“It’s our Olympic Stadium and I’d love to see it used as an athletics stadium in years to come…it would be strange if it was just a football ground.”
Manchester United defender Ferdinand began his career at West Ham and supported the club’s reasons for wanting to move from the Boleyn Ground, describing the possibility as “great”. A proud Londoner, he played 148 games in claret and blue and has since gone on to win 80 caps for England.
He said: “Arsenal done it with Highbury, leaving their old ground and going to the Emirates, and it hasn’t altered their success or what they’re trying to do.
“If that could be the same for West Ham then it would be great. It’s down to the powers that be at the club and there’s so many things that will determine whether they go there but if it’s good for the club then great.”
All of this came as West Ham and Newham today released images of how the Stadium will appear in full concert mode. Speaking on behalf of partners Live Nation, Chief Operating Officer Paul Latham said
“As we have proved in our submissions Live Nation have promoted/produced 57 of 78 of the outdoor concerts in London in the last five years ranging from U2, Madonna, Rolling Stones, Bruce Springsteen, Paul McCartney, Kings of Leon, Stevie Wonder, Blur et al. The iconic Olympic Stadium will provide a fabulous new venue for our portfolio of artists to play in the future.”
Iron Maiden legend Steve Harris, who was born in Leytonstone in the shadow of the Olympic Stadium fully supports this view. Steve is a former youth footballer for the Hammers and often shows his support with the West Ham crest on his guitar. With the Olympic Stadium capable of staging 100,000-capacity rock concerts, he would love to fulfill a lifelong dream.
He said: “I’ve been a West Ham fan for 45 years and it would be a wrench to leave Upton Park but the way forward for east London is the Olympic Stadium and West Ham are an east London club so it has to be West Ham! And then we would play there too!”
For further information contact Greg Demetriou on 07812 062837