Friday, February 11, 2011

Spector gives Olympic win a cautious welcome

Jonathan Spector has told NSC he is broadly supportive of West Ham's move from the Boleyn Ground to London's Olympic Stadium, which was all but confirmed on Friday.

The US international's team pipped Tottenham Hotspur to be named preferred bidder by the 2012 Olympics Park Legacy Company and an expected rubber stamp from the UK government will mean the Hammers move to a re-configured 60,000-seater after next year's games. Upton Park, their home for over a century, holds 35,000 with an average crowd of 33,000 this season.

"I know there has been mixed reviews from the supporters," said Spector, "but I think it would probably be a good thing in the long term for this club.

With a bigger stadium I don't think West Ham would have a problem filling it - it is a pretty large following. Updating stadiums can be a positive in terms of bringing new fans to the club."

The fly in the Hammers' ointment remains the running track, which Spurs had pledged to tear up but West Ham promised to keep, a commitment which handed them victory over their London rivals following an acrimonious fight.

"From a player's point of view I would prefer not to have one obviously," Spector added.

"It kind of changes the atmosphere. Whether or not they would get rid of that I have no idea.

I don't know what exactly the proposal entails or what West Ham want to do with it but I think this overall will be a good thing for the club."

- Sean O'Conor

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