KICK STARTING NEARLY HALF A BILLION POUNDS WORTH OF INVESTMENT
The Olympic Park Legacy Company have a tough decision to make that will affect the future viability and success of the Olympic Park for decades to come.
They are looking to ensure the venues in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park have long-term tenants that are financially viable, sustainable, able to maximise the use of that venue to support the wider vibrancy of the Olympic Park and do not burden the taxpayer.
I believe that Tottenham Hotspur's plans for the Olympic Stadium site meet every one of these criteria - whilst also delivering a coherent and comprehensive legacy for athletics.
The original 2012 legacy was to demolish the stadium and leave a 25,000 capacity athletics stadium.
This was taken to the market and no tenant could be found, so the OPLC started to look at other options and indicated they would be prepared to consider a bid from Tottenham Hotspur for a rebuilt or reconfigured stadium without a running track - as long as we also planned for an athletics legacy.
The easiest, most cost-effective option we could have chosen was to have submitted a bid which retained the athletics track but there is a fundamental reason we have not proposed this - it would not have delivered or guaranteed a viable, sustainable legacy. Quite simply, athletics and football cannot successfully co-exist.
The experience of clubs in Europe clearly demonstrates that forcing co-existence in stadia that were not primarily designed for football is a short-term fix.
Data shows that staging football matches in a large stadium with an athletics track results in a poor spectator experience, leading to reduced attendances, excess supply of seats, the undermining of pricing structures and higher operating costs. The combination of these factors causes football clubs to move because their business models become unviable.
Three European cities which have hosted a summer Olympic Games also provide compelling evidence for London. In Munich and Barcelona the experiment has left an empty Olympic stadium, after bad experiences for fans and clubs concerned. In Athens, there are unhappy football tenants with very low attendance figures, working desperately to relocate.
Our proposal uses as much of the existing stadium infrastructure as possible, to maximise the benefit of the public investment to date. We are not "demolishing £500million" of stadium infrastructure - we are removing and recycling around £80m with zero to landfill, leaving around £420m of investment in place. Indeed, it is worth remembering that two thirds of the Olympic Stadium, under the original legacy plan, was to be dismantled.
Our bid proposals will deliver a 365- days-a-year venue. In addition to selling-out for football, together with AEG, the company which saved the Dome from being a white elephant, the stadium would host world-class concerts, sports, entertainment and community events ensuring year-round use.
We also propose a major tourist attraction based around extreme sports and incorporating a specialist sports retailing centre, restaurants, cafes and bars along with a full programme of community activities across the public realm managed by the Tottenham Hotspur Foundation.
This combination of activities will deliver over three million visitors a year to this part of the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park - visitors from the UK and around the world - creating a showcase destination for London. There has also rightly been much debate recently about ensuring a proper legacy for athletics. We have looked long and hard at this issue and believe that what we are proposing offers a robust, viable and appropriate legacy for athletics.
In terms of infrastructure, we would pay for the significant redevelopment of the Crystal Palace Athletics Stadium as a dedicated home for the sport, which would see the venue's capacity increased to 25,000, with the ability to convert to 40,000 for a World Championships.
Importantly, it would be available to athletes every single day of the year. This is something that is not possible at the Olympic Stadium under West Ham's proposal, given the demands of the football season, summer pitch relaying and the hosting of other events during the summer - access for athletics has been set at a mere 20 days per year.
In addition, we have put together a substantial package to provide long-term funding for grass-roots athletics and community programmes across London and we would work with relevant athletics and other groups to help deliver this.
Our community programmes are multi-sport with guaranteed multi-million pound funding, an array of activities delivered in the stadium, across the public realm and with outreach work in all five Olympic boroughs.
We believe this is a fantastic opportunity to create a true Olympic legacy - we have put together a bid that is financially robust and fully underwritten, delivers a substantial return to the public purse, would provide a dedicated athletics legacy, includes funding and provision for comprehensive sporting and community activities and engagement and is backed by a team experienced in delivering.
There is no danger of a white elephant, no need for public subsidy now or in the future and no need for a future alteration to the stadium under our plans. But our bid goes further than just the Olympic site. Our move to Stratford would kick-start nearly half a billion pounds worth of investment in London in no less than three boroughs - three capital projects would be delivered - a new stadium built in Stratford, capital project works in Crystal Palace and a mixed-use scheme development in Tottenham.
These new projects would drive substantial regeneration benefits for Londoners, delivering employment, commercial opportunities and community engagement.
Our bid provides for real investment in east, south and north London and will return money to the Government and ensure no further call on council taxpayers. Furthermore, alongside these developments we would extend and continue our work in these communities through the Tottenham Hotspur Foundation.
We hope that the OPLC make a decision based on what is right for London, Londoners and for the public purse, with the solution that will stand the test of time for both athletics and football, that helps create a vibrant Olympic Park and delivers the promised legacy of regeneration.
Tottenham Hotspur can guarantee to deliver on all these fronts.