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London's Olympic chair welcomes West Ham interest in Olympic stadium

Lord Coe is encouraged over West Ham's bid to take over the Olympic Stadium in Stratford after the 2012 Games. The Hammers have been boosted by the news that Coe, chairman of the London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games, would happily hand over the keys to the venue if it was up to him.

The Premier League club will find out before Christmas whether they have been successful with Coe revealing a "plethora" of other alternatives are vying for the facility.

"I would welcome it," he said. "I was never naive enough to believe that track and field [alone] could support an 80,000-seater stadium and the whole point was not to lumber East London with a stadium that nobody had a use for.

"The Olympic Park Legacy Company are currently talking to Newham Council, talking to West Ham and talking to a plethora of other organisations that have shown interest at one level or another so I know that West Ham are not the only game in town.

"But the owners of West Ham have expressed a real understanding that the community wants to have a footprint here and I have no problems with track and field living alongside football."

West Ham and Newham Council confirmed their joint bid in March this year and will submit their official proposal for the right to lease the stadium on a long-term commercial basis before the deadline at the end of this month.

Should it succeed, the club's owners will have to agree to finance some necessary modifications to the stadium.

"This would not come at no cost to West Ham," warned Coe.

"There would be things that they will need to do to reconfigure the stadium such as installing catering facilities inside the stadium.

"It has not been designed as a football stadium in order not to saddle future tenants with things they didn't necessarily want. But the primary objective all along was to make sure we were not going to be left with a white elephant."

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