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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Nov 8, 2006

Orient's Olympic Stadium dream to come true?

Leyton Orient chairman Barry Hearn has admitted the club are in a favourable position to move into the Olympic Stadium after the 2012 Olympic Games, sharing the arena with athletics and possibly a rugby union team.

Hearn told The Times: 'We are the only club interested as far as we are aware. I am considering anything for the future sustainable benefit of Leyton Orient. We have spent quite a lot of money on our current home (Brisbane Road), but nothing is for ever and six years is not a lot of time. I would not rule out a move.'

Negotiations are underway with the East London club in a deal that would allow the stadium, which would be reduced to 25,000 seats from 80,000 after 2012, to be retained as the national athletics centre and for local community use.

The Orient chairman pointed out that, for Premiership clubs such as Tottenham and West Ham, a 25,000-capacity stadium is too small. Brisbane Road, Orient's home since 1937, has a capacity of fewer than 8,000.

Hearn also said there was a 'certain synergy' with the regeneration plans of the Olympics, which are aimed at transforming a large area of East London. The Olympic village will provide about 10,000 new homes and Hearn obviously hopes this may provide a new reservoir of supporters.

After the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester, the stadium in Eastlands was reconfigured for Manchester City with a capacity of 47,500 and the track was removed. Tessa Jowell, the Olympics Minister, Lord Coe, the chairman of the London Olympic Organising Committee and UK Athletics are determined the Olympic Stadium will not suffer the same fate and insist that it should be a multi-purpose venue.

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