East London site chosen for new stadium

Venue could host 2005 Championships
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The Independent Online

British track and field officials have chosen a site in east London to build a new stadium to host the 2005 World Athletics Championships.

The stadium will be built on the Pickett's Lock site in London's Lee Valley Regional Park.

As the only bidder, London is virtually guaranteed of being selected by the IAAF - the world governing body of track and field - when city officials submit their bid on April 3 in Paris.

Perth, Australia, and Berlin have indicated they will not pursue the event.

"I am delighted that all parties support our decision on this site as the preferred location," said David Moorcroft, chief executive of UK Athletics.

"I am confident it will be well received by the IAAF. It will provide a great legacy for the future of athletics. We are in for an exciting five years."

"One thing everyone was trying to achieve was that maybe this stadium could form part of an Olympic Games bid in 2012."

Moorcroft added: "The ultimate design is for it to be the most innovative stadium in the world.

"With its retractable roof it could be possible to provide indoor training facilities and meetings all the year round.

"We are sure it will be the envy of the athletics world when completed."

The British government has pledged 60 million pounds to build the stadium. The new facility is expected to seat 50,000 and could be expanded to 80,000 if London were awarded the Olympics.

British track and field officials have been scrambling to find a venue since December when plans were announced to rebuild Wembley Stadium in north London as a soccer-only facility.

Lee Valley Regional Park, south of the M25 and close to the M11 link road and North Circular, is in a high priority Government regeneration area. Its status as a regional development agency means it can deliver the stadium to the required standards.