Mar 21, 2013, 5:12 PM EST
A white elephant is an idiom for a valuable but burdensome possession of which its owner cannot dispose and whose cost (particularly cost of upkeep) is out of proportion to its usefulness or worth.
The most common form of white elephants these days is Olympic and World Cup Stadiums and the planet is full of them. From Athens to Beijing to Cape Town and for a brief moment London. Empty, unused and unloved venues sit and rot while costing the unsuspecting tax payer millions every year in maintenance costs.
I mention London because today West Ham United signed a 99-year lease that will see them become the major tenants of one of London’s most iconic images, the Olympic Stadium in the East End.
The Hammers have beaten out Tottenham and for the time being, tiny Leyton Orient, although O’s chairman, Barry Hearn may have one final say in the matter and will leave their longtime home of Upton Park (1905).
The clubs attendance has the chance to sky-rocket from the current 35,000 to 60,000 depending on the configuration of the venue that must still maintain a running track. The conversion will supposedly allow football and athletics to co-exist peacefully. The cost is rumored to be around $250 million which, surprise, surprise, the tax payer will probably be on the hook for.
The whole project stinks though and in my opinion is nothing more than a boondoggle. When the idea of the Olympic Stadium was first floated, ground sharing with a football team was put forward as a logical solution for the stadium post-Olympics but was shot down by the Athletic crowd.
A lot of money would’ve been saved if a handful of people weren’t completely stuck up inside their own importance.
I wish West Ham the best of luck although getting a state-of-the-art stadium for next to peanuts looks like they’ve already had a fair portion.
- Report: Juan Agudelo close to signing with his former MLS team, New England Revolution 0
- Head of Dutch FA, Michael van Praag, will challenge Blatter for FIFA presidency 0
- Newcastle United name John Carver head coach until end of 2014-15 season 0
- Transfer ban for Real Madrid? Probe launched after signing of Venezuelan kids 3
- Transfer rumor roundup: Ings to Tottenham Hotspur, Busquets to Manchester United 0
- Rodgers: Sturridge could face Chelsea in League Cup, certain to be back for Saturday vs. West Ham 0