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.
Jan 29, 2015, 10:30 PM EST
Osvaldo-to-Juventus could mean Giovinco-to-Toronto happens six months early.
Jan 29, 2015, 9:30 PM EST
The latest update from Beckham on building a stadium, bringing an MLS team to Miami.
Jan 29, 2015, 7:41 PM EST
Friendly banter among teammates, when done right, is downright hilarious.
Jan 29, 2015, 7:10 PM EST
What went down on Thursday, the 29th day of this January transfer window? A full recap, inside.
Jan 29, 2015, 5:36 PM EST
Agudelo is back in MLS, where he probably should have been all along.
Jan 29, 2015, 5:12 PM EST
The future boss at Anfield? Sturridge is quite sure of it.
Jan 29, 2015, 3:18 PM EST
Putin and Russia have already had to cut costs for the 2018 World Cup.
Jan 29, 2015, 2:43 PM EST
Arsenal’s main man is touch and go for this weekend’s game against Aston Villa.
Jan 29, 2015, 2:00 PM EST
Liverpool’s leading striker could return to action this Saturday after five months out.
Jan 29, 2015, 1:02 PM EST
With players out and title dreams on the line, how will Chelsea and City line up on Saturday?
Jan 29, 2015, 12:18 PM EST
Costa set to protest FA charges to avoid three-game ban.
Jan 29, 2015, 11:43 AM EST
Watch Klinsmann’s insane piece of skill from the friendly vs. Chile on Wednesday. My word.
Jan 29, 2015, 11:08 AM EST
Guinea won the lottery and are through to the last eight. Here’s the quarterfinal field for AFCON.
Jan 29, 2015, 9:45 AM EST
Former D.C. United, RSL and Union player heading back home?
Jan 29, 2015, 9:06 AM EST
With a few days left in the window, here’s the latest gossip.
Jan 29, 2015, 8:00 AM EST
Could Yaya link up with his old boss at the San Siro?
Jan 28, 2015, 11:10 PM EST
So what went down on Wednesday, as the transfer window took another step toward slamming shut?
Jan 28, 2015, 10:20 PM EST
Set up for a free kick outside the 18, Eriksen not only sent an arrow whizzing over the goal, but he managed to spin it into the far upper 90.
Jan 28, 2015, 9:58 PM EST
The La Liga giant has woked out a sponsorship deal with United Arab Emirates-based International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC).
Jan 28, 2015, 9:17 PM EST
Jurgen Klinsmann remained upbeat, while Jozy Altidore was obviously disappointed.
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- Juan Agudelo signs with New England Revolution, completes return to MLS 2
- How will Chelsea, Manchester City line up in huge Premier League clash? 2
- Chelsea’s Diego Costa to contest FA charge of violent conduct 1
- Freddy Adu heading back to MLS? Reports claim two teams interested 12