• If both football clubs fail, stadium could be a windswept bowl
• West Ham and Tottenham continue war of words over stadium
]The windswept 25,000-seat athletics bowl that would have been left behind after 2012 had the Olympic Stadium bidding process not been reactivated has been revealed, as Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham United made their final submissions.
An already fractious process intensified as the Spurs chairman, Daniel Levy, appealed to fans to back the move while West Ham's co-owner David Gold insisted the 2012 legacy promises should be about "more than money".
Newly released pictures show how the stadium would have looked under the original plans inherited by the Olympic Park Legacy Company, which pushed for the process to be reopened when Baroness Ford became its chair in May 2009. At the time, the then Olympics minister, Tessa Jowell, had effectively closed off the debate, after the Olympic Delivery Authority failed to find a suitable tenant. Realising a vibrant legacy for the stadium would be key to its regeneration masterplan, Ford resolved to return to the market.
The 25,000-capacity roofless option, which would involve taking down the external structure and removing 55,000 seats, is still a potential fallback if neither Tottenham's nor West Ham's bid is acceptable. However, a new tenant would still have to be found.
It is understood that West Ham have substantially improved the financial terms of their bid this week in an effort to deal with fears that Spurs, who have partnered with the O2 operator AEG, would offer a better return to the OPLC.
But West Ham's captain, Scott Parker, appeared to score an own goal when he said that "in an ideal world" he would rather not play in a stadium with a track around it.
"Every footballer wants to play in the best stadium. I can only comment on what I'm seeing here and it's a fantastic stadium with good facilities that would move the club forward," Parker said of the joint bid with Newham council, Essex County Cricket Club, the promoter Live Nation and the shopping mall giant Westfield. "[But] if I was being brutally honest, I'd rather not play in a stadium with a track around it."
The pictures go some way to backing the Tottenham case that they are reusing 80% of the investment left behind under the original legacy plans. Their stadium adviser today also hit back at claims that rebuilding the stadium and removing the track would be a waste of £496m of public money and an environmental disaster.
"The temporary structure which we estimate to be about 20% of the total cost will be dismantled and will be reused, partly within our proposed new stadium and partly at Crystal Palace," Paul Mitchell, a director of the consultancy Arcadis UK, said. "This is a sustainable solution in which every single temporary facility will be reused or recycled." But as more athletes joined the chorus of protest against the Spurs proposal to rebuild the Olympic Stadium and refurbish Crystal Palace to provide an athletics legacy, Gold said only the West Ham bid honoured the commitments made in 2005 to win the Games.
"It's a magnificent stadium," Gold said. "A commitment was made in Singapore in the name of the nation and we have to respect that. We believe we can bring together football, athletics and many other sports. I'm an east London boy, it's where I started. I was born here in abject poverty. This isn't just about business, this is about me and who I am. My roots are here. This is more than money."
He added: "The atmosphere at stadiums is what you thrive on the most. Tottenham is the same and Upton Park is the same, it's tight and it sets off a good atmosphere. I'm sure the people involved in trying to get the stadium will be looking to keep that atmosphere." His beleaguered manager, Avram Grant, backed the move. "The stadium is in east London and West Ham is in east London," he said. "We wouldn't build a stadium in Fulham because the area belongs to Fulham. The stadium needs to belong to West Ham." Harry Redknapp, the Tottenham manager, acknowledged that a proportion of Spurs fans would oppose the move if the club are granted preferred bidder status by the OPLC next Friday. "The supporters have a right to an opinion," Redknapp said. "They are the most important people. Without them we wouldn't be here.
"But somehow or other Tottenham need a new stadium because the capacity is about 36,000 now and you can't get a ticket here for love nor money."
In an open letter to fans, Levy repeated concerns about the "viability and deliverability" of an alternative £450m plan to redevelop White Hart Lane, arguing that delays have forced the club to make the Olympic Stadium their No1 priority.