By David Gold

London 2012_Olympic_Stadium_at_night_January_26_2012March 29 - The University of East London (UEL) and Essex County Cricket Club are one of the four bids to the Olympic Park Legacy Company (OPLC) for the right to become the Olympic Stadium tenant after London 2012, it has been revealed.

West Ham United made public last Friday (March 23), the day of the deadline for formal applications to be submitted for the Olympic Stadium, that they were one of the bidding parties.

They originally won the bidding process to take over the Olympic Stadium after the Games but negotiations with the OPLC then collapsed amid a legal challenge from Tottenham Hotspur and Leyton Orient.

Orient, who fear that West Ham moving into the stadium would threaten their long-term future, last week confirmed that they were not one of the quartet.

Now a spokesperson from UEL, who supported West Ham's original bid with Newham Council last year, has confirmed to insidethegames that they would now like to move into the £486 million (€593 million/$787 million) venue after the Olympics this summer.

The UEL spokesman confirmed though that unlike West Ham, their bid is to "utilise space", and "is not for the whole of the Olympic Stadium".

"We can confirm that the University of East London and Essex County Cricket Club have put in a joint bid to the Olympic Park Legacy Company to utilise space in the Olympic Stadium," UEL said in a statement.

"We cannot provide any further details at this stage but we can say that both UEL and Essex County Cricket Club are committed to supporting the best possible outcome for the future of the Olympic Stadium and to delivering an outstanding legacy."

UEL recently opened the SportsDock centre, a £21 million (€25 million/$33 million) sports facility at their Docklands campus in London, and the training base for the United States' Olympic and Paralympic squads this summer.

London 2012_Olympic_Stadium_track_October_3_2011

Team USA will have exclusive access to the venue this summer, described as the "biggest indoor sports centre in London," with outdoor pitches, badminton courts, a fitness centre, martial arts and table tennis facilities within the complex.

The Olympic squad will be present from July 9 to August 15 and the Paralympic team from August 18 to September 2.

Essex CCC had previously explored the feasibility of a joint bid with West Ham and Newham Council to share the Olympic Stadium during the original bid process in order to stage Twenty20 games there.

Another interested party in using the Stadium is Major League Baseball (MLB), who is looking at the possibility of following basketball's lead in bringing matches to Europe.

The US National Hockey League has previously brought games to Europe while the National Football League and National Basketball Association have staged matches in London.

Just after London won the right to host the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) dropped baseball from the programme from this summer.

It was only played officially for the first time at the Olympics in 1992 and reports suggest they will bid to return to the programme but if the MLB's plans come off then the sport may yet be staged at the Olympic Stadium after all.

"That [London] Stadium, the way it is built, actually is big enough for a baseball game," MLB International's Clive Russell told The Associated Press.

"It is not perfect, but it has some real potential.

"It is tight and there would be some struggles with sight-lines."

Russell said that their preferred option is a €15 million (£13 million/$20 million) stadium being built near Schipol airport in the Netherlands, and confirmed that MLB have not bid to become a tenant of the stadium after the Games.

The 80,000 Olympic Stadium will reduce to 60,000 in capacity after the Games and in 2017 will host the World Athletics Championships.

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