Footballing Fractions and Sprinting Statistics: The Olympic Stadium debate
Despite only being weeks into 2011 there has already been a major sports story gracing both the front and back pages of the newspapers. Even more unbelievably it has not involved any cases of sexism. The story in question is the big "what a to do" with the Olympic stadium post-2012. Courtesy of ComRes we have been provided with a potential statistical-based solution for this issue, following a survey amongst adults in London weighted to demographic proportions.
The Olympic Stadium under construction.
Image by Stephen Craven via Wiki Commons.
The big sporting trade off is whether the stadium is used for football or for athletics after the games. Overall, the preference is to use the stadium for athletics – by a significant difference (39% to 26%). This is reinforced by 70% of Londoners stating that the stadium should be available for athletics and 77% disagreeing with the statement that there is no need for an athletics stadium in London.
The case for the 2012 stadium’s use as an athletic arena is strengthened even further with 81% of London’s population claiming it should not be demolished in order to build a football stadium.
That all said, 72% of Londoners support West Ham's bid for tenancy of the stadium in the post Olympic era. Initially, this may appear like a blow to the hopes of the pro-athletics fraternity. But what is not to say that the stadium can be of dual usage as a football stadium with an athletics track, as per West Ham’s proposal? The argument against this is that the presence of an athletics track will damage the view for football spectators. However, only 28% of Londoners perceive this to be an issue. Furthermore, only just over a 1/3 of the stereotypical football-loving male sees this as a problem (to avoid another sexism saga it may be worth stating that 20% of London females do not see this as a problem either).
So what can be deduced from this? Both the use of the stadium for athletics and the West Ham takeover bid appear to have the capital’s support, with only a minor quantity showing any concern about the potential damage a running track would make to the view. The question on the lips of all statisticians is; will the numbers be right? No definitive decision date has been given yet, but when the decision is made I will certainly be backing the dual West Ham and athletics usage, as this will be a predictive victory for statisticians as well as the capital’s Hammers and runners.
The side whose case the numbers
support. Image by freddyballo