Olympic Stadium: West Ham Poised To Take Over
West Ham United are poised to win the battle for the Olympic stadium after being named as "first ranked" bidder to take over the venue.
The London Legacy Development Corporation board (LLDC) unanimously made the decision in favour of the Premier League club ahead of rivals from Intelligent Transport Services in association with Formula One, UCFB College of Football Business and Leyton Orient.
London Mayor and LLDC chairman Boris Johnson said: "We had four good bids, as everybody knows. The bid that has been ranked top is West Ham United. I am very pleased about that.
"It will, if it goes through, mean a football legacy for the stadium but there is still a lot of negotiation to go on between the LLDC and West Ham United about the terms of the deal."
If the move goes ahead, West Ham would move from their Upton Park home, but the new stadium is not expected to open before August 2015 at the earliest.
The main issue still to be resolved is how future commercial windfalls from the £468m stadium will be split.
West Ham's owners David Sullivan and David Gold will be expected to share the profits from any future sale of the club to ensure the taxpayer is not left out of pocket.
Other undecided factors include adaptations to the stadium and who bears the cost, and gaining planning permission and appropriate national governing body approvals.
If football use can be agreed, the stadium would be reconfigured to provide retractable and moveable seating so there could be a quick changeover between athletics and football use.
That work is expected to cost £130-£150m, with the bulk funded by public money, including a £40m loan from Newham Council, the local authority.
Mr Johnson said: "There is no deal-breaker as such - it is just a question of making sure that an asset which is a public asset and something that taxpayers put half a billion pounds into, that the value of that is properly reflected in the commercial deal that is now being done with a private sector entity.
"People will understand that my job is to get the best possible deal for the taxpayer."
West Ham said the LLDC's decision "guarantees a true and lasting legacy for east London and the best possible outcome for the British taxpayer".
Vice-chairman Karren Brady said the stadium could become a "multi-use destination of which east London and the nation as a whole can be proud".
"I have never lost sight of our vision to play our part, along with the Stadium's major stakeholders, in ensuring it grows into a global asset. It is the 'jewel in the crown' of the Park, watched by the world," she added.
A previous deal for West Ham to take up the lease collapsed in October 2011 due to legal challenges from Leyton Orient and Tottenham Hotspur.
what do you think?
Nice to know that Boris has made his mind up allready. Never mind due process.
Glad its going to be the local team.only right really.
Big big mistake.
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