Hammers deal collapses

Hammers deal collapses

West Ham will have to bid again to rent Olympic Stadium

West Ham’s proposed deal to move into the Olympic Stadium after next summer’s Games has allegedly fallen through.

It was announced in February that the Olympic Park Legacy Company had made the Hammers their official preferred bidder to become tenants of the £537million venue.

However, the decision was opposed by rival London clubs Tottenham and Leyton Orient and the legal challenge has now forced the OPLC to take drastic action.

After growing concerns that a lengthy courtroom battle could leave the stadium empty for years, the OPLC are understood to have agreed with the government and Mayor of London Boris Johnson that the ground should remain in public ownership.

The decision is expected to be confirmed later on Tuesday, leaving the future of the ground uncertain.

Running track remains

It is now hoped that the OLPC will lease the stadium to an anchor tenant following a new tender process.

The stadium is due to be converted from an 80,000 capacity arena down to 60,000 following the 2012 Games, and those costs will now be covered by the OPLC.

Prospective tenants will then be asked to bid for the stadium with the running track remaining in place.

The tenants would pay an annual rent, reported to be in the region of £2million, to the OPLC which could actually prove to be less costly for the likes of West Ham.

The move will also remove uncertainty over the stadium ahead of London’s bid for the 2017 World Athletics Championships, although that was not a major consideration in the decision to abandon the current deal.

West Ham had hoped to move into the stadium in 2014 and will be encouraged to bid again, while it remains to be seen if Tottenham enter the race after missing out in the initial bid.

Spurs, who had wanted to remove the athletics track, are currently moving forward with plans to redevelop White Hart Lane.


(source: skysports.com)