West Ham Finally Bag Themselves The Olympic Stadium, Set Moving Date For 2016

Chris Wright

22nd, March 2013

4 Comments

By Chris Wright

Welcome to the Enormodome, home of The Hammers

After years and years of bids, counter-bids, red tape and back-biting, West Ham have finally agreed a deal to become ‘anchor tenants’ at the London Olympic Stadium, with the club now scheduled to move in ahead of the 2016/17 season.

The announcement comes after the government agreed to pump another £25million into converting the stadium into a football ground, taking their total contribution to £60million. The overall cost of the conversion is estimated to be around £150-190million, with the roof needing to be extended, the capacity reduced from 80,000 down to 60,000 and a football pitch laid.

The rest of the money is being stumped up by you and I, Boris Johnson, Newham Council, a £20million loan from the London Legacy Development Corporation and various other creditors.

As part of the Olympic Legacy tosh, the stadium will need to be converted back to an athletics venue in a matter of days, so the running track will still be in place, with retractable seating placed over the top of it while West Ham are in residence.

The Hammers will only front around £15 million for the conversion (they initially were unwilling to pay anything towards it), though the club will be paying around £2 million in yearly rent for the next 99 years.

We give it a couple of years before Leyton Orient go out of business.

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Posted in Newsnow, Olympic Football, West Ham Utd

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4 Comments

  1. Terry Shedingham says:

    Absolutely ludicrous that they’d take more money from the taxpayer for this. Just totally unacceptable.

  2. Northern Sold says:

    Good luck to the Hammers. I’ not a fan but I’ve always liked them for some unknown reason. Maybe it was the World Cup trio in 1966. It’ll be nice to see them competing with the other London clubs on a more level playing field.

    They were going to buy this stadium until Tottenham took court action to stop it. The result is that the stadium is going to be rented to West ham so they have saved an absolute fortune. I’ve never liked Tottenham and they are the ones to blame for the costs of this being passed to the taxpayer.

  3. Doctors Your Uncle says:

    Can West Ham expect to fill up a 60.000-spectator stadium for match days?
    I can see Tottenham do it, but is there really that much of an interest in West Ham that this move is economically sound?

    It’s an aspect I haven’t seen touched upon in any of the articles I’ve read about the proposed move.

  4. grayster says:

    West Ham has got a great deal but they were always the only option. This would be costing the taxpayer a lot less if the Hammers had been permitted to buy the ground with a £40m loan from Newham Council as originally agreed. But Spurs jumped in pretending interest in the site for a new stadium just so they could use it as leverage against a Haringey Council who were insisting on a ridiculous amount of infrastructure upgrades around WHL being paid for by Spurs if they redeveloped their current ground. Then the EU got involved regarding the “state funding” and the purchase was kyboshed. So West Ham has to rent. Funnily enough the tenant does not want to pay to have the OS (that they do not own or have exclusive rights to) converted to be fit-for purpose. They can’t afford to anyway (£80m in debt) so it’s this option or demolition. In terms of filling the stadium, West Ham owners say they will dish out tickets on the cheap. Let’s see how they do with that but at £2m per annum rent, they don’t have to worry if it isn’t always full to the rafters in the short term. If people want to blame anyone for the escalated costs, blame Seb Coe etc and the labour government who insisted on a design for the OS with no legitimate planned use after 2012. Everyone needs to face up to it, the stadium needs a football team to subsidise the loss-making athletics events that will happen there (aside from the 2017 world championships, don’t expect more than 20k attending those events).

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