London 2012 Olympic Stadium announcement close, claims West Ham vice-chairman
Friday, 08 February 2013
February 8 - A formal announcement that Premier League West Ham United will move into the Olympic Stadium is expected before the end of this month, the club's vice-chairman Karren Brady has revealed.
February 19 is the date currently scheduled providing the legal details can be finalised between West Ham and the London Legacy Development Corporation, chaired by the city's Mayor, Boris Johnson, who are responsible for the facilities at the Olympic Park used for London 2012.
"I'm told the plan is to make an announcement in about three weeks' time," said Brady.
"I am more positive than I have ever been that we will be able to present a world-class stadium for the supporters to vote on."
West Ham were named as the preferred bidders by the Legacy Company in December after they were the "highest ranked of the bidders" to take over the £429 million ($691 million/€528 million) Stadium.
Among the items that have been under discussion between West Ham and the Legacy Company are the final specification for adaptations to the Stadium and associated funding.
Converting the Stadium from its current configuration into a 60,000 arena capable of hosting world-class football and athletics will cost between £130 million ($209 million/€160 million) and £200 million ($322 million/€246 million), it is estimated.
Brady is retaining some sense of caution, however, having seen West Ham's hopes dashed once already following legal challenges from Tottenham Hotspur and Leyton Orient.
"It's as if Boris is on the penalty spot and only needs to roll the ball into the net," said Brady.
"But having been jilted at the altar before, you never know."
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December 2012: West Ham bid to take over Olympic Stadium given greenlight by Legacy Company but safety net put in place
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November 2012: Olympic Stadium may not reopen until 2016, admits Legacy chief
October 2012: West Ham must wait over Olympic Stadium move