West Ham must wait over Olympic Stadium move

Tuesday, 16 October 2012
By Mike Rowbottom

london 2012_olympic_stadium_16-10-12October 16 - The decision over whether West Ham United will move into the London Olympic Stadium has been postponed, the club has confirmed.

The board of the London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC) met yesterday but was informed that negotiations with West Ham had yet to reach a definitive conclusion.

One of the sticking points to the decision is believed to be the question of  how costs of up to £160 million ($260 million/€200 million) to convert the stadium into a permanent venue with retractable seats, which is what West Ham would require, should be met.

West Ham remain convinced they offer the only financially viable solution and that their offer to rent the stadium will pay off twice over the length of the tenancy.

"Sadly the decision on the Olympic Stadium has been postponed," the Premier League club's co-owner David Gold Tweeted.

"We must be patient but resolute."

West Ham_chairman_and_co-owner_David_GoldDavid Gold is not giving up on his dream to take over the London Olympic Stadium

However, the LLDC wants to ensure that West Ham make a meaningful contribution to the conversion costs and is also adamant the stadium could pay for itself without football if necessary.

The next fortnight is believed to be crucial, with both sides keen to reach a definitive conclusion, although the LLDC chief executive, Dennis Hone, has said it could take a couple of months.

Leyton Orient, an ambitious but unlikely scheme to host Formula One races in the Olympic Park and a football business college are the other bidders for the £486 million ($777 million/€603 million) stadium, which will have 60,000 capacity in its post-Games configuration.

UK Athletics is guaranteed use of the stadium for 20 days a year and it will play host to pop concerts, community days and other sporting events programmed by an events organiser who will also liaise with the main tenants.

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