West Ham strong favourites for Olympic Stadium
WEST Ham have been named as the top choice to move in to the Olympic Stadium when it reopens.
The London Legacy Development Corporation board (LLDC) unanimously made the decision in favour of the Barclays Premier League club ahead of rivals from Intelligent Transport Services in association with Formula One, UCFB College of Football Business and Leyton Orient.
LLDC chairman and London Mayor 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."
Factors such as the final specification for adaptations to the stadium and the funding needed for it, gaining planning permission and getting obtaining appropriate national governing body approvals are among the issues which need to be sorted before a final deal can be struck.
There is also the finalisation of commercial terms to be considered.
Legacy chiefs know the value of the club could increase significantly by a move to the high-profile Olympic Stadium.
They want to protect the investment made by taxpayers in building the venue so they can also get a share of any future benefit.
If a football use can be agreed, the stadium would be reconfigured to provide retractable/moveable seating so there could be a quick changeover between athletics and football use.
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."