Roof boost for Hammers
Preparations are now underway to construct the new roof on the Olympic Stadium, which is set to be West Ham's home from the 2016-17 season.
The first of 14 floodlight panels is to be removed later this week to allow the development, which is twice the size of that for the London 2012 Games, to press on in the spring.
The cantilevered roof, which measures some 84 metres at its deepest point, will be the longest of its type in the world and will cover every seat at the 60,000 capacity venue, with the work scheduled to be completed by 2015 to host some Rugby World Cup matches.
West Ham vice-chairman Karren Brady hopes all of the new innovations in the project will make for a smooth transition to the Hammers' new home when they eventually leave Upton Park.
"This marks a key milestone in the stunning, £200 million transformation of the Olympic Stadium - one that will culminate in an iconic new home for our club," she said.
"My team and I fought exceptionally hard on behalf of our supporters to ensure these modifications, which we knew were of paramount importance to our supporters, took effect.
"The roof is a truly phenomenal design that will enhance the iconic status of this sporting arena and help to lock in the world-famous atmosphere that our supporters create when we play at home.
"There will also be an innovative seating solution that will bring fans closer to the pitch, new hospitality areas and a bespoke ticket office and club store.
"It was vital for us that this stadium offers an incredible viewing experience for West Ham fans and I think that will become ever clearer as the conversion progresses.
"We are wholly committed to delivering a state-of-the-art home for West Ham by 2016 that will honour the Olympic legacy pledge.
"Today represents another significant step toward that hugely exciting goal."
An agreement between the London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC) and West Ham saw the Barclays Premier League club take on a 99-year lease, with the Olympic stadium to be transformed into a 60,000-seater venue in time for the 2016-17 season.
However, a House of Lords report was published earlier this week which recommended West Ham and Leyton Orient work together with the LLDC, and even suggested the League One side be granted occasional use of the stadium, something for which they have long been pushing.