Hammers Nail Olympic Stadium

After a saga that threatened to rival the disposal of the Millennium Dome and the rows over the building of the new Wembley Stadium, West Ham United Soccer club has once again been named the preferred tenant for London’s Olympic Stadium.

It’s the second time the east London club has won the tendering process. Eighteen months ago it came out on top – when bidding in cahoots with Live Nation – but rival London soccer clubs Tottenham Hotspur (which bid with AEG) and Leyton Orient mounted legal challenges to the decision.

The opposition believed the £40 million loan West Ham needed from Newham Council, which was also in on the bid, amounted to illegal state aid.

Tottenham was no longer in the frame, having taken a £20 million national and local government sweetener to develop a new ground near the team’s current home at White Hart Lane.

The under-bidders were Leyton Orient soccer clubs, Formula One and the Bucks New University’s College Of Football Business.

Hammers vice chairman Karen Brady says the club’s tenancy of the Olympic Stadium will create 700 jobs in the area.
Details of the deal weren’t clear at press time, particularly relating to whether club owners David Sullivan and David Gold would have to pay part of any profits they make should they sell the club.

Live Nation and AEG are both bidding in a separate tender process to find who will run the stadium’s live concerts and other entertainment.