An early Christmas present for West Ham?

Olympic Stadium

Reports are circulating in the press that West Ham United are set to be named as the preferred bidder for the Olympic Stadium as early as next week.

A decision was initially expected to be made in January next year but the London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC) board is now thought to be approving West Ham United's approach to take over the use of the stadium at their next meeting on Wednesday 5th December.

The LLDC’s change of mind is allegedly due to an agreement being made for the redevelopment costs needed to convert the stadium for future football use.

It is believed that the East London club will now contribute a larger portion to the conversion costs which has been estimated at around £200million.

The offer is reported to include a £15million advance lump sum, £2.5million annual rent plus £6million per year from naming rights and match day revenue.

The conversion include the addition of a roof covering all seats plus retractable seating in order to bring the supporters closer to the pitch.

Considerable structural amendments to the existing design are also required to bring it up to standard for football stadia regulations.

The bad news for the Hammers is that the stadium is not expected to re-open for at least three years with 2015 the earliest date but with 2016-17 season the more likely date.

This would represent a delay of two years on the originally expected opening date. 

Britain is set to host the 2017 Athletics World Championships at the stadium which could potentially also affect it if there is any further delay.

Should this decision be made it remains to be seen whether the losing bidders; Leyton Orient FC, the Formula One, and sports university would take legal action in regards to the outcome, and continue to drag it out.

Is it time a decision was made on the stadium? Should West Ham get it?

image: © ascarr

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