Olympic Stadium deal for West Ham finally agreed
Thursday 21 March 2013
West Ham have agreed a deal to move into London's Olympic Stadium, sources close to the process have confirmed.
The deal for a 99-year concession will be announced at a press conference tomorrow, when details of the revamped stadium featuring retractable seating will be unveiled.
The agreement should also open the way for the stadium to be used as one of the venues for the 2015 Rugby World Cup, which have yet to be confirmed.
Negotiations between the London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC ) and West Ham have been long and tortuous since the club was named preferred bidders in December, but they have now finally been signed off by the corporation's legal advisers.
Under the agreement, West Ham will be given the right to use the stadium for all their matches under a 99-year concession deal.
That will give the club long-term security but they will have no property interest in the stadium.
The deal will protect public interest should West Ham's owners sell the club for a profit on the back of the move – the LLDC would get a significant cut of any profit.
The LLDC will also have rights to income from other events such as music concerts and there will also be a legacy for athletics, with a number of events for that sport maintained.
The retractable seating should allow the stadium to be changed from a football venue – with seats on the running track – to an arena suitable for athletics events or concerts within eight days.
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