West Ham 'agree Olympic Stadium' deal
Premier League side set to become tenants at the Stratford venue
West Ham have finally agreed a deal to move into London's Olympic Stadium, sources close to the process have confirmed.
The deal for a 99-year concession for the Hammers will be announced at a news conference tomorrow, when the 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 a venue for the 2015 Rugby World Cup.
The negotiations between the London Legacy Development Corporation 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 large profit on the back of the move to the stadium - the LLDC would get a significant cut of any profit.
A senior source told the Press Association: "One of the things that have been agreed are arrangements that would protect the public sector should a sale of the club generate significant profit."
The LLDC will have the rights to the 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 one suitable for athletics or concerts within eight days and potentially even quicker.
The revamp of the stadium will cost £150million and the Hammers are expected to be there for the start of the 2016/17 season.
Sports minister Hugh Robertson could not confirm a deal had been agreed but said it made sense for a football club to be the main tenant at the stadium, and also believes the venue can be used for the 2015 Rugby World Cup.
He told the Press Association: "I have always thought there would be a really obvious end to this, which would be a multi-use stadium with football at its heart and that was always going to be the way to get the stadium used in post-Olympic mode.
"In terms of the Rugby World Cup, there is an immovable deadline and all the evidence is we'll get it done on time. As a country we are much better at doing these things than we were 10 years ago.
"Financially it's quite tight, so the organisers need big stadiums for attractive games."
Leyton Orient chairman Barry Hearn insists he is still seeking a judicial review into the bidding process but Robertson claimed that was not a cause for concern.
He added: "That is one for Boris [Johnson] but I am told that all the legal advice is that the review is likely to fail."
The London mayor is expected at the press conference near the stadium tomorrow, along with Mayor of Newham Sir Robin Wales and LLDC chief executive Dennis Hone.
Latest in Sport
Monaco is a street circuit where driver ability is more important than anywhere else and if we take ...
by Gareth Purnell
24 May 2013 02:00 AM
Three weeks ago as I drove off the Eurostar, I remember thinking what a very long time it was until ...
by Martin Ayres
23 May 2013 05:29 PM
McDowell did brilliantly to land the World Match Play title in Bulgaria last week, but it’s a format...
by Gareth Purnell
23 May 2013 09:13 AM
David Moyes delighted after Rio Ferdinand agrees to stay at Manchester United with new one-year contract
Sergio Garcia / Tiger Woods 'fried chicken' racism row takes fresh twist after 'coloured athletes' comment
After racist remark, Sergio Garcia fights for reputation as Tiger Woods slams 'hurtful' fried chicken joke
New Manchester City manager must deliver five trophies in five years
Manchester United slash interest bill by £10m a year
- 1 Pope Francis: Being an atheist is alright as long as you do good
- 2 Man and woman arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to murder victim of Woolwich machete attack, named as Drummer Lee Rigby
- 3 'Sickening, deluded and unforgivable': Horrific attack brings terror to London’s streets
- 4 'Something passed underneath us, quite close': Airbus A320 has close encounter with UFO
- 5 Lord of the Sings: Sir Christopher Lee, 91, to release heavy metal album
BMF is the UK’s biggest and best loved outdoor fitness classes
Find out what The Independent's resident travel expert has to say about one of the most beautiful small cities in the world
Nook is donating eReaders to volunteers at high-need schools and participating in exclusive events throughout the campaign.
Get the latest on The Evening Standard's campaign to get London's children reading.
Win anything from gadgets to five-star holidays on our competitions and offers page.