Government endorse West Ham Olympic stadium bid

Government endorse West Ham Olympic stadium bid

Both the British government and mayor of London have offered their support the Olympic Park Legacy Company’s recommendation of West Ham United as the preferred bidder for the long-term lease of the Stadium after the Games.

West Ham were selected – as part of a jointed bid with the London Borough of Newham - by the OPLC in February after a hard fought campaign with rivals Tottenham Hotspur.

Key to the success of the West Ham bid was a pledge to maintain the athletics track around the edge of the stadium – allowing London 2012 organisers to maintain promises made to the IOC when securing the Games.

Following the announcement the OPLC said in a statement: “This completes the first stage of this process and means we are now able to enter into negotiations to agree a lease for the Stadium.

“We are pleased the mayor and ministers have approved our recommendation.

“We look forward to working with the preferred bidder in order to bring the future of the stadium to a financial close.”

Football club Leyton Orient have, however, outlined plans to take legal action as it claims the move would threaten its existence.

Orient is the closest team the Olympics Games site.

Orient chairman, Barry Hearn, said in February he had written to prime minister David Cameron and London Mayor Boris Johnson asking them to look into the decision.

However, West Ham remain confident in their bid.

West Ham United vice-chairman, Karren Brady, said: “I am pleased and proud the mayor of London and government have today endorsed the Olympic Park Legacy Company’s recommendation that West Ham United and Newham Council be preferred bidder for the Olympic Stadium.

The Hammers hope to move into the stadium ahead of the 2013-2014 season.

Mayor of Newham, Robin Wales, said: “We are pleased the Government has recognised the strength of our bid, which is focused on guaranteeing community benefits for our residents and contributing to a meaningful legacy for east London, the capital and the country.”