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West Ham United Set to Confirm 99-Year Lease Deal For Move to Olympic Stadium

West Ham United have finally ironed out a deal to move into London’s Olympic Stadium come the 2016-2017 season. The deal puts an end to a stop-start struggle that has lasted almost as long as construction on the Stratford ground itself.

West Ham’s East End neighbour, League One’s Leyton Orient, vigorously fought the move. Its owner Barry Hearn has vowed to move the club out to Essex should the move go through. Daniel Levy, Tottenham Hotspur’s chairman, will look southwest to Arsenal’s seven-year-old cash cow Emirates Stadium, and southeast to West Ham’s Olympic Stadium, and feel White Hart Lane’s walls closing in ever tighter. Roman Abramovich, whose recent bid for the Battersea Power Station site failed, will be equally antsy to move Chelsea into a ground that can hoover up more cash from fans.

What’s troubling about the deal is that public money will be spent to re-make the stadium, which just opened in 2011 at a cost of around around £500 million, so that it may host both athletics and football. While West Ham’s faithful bubble blowers may enjoy the glitz and glamour of their new ground, they’ll be leaving behind a home and history they’ve enjoyed since 1904. The in-debt club now face an Olympian struggle to maintain their Premier League place in the coming years. Hosting Championship sides such as Derby and Burnley or worse won’t cut it in a 60,000 seat stadium come 2016 in an ever-more-competitive London market.

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3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. trickybrkn

    March 22, 2013 at 11:56 am

    They have been on the grounds of the haunted Boleyn Castle since 1912. the reconfigured stadium will have 54,000 seats. The lower level seats will retract over the running track for athletic events. There is great transit now for local and visiting supporters. Upper tier seats will be among the cheapest in football.

    Sure West Ham is not Manchester United or Arsenal or even Chelsea or Liverpool. But, West Ham have knocked around about as much as Manchester City FC. That is before they moved into the City of Manchester Stadium after the 2002 Commonwealth Games. The local Council has behind the move, and frankly I have no fears that with the move the third of the club still owned by the Government run bank of Iceland, will attract an owner willing to invest in a London club playing in a 54,000 seater with one of the biggest existing fan bases. West Ham fans are 2nd in yearly earning behind only Chelsea fans and equal with Arsenal and Fulham. And have proven loyal when they dip. Not to mention the profile of the stadium will bring 3rd parties to see matches. As for public money, personally I’m not a huge fan of public money being used to fund stadiums. But I do know the council was behind this along with Boris Johnson.. so this isn’t like Tottenham or other clubs forcing their hand for public money. or like many American clubs that threaten to leave.
    As a West Ham fan, I will miss Green Street, Ken’s Cafe, The Chicken Run and the East End. But I’m looking forward to a easier way to the stadium, and the prospect of a brighter future. Lets face it, for a team like West Ham, this is the dream. They would never be able to fight for a title in the Boleyn…

  2. Rob

    March 22, 2013 at 1:44 am

    Coventry are really reaping the benefits of a new stadium. What a waste of time and money.

  3. jtm371

    March 21, 2013 at 10:23 pm

    I think they will rue the day they make this deal.give up the history of Upton Park.Olympic Stadium to big to sterile and lucky to be half full.

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