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West Ham Deal is ‘Biggest Mistake of Olympics’ Says Richard Caborn: The Daily EPL

Today’s news that West Ham United have signed a deal with the City of London to move into the Olympic Stadium in 2016 on a 99-year lease is a mammoth day in the history of the Premier League. The last time a current Premier League side switched stadium was in 2006 when Arsenal moved from Arsenal Stadium to Emirates Stadium.

Former British sports minister Richard Caborn, however, is not so pleased with the decision. “This is the biggest mistake of the Olympics and lessons should be learned from this. West Ham are basically getting a stadium costing more than £600m for just £15m and a small amount in annual rent [£2m].”

“Time and again mistakes are made with Olympic stadiums and the lessons should be learned for any future similar projects,” he added.

Caborn’s opinions aside, this is a huge step up for West Ham United who will be moving from the Boleyn Ground (known more familiarly as Upton Park) — their home since 1904, with a capacity of 35,000 — a few miles down the road to the London Olympic Stadium, which will have a capacity of approximately 54,000.

It’s a sad day for football traditionalists and for Leyton Orient. The latter will have a new football club on its doorstep — just 750 yards down the road. And it may mean that Orient will move to Essex after being in East London since 1881.

Here are today’s Premier League news headlines:

The Daily EPL is your morning guide to the latest Premier League news headlines, so you don’t have to spend an hour or more scanning the Internet. We do all the work for you. Read The Daily EPL on EPL Talk every morning to stay on top of all the news that matters.

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  1. Dust

    March 23, 2013 at 10:33 am

    Ian very happy Spurs didn’t get it, but the public should be disappointed, and additional 25m of public money to convert the stadium, west ham are not even going to pay for its conversion?

    David Golds porn empire that has afforded him personal helicopters and such should be made to pay the conversions too. This just doesnt seem right, something fishy here shady backhanders and sex toy gifts as well as tapes of officials in compromising positions is the only way to explain such a cheap price of such a expensive (600m) and let’s not forget all the transport infrastructure already in place which without them, would render this stadium usesles. The least west ham can do is Pay for the conversion too.

    100m plus a yearly fee for the convenience of the transport infrastructure and the land to try to recoup some of the money.

    Having been to west ham numerous times, “atmosphere aside” I can see why they would want out for a sparkling new stadium on the ridiculously cheap.

    Why Londoners and well everyone else aren’t raising a stink about it is beyond me.

    2m pound a tear rent? What a joke 15 m deposit for a 99 yr lease ridiculous, what a sham.

    I’m glad spurs start their renovation and expansion of WHL in the summer, it will all tolled cost 450 m and be an amazing facility to add to the world class training centre.

    If I was paying taxes in the uk, I would be pissed over this farce. The government have a an assets that cost 1.2 bn pounds and they give it away while cutting cost and freezing pay for nurses in the NHS, but I guess that’s another discussion board.

    • Dust

      March 23, 2013 at 10:36 am

      Excuse typos…too early for a keypad.

  2. JACK

    March 22, 2013 at 11:23 pm

    why not give the stadium to a bigger club??

    • Guy

      March 23, 2013 at 10:41 am

      They don’t want it.

  3. Gerry Binks

    March 22, 2013 at 3:39 pm

    While there are issues, there would be nothing worse than the stadium decaying with use by a couple of thousand fans watching some kenyan runners running twice a year.

    Learn from history. Without transition it would become the reinarnation of White City stadium.

    Orient ? Who cares.

  4. Yespage

    March 22, 2013 at 12:57 pm

    This will be such a brilliant home to a Championship League side. The Hammers better stay in the Premier League!

  5. trickybrkn

    March 22, 2013 at 12:07 pm

    Will West Ham fill the stadium on a Tuesday night League Cup match? probably not. Will they fill it on a Saturday vs say Sunderland, probably close. Or closer then Sunderland does filling the Stadium of Light. You are talking about an additional 18,000 seats. The stadium is in a transit hub, and fact is most of West Ham fans come from Essex not the East End. The upper tier seats will be among the cheapest in the League, and lets not forget, West Ham have one of the top fan bases in England. It is a London club after all.
    Caborn’s beef is that the money going into the stadium is going to local sport all around the country. Fair enough, but you lost that debate Mr Caborn a few years ago, so of course he is saying this is a mistake. He has an axe to grind.

  6. ed of course

    March 22, 2013 at 11:46 am

    Unlike the century+ old rebuilt and renovated grounds in England and even the new American soccer specific stadiums, the London Olympic Stadium (West Ham) looks to be a less intimate and more fan passive place. The “plans” for Tottenham and Liverpool(?) look much the same.

    New stadiums can accommodate more fans, provide pleasure boxes for the oligarchs, and better creature facilities without destroying the atmosphere which is central to the match day experience. That atmosphere is greatly determined by the fans proximity to the pitch.

    The challenge to convert the Olympic stadium into a true soccer ground is going to be a complicated and costly one.

    • Yespage

      March 22, 2013 at 12:56 pm

      Will fans be able to see the action? A big track around the field, who needs security, it’ll take a person a while to reach the pitch.

    • Marc L

      March 22, 2013 at 1:29 pm

      Something about these new venues that just kills atmosphere dead. I never got to Highbury but it just HAS to have been a better atmosphere than the Emirates.

      I did see a match during the last year at Maine Road. That versus the Etihad? Good lord, not even close. And Etihad is nowhere near as big as some of these new grounds.

      So I’ll be sorry to see Upton Park go. It’s just kind of fun to watch even a match you care nothing about in a place like that.

      • The Gaffer

        March 22, 2013 at 2:16 pm

        I think it’s time for a pilgrimage to Upton Park before they knock it down after the end of the 2015-16 season! I’ve been to the ground before, but not during a match. It’ll be a shame to see the ground disappear.

        The Gaffer

        • trickybrkn

          March 22, 2013 at 6:37 pm

          Be sure to hit Ken’s Cafe..then grab a pint at the the Boleyn Tavern. Might not want to mention you support Swansea… But that part of the match day experience will surely be lost. The new experience will be getting off the train or tube walking up a walkway and then a stadium. Very much like one would do at most American stadiums which are located outside of the city center. I feel in love with West Ham because of the match day experience at the Boleyn. But, this is an opportunity the club could not pass up.

  7. Sammy

    March 22, 2013 at 10:26 am

    Sad for Reading, it appears they will have to make do without a manager for a while as they are still unable to find one.

    • RBP

      March 22, 2013 at 1:19 pm

      Looks like the Wolves’d themselves.

  8. Mufc77

    March 22, 2013 at 9:55 am

    Lol Stevie starfish reckons there is no better stage for a footballer than playing a World Cup qualifier against San Marino. I suppose when you can’t make that little tournament called the champions league then a trip to San Marino is the only way you get into Europe.

    • Sammy

      March 22, 2013 at 10:23 am

      “No better sage for a footballer than playing a World Cup qualifier against San Marino”?

      No offence, but that sounds rather crazy

    • Rob

      March 22, 2013 at 6:09 pm

      He took home that same “little cup” that your mob won in 1999. If you want to visit it, it stands in the Anfield museum, as 5 time winners they got to keep it. How many of those little cups does your lot have?

      • Mufc77

        March 22, 2013 at 6:51 pm

        Still living in the past mate, its 2013 and you’re a mid table team at best who can barley qualify for the Europa league. The only way your lot is making it into Europe in 2013 is if Brenda Rodgers takes you to Butlins in pre season.

        • ThompsonLives

          March 23, 2013 at 2:58 pm

          Mmmm … barley.

          Learn to spell.

  9. Marc

    March 22, 2013 at 9:48 am

    I have never been to England, trying to convince my wife to move there with the way this country has become and all, but I would be pissed about this news if I was a West Ham fan. How will the atmosphere be there with the pitch being so far away from the fans? Now West Ham will play in front of a half empty stadium.

    • Mufc77

      March 22, 2013 at 9:59 am

      what I want to know from our resident Hammers fans here is can they fill a 55,000 seat stadium on a weekly basis. It’s Always a great atmosphere at uptown park but do they have the numbers to make this move a success.

      • Mufc77

        March 22, 2013 at 10:36 am

        Upton park.

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