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Hammers prepare for Boleyn sale

PUBLISHED: 12:00 26 November 2010 | UPDATED: 12:48 26 November 2010

The Boleyn Ground

The Boleyn Ground

2010 AFP

WEST Ham United are seeking a potential buyer for the Boleyn Ground in the hope that their joint bid with Newham Council for the Olympic Stadium will be successful.

The Hammers have taken out an ad in magazine Property Week inviting “informal discussions” with interested developers.

West Ham said the ground could be vacated and open to redevelopment by summer 2014.

“We are simply dipping our toe in the water to see what interest is out there in the event that our Olympic bid is successful,” a club spokesman said.

He added that West Ham had already received a number of expressions of interests in the site but was unable to provide further details.

The club has said that its move would provide the opportunity to regenerate the Boleyn Ground area, which could include homes, shops and community facilities.

A spokesman for Newham Council commented: “Our latest Local Development Framework makes clear that we would be involved in preparing a regeneration masterplan for the current stadium site in the event of West Ham relocating.”

Money raised from the sale could be used to fund the conversion of the Olympic Stadium, which has been estimated at £100 million.

The Hammers have pledged to keep the athletics track while converting the Olympic venue to a 60,000 seat football ground.

A Newham Council spokesman said that a confidentiality agreement was in place regarding the financing of the proposal but it has been reported that it would mean them having to borrow around £40 million.

Deputy Mayor Cllr Andrew Baikie reiterated the council’s backing for the plans during a private council meeting on Tuesday.

“The Olympic Stadium must produce the best community and regeneration benefits legacy for the people of Newham,” he said.

“It needs a permanent tenant like West Ham United to make sure this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to create a real, life-changing legacy is not missed.”

Rival Olympic Stadium bidders Tottenham Hotspur, meanwhile, yesterday received the green light for the redevelopment of White Hart Lane.

The club have put in a joint bid with AEG, which runs the O2, to turn the Olympic Stadium into a 80,000-seat football venue.

A decision on the bids is expected by Christmas.

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