West Ham face competition for Olympic Stadium tenancy

West Ham United football club will face competition from three other bidders to become tenant of the Olympic Stadium in London after the 2012 Games.

The Hammers won the original contest to move to the stadium in Stratford last year, but that deal collapsed following complaints from Tottenham, Leyton Orient and another anonymous party.

The Olympic Park Legacy Company (OPLC) decided to start the process over again but instead offer the stadium on a lease basis, rather than a permanent one.

The deadline for submissions was noon today and the npower Championship club confirmed its intentions to bid to move to the flagship stadium of the 2012 Olympics this afternoon.

However OPLC confirmed that they are not the only bidders.


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"We have received four bids from parties interested in using the stadium after the Games," a spokesman said.

"The Legacy Company will shortly start its evaluation process, with the aim of announcing which concessionaires will occupy the stadium alongside athletics before the Games.

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"Legacy planning is further ahead than any previous Olympic host city.

"The stadium will become the new national centre for athletics and host of the 2017 World Athletics Championships and we remain on course to reopen the stadium as a multi-purpose venue in 2014."

West Ham has applied for a 99-year lease of the stadium, which is reported to have cost �486 million to build.

In a statement issued through the Hammers' website, vice-chairman Karren Brady said: "Having spent the last two years dedicated to this project I am privileged to once more be submitting West Ham United's bid to become the anchor concessionaire of the Olympic Stadium post the 2012 Games.

"From the outset it has been my firm, unwavering belief that the stadium can truly become a multi-use destination of which east London and the nation as a whole can be proud.

"I have never lost sight of our vision to play our part, along with the stadium's major stakeholders, in ensuring it grows into a global asset, the 'jewel in the crown' of the Park that will be watched by the world.

"Our vision for the stadium has always been about standing up for the promises made for London back in Singapore in 2005 and what they meant for our future generations. We are honoured to have once more received the support and backing of our friends at UK Athletics.

"I would like to thank the many West Ham supporters who have given their time to share their opinions on our proposed move ahead of this decision and despite the considerable constraints and confidentially agreements we were required to enter into, I can assure them their feedback has been instrumental in informing the Board’s approach to our bid.

"We have not taken this decision lightly and I should be clear that any move to the stadium is conditional on the fact that it must provide an arena that is fit for world-class football and feels like home to our deserving fans."

West Ham United's joint-chairmen David Sullivan and David Gold also issued a statement, adding: "It has now been over two years since we came home to West Ham United and realised our lifelong ambition of running the club we grew up supporting.

"As we have always said, we remain committed to this magnificent stadium and provided we are able to offer a world-class stadium for football for our prolific, loyal and passionate supporters we believe there is nobody better placed to help deliver the legacy for the East End community than us.

"This area - the one from which we both originate - deserves a true and lasting legacy to follow the 2012 Games. It will be a tremendous event that the whole world will be watching and will therefore present a real opportunity to showcase the UK at its best. However, the showcase must not stop there.

"We know that using the stadium as our home will bring with it huge responsibility, but we are fully committed to making it our home for at least the next 99 years. We will take on with pride the mantle of what that means in terms of giving something back to the community."

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