West Ham face competition for stadium
West Ham face competition from three other bidders wanting to become tenants of the Olympic Stadium, the Olympic Park Legacy Company (OPLC) confirmed today.
West Ham, who won the now-disbanded process to move to the stadium in Stratford, east London, after the London 2012 Games, have confirmed they are one of the bidders.
An OPLC spokesman said: "We have received four bids from parties interested in using the stadium after the Games.
"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. 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.''
The OPLC will start evaluating the four bids with the aim of making a decision before this summer's Games.
A statement on the club's website read: "West Ham United vice-chairman Karren Brady has today confirmed the club's intention to submit a bid by lunchtime (Friday 23 March) to be the anchor user of the Olympic Stadium post-Games in line with the OPLC deadline.''
West Ham have applied for a 99-year lease of the stadium, which is reported to have cost £486 million to build.
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 (Olympic) 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 confidentiality 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.''