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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Feb 7, 2007

Hammers denied chance of 2012 stadium move

LONDON, Feb 7 (Reuters) - London 2012 organisers have ruled out building the Olympic Stadium in partnership with Premier League West Ham United.

The Olympic Board said in a statement on Wednesday that the priority was to deliver the planned stadium in East London on time and on budget and that could not be done with the involvement of the soccer club.

'The board unanimously decided...that it would not be possible to deliver this in collaboration with West Ham, or indeed any other Premier League football club, due to the number of design changes and associated time delays that the West Ham proposal would incur,' it added.

The statement said a 'mixed sport offering combined with commercial, school and community use' was the most compelling way of delivering a legacy for the local community after the Olympics.

London mayor Ken Livingstone told a board meeting that West Ham were now working with the London Development Agency (LDA) to explore the possibility of relocating and building a new stadium in East London.

One of the options being considered was a site owned by the LDA next to the West Ham underground station.

Sports Minister Richard Caborn said last October that West Ham were involved in serious negotiations about moving to the Olympic stadium in Stratford from Upton Park, their home for more than a century.

Premier League rivals Tottenham Hotspur have ruled out such a move but third division Leyton Orient have expressed an interest.

Olympic officials have said that the stadium will continue as an athletics venue after the Games but with its capacity of 80,000 reduced to around 25,000 after the removal of temporary seating.

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