The board of the Olympic Park Legacy Company (OPLC) ended negotiations to give West Ham the Olympic Stadium after London 2012. This is due to worries over delays from legal battles with Tottenham, and the OPLC has agreed with the government and the Mayor of London that the stadium will stay in public ownership instead.
New Financial Plan
The negotiations will now alter so that an anchor tenant will lease the stadium yearly, though West Ham has begun the bid to become that anchor tenant. Those interested will have to submit proposals by January if they wish to become the anchor tenant.
Around £50 million has been put aside from public money to convert the stadium from one with a capacity of 80,000 to one with 60,000 seats instead. The new conversion will be able to hold major athletics events and football for the Premier League. The new anchor tenant scheme allows the option of having West Ham, the Championship football club, along with their bid partner Newham Council to submit a less risky proposal to move into the stadium.
Problems, Risks, and Deadlines
With legal challenges from both Tottenham and Leyton Orient saying that West Ham would have to rely on a £40 million loan from Newham Council, which both say is relying on state aid. The new negotiations would mean it would cost West Ham only £2 million each year to lease the stadium, good news as West Ham is struggling financially after their relegation from the Premier League. The new £2 million per year rent would help to offset the annual running costs thought to be £5 million.
The OPLC set a deadline of 2014 for tenants to move in, meaning planning permission to make the changes must be submitted by March 2012 so that work will start immediately after the Olympics. This means that the legal struggles hold worrying delays that would impact this deadline. In addition, London’s bid for the 2017 World Athletics Championships has an influence with the new plans for the stadium. November will see a vote, after last week saw a visit from the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) to inspect the venues, which raised concerns about the future of the stadium and the running track. The government and the Mayor of London want to ensure that the IAAF knows that London is committed to holding the event in the Olympic Stadium.