Filed: Wednesday, 7th November 2012
By: Staff Writer
West Ham United's proposed move to Stratford will not happen until 2015 at the very earliest, it has been revealed.
At a press conference this morning Dennis Hone, the new London Legacy Development Corporation chief executive announced that the Olympic Stadium will not re-open before August 2015 - with a further year's delay possible.
That announcement all but ends West Ham's hopes of moving to the stadium in time for the start of the 2014/15 season, as previously planned.
"We are currently going through the four bids that we have for the Olympic Stadium and we are now reaching the end of that process," said Hone. "We need to make a decision on which of the four, if any, will provide the best long-term option and the best value for money.
It is important to remember that this is a 100-year lease we are talking about with the Stadium so we have to get it right. We don't want to look back in three or five years at a decision we regret. So, if this process takes a few months longer than it is scheduled to take, so be it; a few months will not make a big difference.
"We are looking carefully at reconfiguring the Stadium but we can't really do anything on that until we know who the tenant is and I don't want to speculate. Each bidder has a requirement of the LLDC for converting the Stadium so there will be costs. But I cannot say what they will be until we know exactly what we are doing and the cost will depend on the tenant."
Elsewhere this morning, an advisor for London mayor Boris Johnson revealed that recent talks with the National Football League - the organisation that oversees 'gridiron' in the United States - were not used to discuss the possibility of the league taking over the Olympic Stadium.
Instead, it has been claimed that the meetings were used to obtain tips on how best to utilise the stadium. LLDC confirmed that there had been no bid from the NFL with regards to using the arena.
The area surrounding the stadium, to be named the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, is due to open to the public in July 2013. The North Park, which includes parklands and a 7,500-capacity 'multi-arena' will be the first area open to the public with the rest of the site - namely the South Plaza - due to open the following Easter (April 2014).
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10:13PM 7th Nov 2012
''It's about time that everyone realised that a move to the OS is a lost cause.
Redevelop the East Stand and Green Street along with Upton Park Tube Station and get the London Underground to stop causing havoc every match weekend, except when MU are here, with their unnecessary disruptions. The majority of the fans and the local businesses, pubs and eateries would be more than delighted. The Boleyn is our one and only place to be!''
10:09PM 7th Nov 2012
''The longer the delay the better as far as I am concerned. The Olympic Stadium will be a morgue and if Allardyce is still in charge, are 60,000 punters going to turn up to see the kick and rush rubbish that West Ham serve up these days? ''
by Kristian Hamlin
04:32PM 7th Nov 2012
''Totally unbelievable this whole farce. So much money has been spent on the Olympic site getting to the standard that it stands today. Now just another bit of rubble that will sit unused, unloved and a prime target for vandelism. I pray that Gold & Sullivan now tell the government to stick there stadium where the sun don't shine.
If Spurs and Barry Hearn had not stuck their noses in and made false accusations by using underhand tatics to gather information, then this whole business would have been over ages ago and WHU would have been planning the redevelopment of the site to fit in with what is required by a football team.
I know our econemy is up the spout to begin with but I now keep my fingers crossed that we and every other prospective tennant tells the Government they no longer have interest in moving to the site and then this will turn into a harsh lesson to learn for the Governement and the Olympic park committee.''
12:41PM 7th Nov 2012
''Typical. Rather than implementing a change ASAP to benefit everyone, we'll watch as the area becomes forgotten. There is a legacy to follow and it should be followed now.''