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Olympics minister invites West Ham to bid for stadium

Olympics minister Tessa Jowell has invited West Ham United to put in a formal bid to take over the Olympic Stadium after the London 2012 games.

The Olympic Park Legacy Company (OPLC), which will manage the site after the games, is preparing a tender process for interested parties to compete. “The legacy company is inviting bids for potential legacy tenants,” Jowell said.

“The fact is there is going to be a competition to determine the tenant and if West Ham want to submit a proposal, they are welcome.”

“There is going to be a competition to determine the tenant and if West Ham want to submit a proposal, they are welcome.”

Tessa Jowell, Olympics minister

However, International Olympic Committee member Sir Craig Reedie emphasised that the £537M stadium should be reduced to a 25,000 capacity in accordance with the athletics legacy that was pledged to the International Olympic Committee in London’s bid for the games.

It is thought that the OPLC will grant tenancy of the stadium to the highest bidder, in the interests of getting the best deal for the taxpayer.

The OPLC board has yet to formulate its terms of reference for the tenancy procurement process.

West Ham owners David Sullivan and David Gold announced their intention to inhabit the stadium in January, reigniting a long standing debate over whether the stadium is suitable for the club.

Previous discussions broke down over disagreements about converting the 25,000 seat permanent venue to a 55,000 seat football stadium, which would go against the legacy plans originally outlined to the International Olympic Committee.

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