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West Ham "hopeful" of move to Olympic Stadium

West Ham United (WHU) said the club is “hopeful” of moving to the Olympic Stadium after the London 2012 Games.

The eight-week deadline for would-be tenants of the £537M venue in Stratford, east London, to lodge expressions of interest to the Olympic Park Legacy Company (OPLC) ends today.

The club, which is making a joint bid with Newham Council, have spent that time in “meaningful discussions” with a range of organisations include UK Athletics (UKA), Essex Cricket and AEG, the owners of the nearby O2 arena, to try to broaden and fine-tune its proposal.

A WHU spokesman told the Press Association: “We hope that we are called in very soon to get in to much more detailed discussions about what is or is not possible. We are extremely excited and can not wait to take our ideas forward.”

The OPLC will examine and filter out the different bids until 18 June. A decision on the future use of the Olympic Stadium should be made by the end of March 2011.

After the 2012 games the venue is set to be reduced from 80,000 seats to 25,000. A promise to the International Olympic Committee when London was awarded the games means it must be used for athletics.

The OPLC is still to confirm how many bids have been made. It will be less than the 100-plus registrations on its website which includes journalists and people seeking information about the bidding process.

WHU plans included a 55,000 to 60,000 capacity stadium - “our optimum size,” the spokesman said.

This could potentially be achieved by widening and putting in different types of seating from its Olympics use.

Additional screens and scoreboards would probably be needed for the behind-the-goal positions but the aim would be to retain the lower seating.

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