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West Ham’s new owners show fresh interest in 2012 stadium

London 2012 organisers said they were this week reviewing West Ham United football club’s proposal to move into the Olympic Stadium after the Games.

The previously mooted idea was revived last week when new club owners David Sullivan and David Gold announced their intention to inhabit the stadium.

The Olympic Park Legacy Company (OPLC), which is responsible for taking forward early legacy development, said it would encourage West Ham to put forward full proposals so that they could be evaluated.

“Our position hasn’t changed that much,” said an OPLC spokesperson. “Nothing is ruled out at this stage. We are reviewing it.”

“Nothing is ruled out at this stage. We are reviewing the proposal.”

Olympic Park Legacy Company

OPLC is to evaluate legacy uses for the stadium in the next few months. They will then then draw up a list of recommendations and present them to London mayor Boris Johnson and ministers.

Discussions between London 2012 organisers and West Ham broke down in previous years due to unresolved issues surrounding the conversion of the 25,000 seat permanent venue to a 55,000 seat football stadium.

A complete makeover

The redesign would have to accommodate around 30,000 extra permanent seats for West Ham’s use. Only 25,000 seats will be housed in the permanent lower tier, while a steel and concrete upper tier holding a further 55,000 seats is temporary and designed to be dismantled after the Games.

The stadium would also need permanent hospitality, catering and retail facilities. During the Games these will operate from temporary external pods.

The issue of whether to keep the stadium’s running track would also have to be resolved. A pledge that was made to the International Olympic Committee during the Games bid means the ODA is committed to keeping the track for legacy use by the local community.

West Ham vice-chairman Karen Brady said the challenges can be overcome: “There are obstacles, but it seems to me if architects can’t take account of a running track and find ways to build under the stands, then they shouldn’t be in business.”

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