West Ham have been given custody of the Olympic Stadium.

The stadium used for the 2012 Olympic Games had attracted bids from a number of London-based clubs, but West Ham have been now agreed a 99-year lease. 

There are plans to convert the Stratford venue that can hold 80,000 people into a 54,000-capacity stadium. 

The Upton Park club will have possession of the stadium at the start of the 2016 season and it will ensure that they are able to compete financially with other clubs in the country.

The club that was named the preferred bidder back in December held long and tedious negotiations with the London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC) and the agreement was finally reached between both parties. 

The deal will not only give the club long-term stability, but also protect the public interest if the owners decide to sell, with the LLDC assured of a significant cut.

The chairman of the east London club, David Gold, expressed his delight at the completion of the deal. 

Addressing the press, he said: “This is very exciting, I'm thrilled that we've signed this deal today. There's a new exciting future for West Ham United FC."

The renovation of the stadium will ensure that staging events like the 2015 Rugby World Cup and 2017 World Athletics Championships will not be hampered , while retractable seats will be used so that the capacity of the stadium can be altered when necessary.

There was, however, no mention by the representatives of West Ham over the future of Upton Park and its surrounding area, which have been kept confidential.

 

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