Thursday, 11 October 2012

The story so far with the West Ham Olympic Stadium Bid

With yesterday's announcement of yet another delay with the Olympic Stadium Decision I thought I would summarise some information & sources I have gathered on the Olympic Stadium bid which is publicly available about the process but may have been lost in the length of time this thing has been running.

All sources have been provided as links with this article.

West Ham Statement today via Associated Press

 “It is now 20 months since West Ham United were initially named as the preferred bidder to occupy the Olympic Stadium post-Games. We are obviously disappointed, that three bids later, a decision has yet to be reached."


Although I sit on the Supporters Advisory Board and the Olympic Stadium Committee in particular I have no privileged information about West Ham's bid.

The Olympic Committee within the SAB have only met once on the 23rd February 2012. The presentation and minutes from that meeting are publicly available here on,,12562~2657489,00.html

There is no scheduled date for the next SAB meeting at present while the bid is in limbo. 

Although I was nominated as the SAB member tasked with collating supporter feedback the report I submitted to the board was no different from 'for and against' feedback you would find on any West Ham forum or discussed in any pub on match days.

There is no secrecy as some would suggest beyond signing a NDA with the club and the OPLC.

The club is still looking for new SAB members,,12562~2870475,00.html

The question of Retractable Seating

The ongoing debate about Retractable Seating among fans seems strange at times since both Brady and Gold have publicly confirmed retractable seating would be part of our bid. 

Karen Brady confirmed retractable seating in her Sun Column in November 2011

"And if they had taken the time to look they would have seen that the design engineers have 

a solution by placing fans in retractable seats right up to the touchlines, if required, to 

provide a fantastic football solution whilst maintaining the track perfectly for athletics.

That wasn’t possible in stadiums like the old Wembley but technology and the world moves on"

David Gold confirmed retractable seating in this Independent article in January 2012

"We are not prepared to have fans sitting 60 yards from the pitch," he said. "We still want 

to move into the stadium but will not do so if the track remains uncovered. There has to be 

some form of retractable seating."

The question about the cost of Re-Development of the Olympic Stadium 

A report in the journal Building Design last month said the cost of turning the stadium into a Premier League ground has risen to £160 million — a huge jump on previous estimates of £75 million.

The cost of building the Olympic Stadium in the first place has been widely reported as £486M. Newham agreed to invest £40M in the redevelopment of the Stadium.

The London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDP) formally called the OPLC are thought to 
have initially budgeted just £35M to redevelop the stadium. However it is believed that over £400M of the Olympic contingency budget remains and could possibly be used to fill the short fall if approved by the LLDC & the London Mayor.

The question of who owns the new Stadium

In July this year The London Legacy Development Corporation and Newham Council announced they have set up a company called E20 Stadium LLP (Limited Liability Partnership) to take long term responsibility for managing the Stadium. 

A 99-year lease will be granted by the London Legacy Development Corporation to E20 Stadium LLP (Limited Liability Partnership).

The question of how much West Ham may have bid

Last month the Daily Mail reported that West Ham had bid nearly £10M per year to lease the Olympic Stadium.  If true this would be committing West Ham to nearly one billion pounds (£990M) of rental over the next 99 years.

In my personal view the Joint Chairman and Vice Chairman are shrewd business people who 
didn't get where they are in business by over paying for something where there is a limited market and serious competition. I am sure the government don't want a white elephant and I personally hope West Ham would have bid under the market price but I have no privileged information to back that up.

I think most fans have trouble believing Daily Mail stories at the best of times!

Man City Model of rental

Manchester City FC originally agreed to pay rent for their new stadium to Manchester council derived from match day income, specifically ticket sales. Under their agreement no money was due if the attendance did not top the 32,000 capacity of Maine Road, while half the price of tickets sold above that level would be paid over, after associated costs had been factored in. 

Now Man City have new found wealth they have renegotiated the terms of their 250 year lease. 

An agreement is in place now to switch from the match day revenue model to a flat £3m yearly charge.

This is still an increase on the £2M per year generated on average from the ticket sales model.

They also bought the naming rights last year in a separate agreement worth £2M per year which they sold to sponsor Etihad for a reported £10M per year!

The rental deal certainly appears to work for them by making a £5M per year profit of a stadium they don't own!  Not bad business for the richest club in the world.

To me this makes the £10M per year West Ham bid claim from the Daily Mail even more bizarre and unbelievable. 

Latest Delay on the decision

The latest delay of a month or two on the Olympic Stadium decision is frustrating to everyone whether they be in the for, against or sitting on the fence camp. It's leaves us all in limbo and the debate rages on with the danger of dividing fans further on this issue.

West Ham Fan of the Week

On our West Ham podcast  called Moore Than Just A podcast  we are looking for West Ham fans to become fan of the week over Skype for 15 minutes. One of the things we like to ask them is their view on the Olympic Stadium among other West ham related topics.

If you want to share your Olympic Stadium thoughts.

Add us on Skype with username MooreTJAPodcast

You need to be available on a Monday evening around 8pm UK time

Hope to be speaking to some of you soon on the podcast.

Tweet us at @MooreTJAPodcast or Email at if you require more details

written by Sean  @WestHamFootball on Twitter

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