Page last updated at 16:58 GMT, Thursday, 11 March 2010

Sullivan tells School Report of Olympic stadium hopes

London 2012 Stadium
Proposed stadium to be the showpiece of the 2012 London Games

West Ham's co-owner David Sullivan has talked up plans for the club to move into the Olympics Stadium.

In an exclusive interview with a school taking part in the BBC School Report News Day he sketched out a deal.

He offered to pay half of the gate receipts - above the current Upton Park capacity of 35,000 - from each game at the Olympic Stadium as rent after 2012.

The Olympic Park Legacy Company has urged West Ham and other interested parties to come forward with details.

Earlier this week the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) said it could not guarantee all £2bn National Lottery money taken to fund London 2012 would be returned.

It is hoped profits from land sold after the Olympic Games will reimburse National Lottery funds.

Future of the stadium

The stadium and the rest of the Olympic Village in Stratford will be transferred to the Olympic Park Legacy Company (OPLC) when the Games is over.

But they plan to decide what is to become of the stadium by March next year.

The stadium will have a capacity of 80,000 for the Olympiad but the original plan was for it to reduce to a 25,000 capacity athletics-only stadium after 2012.

But OPLC has said it will consider all options, including the idea of a Premier League football club, such as West Ham, moving in as tenants.

West Ham owners David Sullivan and David Gold
David Sullivan and David Gold took over West Ham in January

A precedent is the Commonwealth Games Stadium in Manchester, which was taken over by Manchester City football club.

The difference is that OPLC is committed to retaining the running track and other athletics facilities post 2012.

Tim, a Year 8 pupil at Chigwell School in Essex, interviewed Sullivan as part of School Report.

Tim, a West Ham season ticket holder, told School Report: "We asked him about it and he said they would like to rent the stadium. He said they would pay the Olympics company half of the gate for every game above the capacity at Upton Park."

'Bigger club'

Tim said: "I'm a West Ham fan and I would be pretty happy to move there. I have got a season ticket and I like Upton Park but it would make us a bigger club and might get into Europe if we moved into the Olympic Stadium."

Earlier this week School Reporters from Chigwell visited the Olympics site and took some photographs of the stadium under construction.

A spokesperson for the Olympic Park Legacy Company said: "The company has been very focused to secure the best possible use for the Olympic Stadium after the Games.

"We have been examining all options which will both secure the financial viability and significant public investment in the stadium coupled with making sure that legacy promises are fulfilled.

"It is very encouraging that there is great interest and enthusiasm in the future use for the Stadium. It is already a dominant structure on London's landscape and offers fantastic opportunities to fulfil its Olympic legacy.

"We are perfectly clear that the future of this valuable public asset is secured in a way which allows the best opportunities to come forward and at the same time offer the best value for money for the public purse.

"In the coming months, we will put in a place a process which will allow appropriate uses for the Stadium to be brought forward, which we will then evaluate against a set of criteria prior to the Board of OPLC making recommendations to the Mayor and Ministers.

"We aim to complete this process and reach a settled position by the end of the March 2011."



SEE ALSO
West Ham want Olympic venue move
19 Jan 10 |  London
Gold & Sullivan take over Hammers
19 Jan 10 |  West Ham
Tory's football plan for stadium
11 Sep 09 |  London
2012 stadium could house Hammers
20 Apr 06 |  Olympics 2012

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