It was all meant to be so easy for West Ham United, the 2012 Olympics that is, as once the Olympic Games Caravan left London they could move into the Olympic stadium, making it their brand new home, and leaving the much loved Upton Park.
However in modern day sport such things are never that straight forward. The Olympic stadium will obviously have an athletics track around the outside, as the Olympics are first and foremost whatever anyone says and athletic event.
West Ham planned to remove the track once they moved in. However Local Organising Committee of the Olympic Games chairman Lord Coe, refused to budge on a promise he made to the IOC as part of London’s bid that the track would be retained post Olympics.
Now Newham Council who were going to loan West Ham United GBP40 million to move to the stadium have withdrawn as they only had a verbal agreement that the Hammers would keep the track.
This however could work in West Ham’s favour. The government is going to have the athletics track’s retention written into a contract with the stadium and that it be retained for 50 years.
This means that all parties win. Great Britain can bid for the 2017 World Athletics Championships and would have a venue that would be ideal to host such an event. Lord Coe will have kept his promise to the IOC and therefore will have enhanced his chances of being elected the next President of the International Athletics Federation.
While West Ham may end up entering a ground share agreement with Leyton Orient, but at a peppercorn rent of just GBP2million a year, rather than having to pay the original GBP95million to reconfigure the stadium into a football stadium. Roll over seating will come across the Athletics track so that fans remain close to the action.
We are glad that they appear to have hammered out a deal.