West Ham determined to gain Olympic Stadium home with launch of new bid
13:17 GMT, 23 March 2012
West Ham are have declared their intention to launch a new bid for tenancy of the Olympic Stadium after the 2012 Games.
The Hammers won the original contest to move to the stadium in Stratford last year, but that deal collapsed following complaints from Tottenham, Leyton Orient, and another anonymous party.
The club released a statement reading: 'West Ham United vice-chairman Karren Brady has today confirmed the club's intention to submit a bid by lunchtime (Friday 23 March) to be the anchor user of the Olympic Stadium post-Games in line with the OPLC deadline.'
Possibilities: Will West Ham kick off the new football season in this stadium
The Olympic Park Legacy Company (OPLC) decided to start the process over again but instead offer the stadium on a lease basis, rather than a permanent one.
West Ham have applied for a 99-year lease of the stadium, which is reported to have cost 486million to build.
Brady said: 'Having spent the last two years dedicated to this project I am privileged to once more be submitting West Ham United's bid to become the anchor concessionaire of the Olympic Stadium post the 2012 Games.
'From the outset it has been my firm, unwavering belief that the stadium can truly become a multi-use destination of which east London and the nation as a whole can be proud.
Intent: Karen Brady (left) declared West Ham's desire to move into the stadium
'I have never lost sight of our vision to play our part, along with the stadium's major stakeholders, in ensuring it grows into a global asset, the “jewel in the crown” of the (Olympic) Park that will be watched by the world.
'Our vision for the stadium has always been about standing up for the promises made for London back in Singapore in 2005 and what they meant for our future generations. We are honoured to have once more received the support and backing of our friends at UK Athletics.
'I would like to thank the many West Ham supporters who have given their time to share their opinions on our proposed move ahead of this decision and despite the considerable constraints and confidentiality agreements we were required to enter into, I can assure them their feedback has been instrumental in informing the board's approach to our bid.'
West Ham, along with partners Newham Council, beat Tottenham and Leyton Orient in the original contest for the arena as they were fully committed to keeping a running track at the stadium.
Promotion: West Ham reside in the Championship but are aiming for promotion
When Britain beat Paris in the race to host the Olympics, one of its main selling points was its commitment to providing London with an athletics legacy and the OPLC are keen to honour that commitment by keeping the track, particularly as it forms a big part of London's bid to host the 2017 World Athletics championships.
The OPLC have always said that the new tenants of the stadium would have to keep the running track after the Olympics.
West Ham have always made clear they want to move to Stratford, but Brady sounded a warning that the London club will not follow up its interest in becoming tenants if the stadium is not up to their requirements.
She said: 'We have not taken this decision lightly and I should be clear that any move to the stadium is conditional on the fact that it must provide an arena that is fit for world-class football and feels like home to our deserving fans.'
Despite being second in the npower Championship, West Ham are by no means assured of promotion after their poor recent form and there is no guarantee that the Londoners will be able to fill the 60,000 capacity ground if they win the tenancy battle.
Difficulties: Finding a future tenant for the stadium has proved tricky
David Gold and David Sullivan made clear from the day that they bought the club two years ago that they wanted to take advantage of the opportunity in front of them, however, and they remain fully committed to the idea of leaving Upton Park.
In a joint statement they said: 'As we have always said, we remain committed to this magnificent stadium and provided we are able to offer a world-class stadium for football for our prolific, loyal and passionate supporters we believe there is nobody better placed to help deliver the legacy for the East End community than us.
'This area – the one from which we both originate – deserves a true and lasting legacy to follow the 2012 Games. It will be a tremendous event that the whole world will be watching and will therefore present a real opportunity to showcase the UK at its best. However, the showcase must not stop there.
'We know that using the stadium as our home will bring with it huge responsibility, but we are fully committed to making it our home for at least the next 99 years. We will take on with pride the mantle of what that means in terms of giving something back to the community.'