Bloomberg News

West Ham’s London Olympic Stadium Plan Opposed by Leyton Orient

March 06, 2013

Leyton Orient, an English third- division soccer team, filed a legal appeal over plans to allow Premier League club West Ham United to take over London’s Olympic stadium.

Orient, which is in League One, said it filed proceedings in the U.K. High Court against the London Legacy Development Corp., which is overseeing the re-use of the facilities from last year’s games. Orient blocked an earlier plan to allow the Hammers to take over the site with another legal appeal.

The lower division club wants to use the stadium alongside West Ham, and said the legacy company didn’t allow the award to both clubs as was permitted in the application.

“Our plan was, and remains, to be the community offering alongside a wealthy Premier League club,” Orient Chairman Barry Hearn said today on the team’s website. “We don’t intend to interfere with West Ham’s residency at the stadium, but maintain the position that if they are going to be there, then we need to be there too.”

West Ham was chosen as the “first-ranked bidder” in December.

Should a soccer team move into the stadium, which was the centerpiece of the London Olympics and Paralympics in July and August, the site would have to have a retractable seating solution to make sure it can also function as an athletics venue, the LLDC said in December.

Tottenham, AEG

It’s the second time West Ham has been picked as preferred bidder for the 537 million-pound ($807 million) stadium. The Hammers and Newham local authority were selected as long-term tenants in February 2011 over a joint bid by Premier League club Tottenham Hotspur and AEG, a U.S.-based entertainment facility operator. In October 2011, that agreement collapsed following a series of legal challenges from Tottenham and Orient and an anonymous complaint to the European Commission.

West Ham plays at Upton Park, which seats about 35,000, while Orient’s Matchroom Stadium holds 9,271 people.

The Olympic Stadium, which hosted the 2012 opening and closing ceremonies and the athletic events, will be reduced in size before being used as host for the 2017 World Athletics Championships.

To contact the reporter on this story: Christopher Elser in London at celser@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Christopher Elser in London at celser@bloomberg.net


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