Olympic stadium will become the new home of West Ham after London 2012

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West Ham United are to move into the Olympic Stadium after the London 2012 Games, the Olympic Park Legacy Company (OPLC) has announced.

The Hammers were officially named as the preferred bidder for the showpiece £537m venue ahead of their London Premier League rivals Tottenham Hotspur yesterday.

OPLC chair Baroness Ford said the board had considered carefully and come to a unanimous decision.

She said it was a “cracking decision for the community of east London”.

The unanimous decision was made after a vote by 14 members of the OPLC board at a special meeting where the future of the venue in Stratford, east London, was the only topic.

The decision still has to be rubber-stamped by the Government and the London mayor’s office, but it would be a major surprise if it was not accepted.

West Ham’s success, even in the face of relegation, means an athletics track will stay inside the stadium.

The club, in a joint bid with Newham Council, wants to convert the 80,000-seater stadium into a 60,000-capacity arena for football, athletics, concerts and community use.

Tottenham’s plans, part of a joint bid with AEG sport and entertainment group, was to create a football-only stadium without the track and redevelop Crystal Palace for athletics.

Spurs chairman Daniel Levy previously suggested the club would consider applying for a judicial review if they believed their bid was not given fair consideration.

West Ham’s success means that Ministers and London Mayor Boris Johnson, who might have been accused of breaking athletics legacy promises to the International Olympic Committee, have been saved potential embarrassment. London 2012 chairman Lord Coe was among those calling for the track to be retained.

Mr Johnson yesterday described the decision as a “very significant step” forward towards delivering the Olympic Park legacy.

In a joint statement, Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt and Communities Secretary Eric Pickles said: “The OPLC recommendation marks an important milestone for the future of the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and the whole of the Olympic project.

“We will look through their recommendation in detail before coming to our own decision.”

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