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West Ham close in on Olympic deal
Mar 22, 2013 1:33 AM GMT
English Premier League side West Ham United are set to announce a long-term deal to move to London's Olympic Stadium.
Following a battle against rival bids and objections from the likes of local club Leyton Orient, West Ham are reportedly on the brink of sealing a 99-year lease to move from Upton Park to the stadium that hosted the Olympic Games in 2012.
West Ham are expected to play their first home match at the ground in 2016, with an estimated capacity of 60,000.
The proposed relocation will end West Ham's tenancy at their Boleyn Ground - a place they have called home since 1904.
West Ham co-owners David Gold and David Sullivan have insisted the club will not be sold prior to the move, as any change in ownership would jeopardise their access to the public-owned stadium.
The venue is set to undergo renovations to make it suitable for a football, with retractable seats and an accompanying roof set to cost 150 million pounds.
As well as Orient, West Ham have seemingly seen off interest from Premier League rivals Tottenham Hotspur.
However, Orient chairman Barry Hearn has claimed an announcement of West Ham's tenancy would be redundant, as he is seeking a review of the bidding process.
West Ham were announced as the preferred bidder by the London Legacy Development Committee board in December.
British sports minister Hugh Robertson is yet to confirm the deal had been finalised with the London club, but added there was every chance the ground could be also feature in England's hosting of the 2015 Rugby World Cup.