West Ham United have been confirmed as the main tenants of the Olympic Stadium used in the 2012 London Olympics by Boris Johnson, the mayor of London. West Ham have agreed a 99-year lease for the Stadium, and will pay £15 million up front for conversion costs (which will cost up to £190m) and an annual fee of £2 million during the 99-year lease. The Hammers will move into the stadium in the 2016/2017 season after the stadium is made more suitable for football. There will be a major change to the stadium before West Ham move in, including adding retractable seating, the roof being extended, and the capacity going from 80,000 to 54,000.
The mayor of London, Boris Johnson has confirmed the deal, which is subject to planning permission, and has announced that West Ham will be the main tenants. “This was the deal they said could never be done,” he said. “I am very pleased to announce that this fantastic stadium will not only host community sport, rock concerts and athletics – it will also be the home of a great London football club.
“After a massive negotiation that went well into extra time, I want to pay tribute to both teams for a deal that is great for West Ham United, for London and for football.”
Not all West Ham fans are willing to leave Upton Park, but the club’s vice-chairman Karren Brady said she was “delighted” to secure the deal and will now work on selling the deal to fans. West Ham have already promised to give 100,000 free tickets to children per season to local children, but some fans still remain content at Upton Park.