West Ham United news

Hammers' stadium plans approved

May 29, 2013
By ESPN staff

West Ham United have been granted permission to redevelop the Olympic Stadium.

Olympic Stadium
PA PhotosWest Ham are to convert the venue into a UEFA category 4 stadium

West Ham, who secured a 99-year deal to move into the Stratford-based stadium in March, saw their planning application approved at a special meeting on Tuesday night. Mayor of London Boris Johnson is now set to give the plans ratification.

Renovation work, which could cost up to £190 million, is due to begin later this year to make the venue suitable to host football events ahead of the club's relocation in 2016. The all-seater stadium - set to meet the requirements for the highest UEFA category - will host 54,000 fans.

"This is another key milestone on our journey to Stratford and my board and I are delighted with the decision," vice-chairman Karren Brady told the club's official website. "We always knew that the innovative plans for the Olympic Stadium could create a globally-recognised football stadium and we were confident that planning permission would be granted to allow the conversion work to begin.

"For me and my team, the hard work is only just beginning. This is an incredible opportunity to create a world-class stadium for West Ham supporters that will exceed their expectations and the chance to really deliver a lasting legacy for London."

West Ham, who will pay £15 million towards the renovation costs and then £2 million per year in rent, will be "key tenants" at the venue, which will also host athletics and live music. The Treasury is to pay £60 million towards the cost.

The conversion plans involve retractable seating, which will facilitate other uses, as well as an "atmospheric, transparent roof".