West Ham soccer club making new bid for Olympic Stadium
LONDON (AP) -- East London soccer club West Ham renewed its attempt to move into London's Olympic Stadium after the games with a second bid for the tenancy.
West Ham was selected as the preferred long-term tenant of the $770-million stadium last year but the deal was called off following legal challenges from Premier League club Tottenham, east London neighbor Leyton Orient and an unknown dissenter, later identified as local architect Steve Lawrence.
The Olympic Park Legacy Company restarted the search for a tenant by offering to lease the stadium. With Friday the deadline for submissions, West Ham said it still wants to move 2 miles from its Upton Park home.
"It has been my firm, unwavering belief that the stadium can truly become a multi-use destination of which east London and the nation as a whole can be proud," West Ham vice chairman Karren Brady said. "We have not taken this decision lightly and I should be clear that any move to the stadium is conditional on the fact that it must provide an arena that is fit for world-class football."
The legacy company said it will evaluate the bids and plans to announce the winner before the July 27-Aug. 12 Summer Games.
"Legacy planning is further ahead than any previous Olympic host city," the OPLC said. "The stadium will become the new national center for athletics and host of the 2017 World Athletics Championships and we remain on course to reopen the stadium as a multipurpose venue in 2014."
West Ham is third in the second-tier League Championship and challenging for promotion to the Premier League following its relegation last season.
With the running track to be retained for meets, including the 2017 World Championships, West Ham said its bid was supported by UK Athletics.
"We remain committed to this magnificent stadium," West Ham joint chairmen David Sullivan and David Gold said in a statement. "We know that using the stadium as our home will bring with it huge responsibility but we are fully committed to making it our home for at least the next 99 years."
Tottenham and third-tier side Orient challenged the Hammers' bid by claiming that a $64 million local government contribution constituted unfair state aid and prejudiced the process.
The OPLC scrapped West Ham's bid in October before a hearing into the case after the Lawrence complaint to the European Commission threatened to delay the hand over of the stadium.