West Ham to pay £2.5m Olympic Stadium rent per year

Olympic Stadium
West Ham released computer graphics of what their team playing at the Olympic Stadium would look like

West Ham will pay £2.5m a year to rent the 60,000-seater Olympic Stadium, it has been revealed after the deal was made public following a legal battle.

The ground's owners, the London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC), fought a ruling that the contract should be published, but the appeal was rejected this week.

West Ham will pay the sum per year over the 99-year lease, the 207-page document has revealed.external-link

The Hammers move in this summer.

The first £4m of any naming rights deal will go to the LLDC and Newham borough, with anything above that between the two bodies and West Ham, although the amount is capped.

The rent will be halved to £1.25m if West Ham are relegated.

The LLDC, which had spent thousands of pounds fighting the ruling, said the decision could cost the organisation "millions of pounds".

But it has decided not to appeal against the tribunal's ruling.

Watch: BBC Sports editor Dan Roan on Olympic Stadium legacyexternal-link

Extra payments West Ham could have to make annually
£1m if they win the Champions League £100,000 if they win the FA Cup or Europa League, or qualify for it
£250,000 if they qualify for the Champions League group stages (All payments linked to inflation)£375,000 if they finish in the top five in the Premier League, with smaller payments for other lower positions in the top 10

The club were awarded tenancy of the London 2012 stadium in 2013, and at least £272m has been spent to convert the site for use as a Premier League ground.

West Ham have contributed £15m towards those costs. Last year a BBC documentary revealed the club was having many of the running costs of the stadium paid for it by the taxpayer under the terms of the tenancy agreement.

The Hammers will not have to pay for a range of things including policing, stewarding, goalposts, corner flags, cleaners and turnstile operators. Heating and lighting costs will also be covered by the stadium managers.

However, stadium bosses point out that this is normal for a rental agreement, using the analogy that you would not expect to hire a badminton court and not have nets supplied.

A coalition of 14 supporters' trusts from around the country submitted a Freedom of Information request to obtain that tenancy agreement and believe the deal gives West Ham, who have played at Upton Park since 1904, a competitive advantage.

West Ham say they have nothing to hide, believe it is a "great deal" for the club and the taxpayer, and say the stadium offers a true legacy.

The club added: "Someone renting the stadium for 25 days a year cannot be responsible for 365 days' running costs."

A coalition of 14 supporters' groups and trusts of several different clubs campaigned for the information to be released. In a statement it said: "This is the right decision for the taxpayer, and the right decision for football."

Pressure group the Taxpayers' Alliance called the deal "ludicrously generous" and said questions remain for "those responsible for offering a deal for which most clubs would have sold their star striker".


BBC Sport's Frank Keogh:

"After a long-running legal row, campaigners have finally succeeded in getting all the details of the Olympic Stadium deal made public.

"That is unlikely to completely end the story, with critics saying West Ham have got a new stadium on the cheap.

"The Hammers are keeping their distance, although insist by becoming a high-profile anchor tenant, the club is helping to ensure the venue does not become a 'white elephant'. As a tenant, it also misses out on benefits of added income which a venue owner enjoys.

"Focus may now turn to the stadium rights arrangement, and quite how much the Hammers might benefit from that."

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