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SBD Global/October 10, 2012/Franchises

Third-League Club Leyton Orient Wants To Change Its Name To London Orient

English League One club Leyton Orient will change its name to "London Orient" if it succeeds in its bid to ground-share the Olympic Stadium alongside EPL club West Ham United, according to the London TELEGRAPH. The Telegraph revealed that Orient Owner Barry Hearn "is proposing the name-change as part of a raft of proposals intended to make the club an integral part of the Olympic Park legacy." London Mayor Boris Johnson’s decision over the future of the Olympic Stadium is "expected in the next two weeks," with West Ham bidding to be the sole football tenant of the arena. Additionally, Hearn is "proposing a number of other initiatives including free season tickets and investing any profit from the sale of Brisbane Road in the playing squad." Hearn said that his intention "is to put Orient at the center of the new community and help create a genuine legacy for a stadium that has faced questions over its long-term viability from the moment its design was unveiled." Hearn said, "West Ham might not like it, but a ground share with Orient makes a lot of sense to the legacy company and for the Park." Hearn said that to give the Olympic Stadium to West Ham alone would amount to subsidising the club’s £90M ($144M) debt. He said, "They are owned by two of the richest men in the country so why should the taxpayer effectively service their debt after years of mismanagement by previous owners?" Hearn also wants Johnson to "take the bold decision to build retractable seats over the running track," even if they cost as much as £200M ($319M) (TELEGRAPH, 10/9).
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