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SBD Global/March 7, 2013/Facilities

League One Side Leyton Orient Fights High Court For Move To Olympic Stadium

Leyton Orient has joined the fight to occupy London's Olympic Stadium.
League One side Leyton Orient "applied to the High Court for a judicial review into" EPL West Ham’s "proposed move into the Olympic Stadium," according to Giuseppe Muro of the London EVENING STANDARD. West Ham’s long wait to secure the venue has reportedly moved closer following talks with the London Legacy Development Corp., but Orient Chair Barry Hearn said that "the bidding process was not properly applied and wants to ground share with the Premier League club." Hearn said: "There are rules in place for how this decision should be made, and we believe those rules have not been followed. The bidding process is flawed and the LLDC have not followed their own rules when they set out the bidding process" (EVENING STANDARD, 3/6). The BBC reported Hearn "proposed a possible ground share with the Premier League side when the bidding process re-opened last summer but shortly afterwards West Ham announced they were not considering such an arrangement." Hearn said: "All parties signed up to the principle of 'teaming,' and we don't think that serious consideration has been given to Leyton Orient sharing or 'teaming' with West Ham in the occupancy of the Olympic Stadium" (BBC, 3/6).

POSSIBLE DELAY LOOMING: REUTERS' Martyn Herman reported an announcement confirming West Ham has "the green light to move in to a scaled down 60,000-seater stadium is expected in the next few weeks, although Hearn's legal challenge could further delay securing its future use." Hearn said that Orient's ground "is 750 metres from the boundary of the Olympic Park and believes West Ham's ability to offer cheaper tickets in a 60,000-seat stadium would undermine his club's ability to retain its fan-base." Hearn said, "West Ham moving to the Olympic Park will put a huge amount of pressure on Leyton Orient to survive at all. We are 750 yards away (from the Park) trying to compete with Premiership football. We have no chance in the long-term. The common sense way out is; why don't we share the ground?" (REUTERS, 3/6).
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Olympics, United Kingdom

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