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SBD Global/May 30, 2013/Facilities

West Ham Gets OK To Start $290M Renovation Of London's Olympic Stadium

West Ham has received a go-ahead to start renovation of Olympic Stadium.
Plans to make major changes at the £429M ($648.8M) Olympic Stadium "have been given the green light with West Ham being the main beneficiaries as it will be a more suitable arena for football," according to Helen Williams of the PA. The transformation work, "which will involve the 80,000-capacity venue being turned into a flexible 60,000-seat stadium," was unanimously approved by the London Legacy Development Corp.'s planning decisions committee. Under the plans, the multipurpose venue in east London will still be able to hold 80,000 for concerts. The decision, subject to referral to the London mayor, "paves the way for changes to begin this year" (PA, 5/29). The AFP reported the plans include the introduction of a lower tier of removable seating, which will "necessitate the extension of the roof, as well as the reuse of lighting towers." Premier League club West Ham United is scheduled to move into the stadium as a permanent tenant in '16, while the arena will "also host 2015 Rugby World Cup matches and the 2017 World Athletics Championships" (AFP, 5/29).

RENOVATION COULD COST $287.3M: ESPN reported renovation work could cost up to £190M ($287.3M). West Ham Vice Chair Karren Brady said, "This is another key milestone on our journey to Stratford and my board and I are delighted with the decision." West Ham will pay £15M ($22.7M) toward the renovation cost and then £2M ($3M) per year in rent (ESPN, 5/29).
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