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SBD Global/September 20, 2013/Facilities

Leyton Orient's London Olympic Stadium-Sharing Hopes Suffer Blow In High Court

League One football club Leyton Orient has claimed a "real sense of injustice" after a high court judge "struck out their attempt to challenge the decision not to let them share the Olympic Stadium" with EPL side West Ham, according to Owen Gibson of the London GUARDIAN. In "the latest stage of a long-running battle over the future of the stadium," Justice Lewis ruled that Orient "had no grounds on which to challenge the London Legacy Development Corporation decision." Orient's lawyers argued that the LLDC had thrown Orient's bid to share the stadium with West Ham "out of the process too early." They "further challenged the grounds" on which the LLDC considered a joint tenancy for both West Ham and Orient "to be financially unviable." However, Lewis agreed that the LLDC process was a "seamless" one and that it had adopted a "logical and rational approach." It emerged in court that the annual operational costs of the stadium are estimated at between £1.4M and £1.5M ($2.2M-$2.4M) per year. West Ham will pay £2M ($3.2M) per year in rent and Orient -- currently top of its division -- had offered £500,000 ($802,000) a year, rising to £1M ($1.6M) if they reached the Championship and £5M ($8M) if they reach the Premier League. However, the LLDC said that the groundsharing proposal "would bring in less money than West Ham occupying the stadium on their own and would amount to the taxpayer subsidising Orient" (GUARDIAN, 9/19).
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