West Ham to pay £2.5m rent on Olympic Stadium

Date published: Thursday 14th April 2016 11:40

Olympic stadium: West Ham's home from next season

West Ham will pay £2.5million per year to occupy the Olympic Stadium, but their landlords will provide the goalposts.

The London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC), the publicly-funded authority which owns the stadium, on Thursday published its full deal with West Ham, who will take up their 99-year tenancy in August.

And the deal shows the LLDC must meet running costs for the likes of: utilities; the pitch preparations, including undersoil heating and floodlights; goalposts, goalnets, and corner flags; the ‘dugouts’ for managers, substitutes and the fourth official; changing rooms; and security, cleaning and pest control.

An Information Tribunal on Monday rejected LLDC’s appeal against a London Assembly ruling that the contract between it and the Premier League club should be made public.

LLDC, which is responsible for transforming venues used for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, declined to take up the option to appeal and the contract was published in full on Thursday after a redacted version was made available last October.

An LLDC spokesperson said: “We are disappointed by the tribunal’s decision.

“Our motivation in bringing this case has been to protect millions of pounds of taxpayers’ money.

“The stadium needs to be a profitable and successful commercial operation otherwise it will rely on public subsidy.

“We were concerned that the publication of this contract and the precedent it may set for future agreements could make it harder to do this.

“However, we have decided not to seek leave to appeal, and have today made the contract available on our website.”

West Ham: Moving at the end of the season

The Olympic Stadium is a multi-purpose facility and LLDC’s objection to the publication of the contract was based around securing future business for the venue on the 340 days a year when West Ham are not using it. That would include hosting music concerts, for example.

The stadium is also to host the 2017 IAAF and IPC Athletics World Championships and there is a 50-year agreement for British Athletics to use the venue each July.

West Ham won the bid to be lead tenants of the 60,000-seat arena ahead of Tottenham and Leyton Orient.

The transformation of the venue from its Olympic and Paralympic condition cost £272m, with West Ham contributing £15m.

The Hammers will pay an annual rent of £2.5m for 25 matches – or £1.25m if they fall out of the top flight – with a £100,000 fee for any additional match.

Performance-related payments are in place for positions from 10th (£25,000) to first in the Premier League. Finishing from first to fifth would result in a payment of £100,000.

The Hammers, who are the sole beneficiaries of ticket sales, are currently sixth in the Premier League.

A payment of £250,000 is required for qualifying for the Champions League group stages – and £1m for winning the European Cup.

Winning the FA Cup or Europa League would cost £100,000; qualifying for the Europa League also costs £100,000.

The contract also showed the first £4m of any naming rights for the stadium would go to LLDC, with any figure above that split 50-50 between LLDC and West Ham.

Revenue from catering and stadium tours would also go to LLDC.

The Hammers are due to move into the arena in time for the start of the 2016/17 Premier League season.

West Ham Olympic Stadium

In a statement on their website, West Ham made it clear they had no objection to the contract being made public.

“This publication does not affect West Ham United or our move to the former Olympic Stadium in any way,” the club statement said.

“From our perspective, we welcome the publication of the concession agreement as it proves that, as we have always maintained, the club has nothing to hide.

“We firmly believe it is a great deal for both West Ham United and also the taxpayer.”

West Ham hope their on-pitch performances this season show additional future revenue can be generated.

The club statement added: “While someone renting the stadium for 25 days a year cannot be responsible for 365 days’ running costs, going by our performances this season, we hope to deliver additional revenue to the stadium via extended cup runs and big European nights.

“This will secure the international exposure and additional usage and revenue that may now be more challenging for the stadium owners to find elsewhere as a result of this ruling.”

Olympic Stadium Coalition, a coalition of 14 supporters’ trusts and groups, had been campaigning for the contract to be published.

It said it would take time to digest the 207-page report.

It added on its website: “We would first like to thank the LLDC for finally seeing commonsense and publishing what appears to be the full agreement.

“This is the right decision for the taxpayer, and the right decision for football.”

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