Some of the most affluent and successful business leaders in the East London area have come out in support of West Ham’s proposed relocation to Stratford, according to the club’s official website.
West Ham’s attempts to be awarded the Olympic and Paralympic stadium in the near future has been long and arduous. The Hammers were initially awarded the lease to the stadium by the Premier League last season, but subsequently withdrew their bid after threats of legal action from League one side Leyton Orient and Tottenham Hotspur.
The Premier League newcomers are currently one of four bidders under consideration to lease the stadium now that the Paralympics have ended. Leyton Orient, the College of Football Business and proposals from another corporation to turn the stadium into a formula one track, have also tabled concrete bids.
However, West Ham are still the frontrunners for the stadium in Stratford, but still face passionate opposition from Leyton Orient Chairman Barry Hearn who is furious that the O’s weren’t originally awarded the stadium, arguing that it is their right to move into the stadium as is it is closer to their home in Leyton. He has vowed to take more legal action against any impending decision to award the stadium to the Hammers.
Despite this, Chief Executive of the East London Business Alliance, Liam Kane said, “West Ham have been at the heart of East London for longer than I care to remember. A move to the Olympic stadium would not only allow all the fans who can’t get tickets now to see the games but, more importantly, the jobs generated by the move, both during construction and in operation, would be very welcome for the unemployed residents of the area.” Kane added that, “Having Premier League football in Stratford would also ensure it keeps its global reputation, which in turn brings greater exposure and value to the commercial appeal of the park.”
CEO of the Excel Centre Kevin Murphy believes that, “West Ham United have played a pivotal role in the local community for a great many years, making a major contribution to the social regeneration of East London. No one is better placed to take hold of the legacy baton after the games and be at the heart of a lively and busy Olympic Stadium.”
West Ham have already publicly received the support for their stadium bid from famous players and stadiums alike. Hammers and England legend Geoff Hurst said earlier in the week that he believes that the future of West Ham belongs in the Olympic Stadium. Likewise, actor Ray Winstone and comedian James Corden have also rallied in support of West Ham’s bid for the move.
As compensation for the money that Leyton Orient may stand to lose as a result of West Ham’s potential relocation to Stratford, the West Ham board have pledged to donate £1 for every supporter that would go to the Olympic Stadium.