Taxpayers to cover most of West Ham stadium costs
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Taxpayers to cover most of West Ham stadium costs

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The British taxpayer will be footing a large chunk of the bill for West Ham United’s tenancy at the £700m (US$1.1bn, €1bn) Olympic Stadium in London starting next year, with the public authority that owns the stadium revealing details of the rental agreement.

Following a Freedom of Information request from the BBC, the London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC) – the public authority that owns the stadium – revealed that the Premier League club will get their new home almost rent free, with a large number of facilities and services paid for by the grantor – meaning the taxpayer rather than West Ham.

Included under facilities and services are cost of stadium utilities, security, pitch maintenance and more. In addition, costs of overheads not included, such as stewarding and policing on match days, could also be paid by the LLDC, a figure which costs most Premier League clubs hundreds of thousands of pounds.

West Ham is understood to be paying around £2.5m (US$4m, €3.5m) a year in rent, with the services covered amounting to a similar figure.

“Our agreement with the LLDC will see West Ham make a substantial capital contribution towards the conversion works of a stadium on top of a multi-million pound annual usage fee, a share of food and catering sales, plus provide extra value to the naming rights agreement,” said a West Ham statement.

"Our presence underwrites the multi-use legacy of the stadium and our contribution alone will pay back more than the cost of building and converting the stadium over the course of our tenancy."

The Olympic Stadium is undergoing a £272m (US$424m, €390m) redevelopment to convert it into a football stadium. As anchor tenants, West Ham have paid just £15m (US$23.4m, €21.5m) towards the conversion costs, which is over-budget by around £35m (US$54.6m, €50m).

The stadium will be used for athletics for one month a year and will also host ten annual community sports events on its new floodlit community running track. Further additions as part of the redevelopment include a training and education centre, plus a new roof.

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The British taxpayer will be footing a large chunk of the bill for West Ham United’s tenancy at the £700m (US$1.1bn, €1bn) Olympic Stadium in London starting next year, with the public authority that owns the stadium revealing details of the rental agreement.
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