West Ham 'preferred partner' for Olympic Stadium
LONDON -- Premier League soccer club West Ham has been selected "preferred partner" in its bid to move into the London Olympic Stadium and will enter into exclusive negotiations over the terms of a 99-year lease.
An agreement to play in the $783 million venue collapsed last year, but the east London club won a new bid Wednesday.
West Ham would be moving 2 miles from its 35,000-capacity Upton Park to a stadium downsized from 80,000 seats at the Olympics to 60,000.
The London Legacy Development Corporation board rejected bids from third-tier soccer club Leyton Orient and a group that hoped to stage Formula One races. But London Mayor Boris Johnson warned that West Ham would only be allowed to move into the stadium if he is satisfied with the financial package being offered.
Besides paying annual rent, West Ham owners David Gold and David Sullivan would have to give the London legacy company a share of any profit if they sell the club.
Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press
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