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Sunday, April 21, 2024
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West Ham United ‘Open’ to London Stadium Purchase

  • West Ham signed a 99-year lease with the city of London in 2016
  • The club's rent doesn't nearly cover the costs of staging matches there.
A view of fans inside London Stadium before a West Ham United home match.
West Ham United

West Ham United is reportedly “open” to the outright purchase of London Stadium, which continues to be a burden to London taxpayers.

The Hammers have called the stadium — initially constructed as the centerpiece for the 2012 Summer Olympics — home since 2016, when the club signed a 99-year lease with the city at $3.1 million per year, which later increased to $4.4 million per year.

However, in 2018 Lyn Garner, CEO of the stadium’s partial owner, the London Legacy Development Corporation, said that West Ham’s rent doesn’t nearly cover the costs of staging matches there and sets the organization up for “losses for the next 97 years.”

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Taxpayers largely covered a $397 million renovation of the grounds to convert it into a multipurpose stadium, with West Ham contributing $18.5 million.

Since then, LLDC has been working on nailing down a naming rights deal for the stadium that Garner is “very confident” will happen this year.

LLDC has accounted for $246 million to cover future losses related to the stadium — but that figure is being challenged by auditors and could significantly increase if the city continues to own the stadium.

Czech businessman Daniel Kretinsky, who owns a 27% stake in West Ham and has been rumored to be trying for a full takeover, has said he would be open to purchasing London Stadium, according to The Times.

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