West Ham musings by Pete May, author of Hammers in the Heart, West Ham:Irons in the Soul and Flying So High:West Ham's Cup Finals.
Wednesday, December 5
Stratford here we come?
So West Ham is the Preferred Bidder for the Olympic Stadium. The figures aren't clear yet, but we can assume that the government is going to pay most of the redevelopment costs of £160 million and we're getting a new roof and retractable seating with the Hammers contributing around £15 million. That represents quite a good deal for the Hammers, though the BBC reports that if David Sullivan and David Gold sell the club they may have to pay a percentage of the profits back to the government. If retractable blocks of seating are installed over the track then that reduces the last major obstacle to moving. In Karren Brady's letter to supporters she says the club is committed to a poll on the move, which means we should all get our say. Personally, I don't particularly want to leave Ken's Cafe and the Newham Bookshop, let alone the Boleyn Ground, but the transport links at Stratford (Overground, Jubilee and Central lines, trains to Hertfordshire, Essex and Kent, versus one District Line station) and the chance of a 60,000 capacity make it something we can't really afford to turn down. And we might be able to get Danny Boyle to do the opening ceremony.