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Olympics: West Ham to move to Olympic Stadium - report

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

West Ham United football club are to become the main tenants of London's Olympic Stadium, the BBC reported on Friday ahead of an official announcement expected later in the day.

The long-term future of the £429 million ($648-million, 503-million-euro) venue in Stratford, east London, was supposed to have been decided before last year's Games but a series of legal challenges have led to a drawn-out process.

The BBC said the British government have agreed to put in an extra £25 million towards the cost of converting the venue, taking their total spend to £60 million with the final bill for adapting the venue potentially reaching £190 million in all.

However, the deal was secured only after Premier League West Ham agreed to increase their own funding of the project by £5 million to £15 million, the broadcaster said, without quoting sources.

The Hammers will move from their current Upton Park ground in east London from August 2016 and pay around £2 million a year in rent.

Under conversion plans, the roof will be extended and the seating capacity reduced from 80,000 to 60,000, with a retractable system allowing the venue to be converted from an athletics arena to football stadium within days.

Having a stadium capable of staging a major athletics event after the Olympics was a key component of London's bid for the Games.

It is already scheduled to stage the 2017 World Athletics Championships.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130322/olympics-west-ham-move-olympic-stadium-report