West Ham United and Newham Council's joint bid to take over the Olympic Stadium after the 2012 Games has been formally approved.

The Government and Mayor of London confirmed the Olympic Park Legacy Company's decision to recommend the club as the preferred bidders for the £537m venue. The Hammers plan to reduce the capacity to 60,000 in time for the 2014/2015 season.

Club vice-chairman Karren Brady said: "I'm grateful for their support and the clear recognition of the strengths of a financially strong, community-based bid that will do much for the regeneration of east London. We’ve been entrusted with a great responsibility and the OPLC's unanimous backing will only inspire us further to make good on our legacy promises.

"In many ways, the hard work starts now. The starting gun has been fired and we are off and running. This will be an Olympic Stadium to make everyone proud, a multi-sports, multi-event arena that will be both a spectacular local and global attraction. We will not let anyone down," she added.

After London 2012 the stadium will undergo a £95m conversion turning the 80,000-seater stadium to a 60,000-seater arena for football, athletics and cricket. Mayor of Newham Sir Robin Wales said: "We’re pleased the Government has recognised the strength of our bid, which is focused on guaranteeing community benefits for our residents and contributing to a meaningful legacy for east London, the capital and the country.

"We are working with our partners West Ham United on the commercial aspects of our joint bid and look forward to a handover of contracts later this year with the Olympic Park Legacy Company," he added.

Posted on 03/03/2011