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Stadium losing 190,000 per match, say LLDC

Filed: Wednesday, 13th December 2017
By: Staff Writer

The LLDC have admitted that the Olympic Stadium loses a small fortune every time West Ham United play a match there.

The shocking revelation was just one of many made at a London Assembly Budget Monitoring Sub-Committee meeting this afternoon, chaired by Gareth Bacon, leader of the LA Conservatives.

The London Assembly met to discuss the latest developments with the OS

Bacon, 45, took the London Legacy Development Corporation to task on several accounts regarding their relationship with West Ham - with the corporation's Gerry Murphy bearing the brunt of the questioning and criticism.

In addition to the huge losses encountered every match day, Murphy revealed that the LLDC has refused to sanction an increased capacity until West Ham agreed to increase their contribution to the stadium costs.

Currently capped at 57,000, the club have seen bids to raise capacity to 60,000 and 66,000 rejected as a result of the LLDC's stance - and Murphy confirmed that further legal action would be necessary in order to determine the outcome.

"The concession agreement talks about minimum seating," she said. "There are more seats available in the stadium, however in order to activate those seats it would cost E20 additional operating costs.

"There is a dispute with West Ham about what the contract says in terms of capacity. West Ham have said they absolutely want to increase capacity to 60,000, and further increase the capaity to 66,000.

"LLDC and E20 disagrees with their interpretation of the contract. We feel that if West Ham want to enjoy more seats then they should commensurately pay more - and that's the gist of the disagreement between us which is subject to legal proceedings.

"We have had a number of discussion with West Ham about capacity. Of course it would be good for us to have higher capacity, if we would get a share of that revenue - but that is not what West Ham propose."

The LLDC's Gerry Murphy faced a barrage of questions regarding the loss-making arena

Murphy, who insisted that "West Ham have a great deal" also revealed that the cost of moving seats from to and from football mode, initially budgeted at 50,000 per annum was in the region of 12million last year, largely as a result of the stadium hosting the World Athletics Championships.

"We have been looking at the overall efficacy of the seating system and there are a number of proposals for replacing elements of the seating," she added. "They are in concept design at the moment.

"We expect to see some proposals come forward in the first quarter of next year which may also allow us to reduce the seat move costs. I think we've gone some way already with configurations and some minor amendments of the existing system and there is also a review of the seating system and to see whether there are other things we can do to substantially improve."

And asked by Bacon why the LLDC hadn't entered discussion with West Ham with regard to making the stadium more profitable, Murphy insisted that the club would be heavily involved with their future plans.

"We will be talking to West Ham about all those things, "she replied. "We talk to West Ham all of the time. We are developing a commercial strategy and West Ham will be part of that development."

To which Bacon replied: "It doesn't feel like a partnership arrangement from what I'm hearing today. Partners who are supposed to be working together don't sue each other."

Related News

   arrow   In brief - Thursday's news round-up [22nd Mar 2018]
   arrow   Assembly discuss stadium handover [21st Mar 2018]
   arrow   Sameulsen, Mario, Sullivan & Cullen: Wednesday's news [21st Mar 2018]
   arrow   LLDC set for cross-examination [20th Mar 2018]
   arrow   Stadium losing 190,000 per match, say LLDC [13th Dec 2017]
   arrow   No naming rights deal imminent [2nd Nov 2017]
   arrow   West Ham's legal challenges cost us milions [2nd Nov 2017]
   arrow   No naming rights for the OS [19th Oct 2017]
   arrow   'So when we said 272m...' [14th Dec 2016]
   arrow   71 banned from Olympic Stadium, says Brady [1st Dec 2016]

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