Business leaders back Hammers' stadium bid

By Giles Broadbent on September 14, 2012 1:22 PM |

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West Ham have secured the backing of a number of key east London business leaders in their quest to take over the Olympic Stadium.

Liam Kane, chief executive of the East London Business Alliance, and Kevin Murphy, CEO of the Excel Centre in Docklands are just two who have lined up behind the Irons' bid.

Mr Kane said: "West Ham have been at the heart of east London for longer than I care to remember.

"A move to the Olympic Stadium would not only allow all the fans who can't get tickets now to see the games but, more importantly, the jobs generated by the move, would be very welcome to the residents of the area.

"West Ham United's bid to become anchor concessionaires would guarantee a busy stadium on a bi-weekly basis, thus ensuring businesses in the local area continue to flourish.

"Having Premier League football in Stratford would also ensure it keeps its global reputation, which in turn brings greater exposure and value to the commercial appeal of the park.

"West Ham's bid also promises to create hundreds of new jobs to further boost our local economy. Put simply, I cannot see any viable alternative."

Mr Murphy said: "West Ham United have played a pivotal role in the local community for a great many years, making a major contribution to the social regeneration of east London.

"No one is better placed to take hold of the legacy baton after the Games and be at the heart of a lively and busy Olympic Stadium."

West Ham are hot favourites to win the rental deal to be unveiled next month but have still offered a premium price - believed to be £10million a year - to win over doubters at the London Legacy Development Corporation.

Rival bids include a plan to stage Formula One, a bid from Leyton Orient and one from a football business college.

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