23 Mar 2013

Fate of London's Olympic stadium decided

12:56 pm on 23 March 2013

The English Premier League football club West Ham United are to become the main tenants of London's Olympic stadium.

The 80,000 capacity arena in east London, which hosted the athletics events and ceremonies at the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics, will be converted to a 54,000-seat venue in time for the 2016-17 football season.

The long-term future of the 429 million pound venue in Stratford was supposed to have been decided before last year's Games but a series of legal challenges delayed the process.

The stadium will have retractable seats around the pitch, which will allow the 2017 world athletics championships to take place there as planned.

The deal also opens the way for the stadium to be used as a venue for the 2015 Rugby World Cup.

The deal was clinched after the government agreed to put in an extra 25 million pounds towards the 150 million pound cost of converting the venue.