West Ham will pay $3.5 million a year to play in Olympic Stadium

AP Photo/Anthony Charlton

LONDON (AP) West Ham will pay 2.5 million pounds ($3.5 million) each season to play 25 games at the Olympic Stadium.

The company tasked with securing the legacy of the 2012 Olympic sites released the West Ham rental agreement on Thursday after losing a legal fight to keep details secret.

West Ham was awarded a 99-year tenancy from August and had to pay some of the costs to make the 60,000-seat stadium suitable for soccer.

The rent will increase if West Ham plays more than 25 games each season, due to participation in cup competitions.

West Ham’s first season at the stadium coincides with new Premier League television deals that are expected to see clubs earn at least 100 million pounds ($141 million) a year.

Former Leyton Orient chairman Barry Hearn has since commented on the deal, saying, “My dog could have negotiated a better deal for the taxpayer.” During his time as chairman of Orient, Hearn unsuccessfully negotiated with West Ham a ground-share of the Olympic Stadium, and still has many thought on the matter to this day — quotes from the BBC:

“It’s a hugely beneficial deal to West Ham and good luck to them. They’ve negotiated a good deal. I can’t say the same for the LLDC who should go back to negotiation school.

“Frankly it was a hot potato that [London mayor] Boris Johnson and the LLDC wanted to get rid of. They wanted to close a deal at any price and they will say ‘quite rightly because we didn’t have anyone else’.”