The owners of the London Stadium, the London Legacy Development Corporation, have reported further cost issues surrounding the running of the Hammers home ground.
West Ham are currently tenants of the stadium, and pay an annual fee of £4m per year to host football at the former Olympic Stadium in Stratford. The arrangement has been contraversial from the outset, with many fans hoping the club would eventually purchase the stadium outright from the LLDC.
The LLDC’s Lyn Garner, who controls the running of the stadium, has reported once again further losses for the taxpayer and has said that a portion of this was caused by the poor behaviour of fans which had resulted in higher policing and stewarding costs, which West Ham do not incur as part of the agreement.
As reported by the BBC, the crowd issues “cost more than £500,000” whilst general spending “has also increased because of rising energy costs and inflation, amounting to an estimated £4.6m this year.”
Garner also briefed the committee on the continuing delays to obtaining a naming rights agreement for the stadium, a situation which has frustrated West Ham as the LLDC has struggled to find an appropriate sponsor thus losing potentially significant revenue.
The LLDC said it was “confident” of reaching an agreement soon which would bring in an additional £2m per year, however this wasn’t well received as many hope this figure would be much higher.
The ongoing financial issues point further to the belief that ultimately it would be best for all parties if West Ham were to purchase the ground, however this seems some way off with Garner outlining a plan to reduce costs “over the next few years”.