Why is this a good move for West Ham United Football Club?
This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to move to a worldwide, iconic stadium that will offer West Ham United the chance to compete with the very best teams in the country and across Europe.
The multi-million pound conversion will ensure the Olympic Stadium is amongst the world's finest football venues and will hold the prestigious UEFA Category 4 status, without putting a financial burden on the club.
It provides an opportunity to improve the club's fortunes on every level, including opening doors to new revenue opportunities, which will help enable further investment in the team and training facilities so we can achieve our footballing ambitions.
West Ham will be moving to one of the best-connected stadiums in Europe. The DLR station at Stratford International is transforming it into a key transport hub for Newham and east London. In addition Stratford is served by the Central and Jubilee lines on the London Underground as well as London Overground and the high-speed rail service from the city.
The stadium's 54,000-capacity could see us listed amongst the top five attended clubs in the Barclays Premier League and offers a fantastic opportunity to further grow our fan base on a global scale.
What can you tell supporters about the deal?
Together with the London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC) we have agreed commercial terms that include:
• An upfront capital contribution of £15m which, along with a share of naming rights income, will assist with the cost of the overall transformation works.
• An annual rent that delivers an anchor tenant to ensure the stadium's long-term viability.
• The deal has been structured in a way that secures affordable rent for the duration of the 99-year tenancy.
The draft agreement we have signed is still subject to many things, including planning permission, and for us, our supporter consultation.
We were happy to confirm that we would make a windfall payment to the LLDC above an agreed base case in the event we sold the club in the next ten years as we do not plan to do so. We have no intention of selling the club.
The Olympic Stadium will never cost the club more than we can afford and the Chairmen have personally guaranteed payments to the stadium if the club cannot.
How will ticket pricing be structured?
As a Board we have always been committed to offering affordable family football and the increased capacity opens up many new opportunities to support this initiative.
There will be more affordable seats and more entry-level pricing but we will also be able to offer the more premium products that our current stadium cannot offer at present.
We have already gauged the thoughts of many of our Season Ticket Holders and, now the plans are in the public domain, we can consult them further on the likes of a migration policy, price, location and additional benefits.
The move will ensure the club is more accessible to our existing supporters, plus it will be more attractive to key groups - families and female supporters in particular - to name a few.
When do West Ham United envisage playing their first game at the Olympic Stadium?
The club intend to kick-off their 2016/17 campaign from the Olympic Stadium. It is envisaged that there will be a couple of pre-season test fixtures such as a Bobby Moore Cup friendly ahead of the season start.
What will the capacity be?
When will supporters be able to share their opinions?
Following feedback from supporters we appointed recognised independent company YouGov to poll supporters' opinions in relation to the move and conduct consultation. Supporters who meet the required criteria will be invited to participate in the supporter poll via email and whufc.com from Tuesday 23rd April.
Vice Chairman, Karren Brady has actively encouraged all supporters to take part and make sure they do not waste the once in a lifetime opportunity to have their say on what is set to be the biggest decision to be made by the club in the last 100 years.
The poll will enable the club to fully understand supporters' feelings and opinions towards the move so we can respond accordingly.
We thank you again for your patience throughout this process.
Will current Season Ticket Holders be given priority at the Olympic Stadium?
Absolutely. Ensuring we have a fair and transparent migration policy is of paramount importance to everyone at the club. We are keen to work with our supporters as part of our consultation process to make sure we carry this out in the way you would want and expect. Season Ticket Holders, along with Bond Holders, are our most loyal supporters and our first priority when it comes to general admission seating. Likewise our existing seasonal Corporate Members will have priority in respect of the new hospitality areas.
Will match tickets be more affordable and accessible?
We are offering up to 100,000 free tickets per season that will ensure some of the most deprived children in the country will gain access to elite sport and drive an increase in sports participation. As a Board we have always been committed to offering affordable family football and the increased capacity opens up so many new opportunities to support this initiative. There will be more affordable seats and more entry-level pricing but we are unable to determine more detailed pricing structures at this stage. The move will ensure the club is more accessible to a wider section of supporters and we are confident that our attendances will regularly be in the top five in the country.
Did the club look at the possibility of redeveloping the East Stand?
Yes, and in great depth. First and foremost we could not have achieved a capacity anything like on the scale of the Olympic Stadium by going with this option. There are a variety of reasons why it wasn't deemed to be feasible. It's not just a simple case of investment and growth in respect of the Boleyn Ground, but the surrounding infrastructure simply does not support stadium growth to the level we are seeking. Upon investigation it was clear this was not a viable alternative.
Can we take the 'The Champions' sculpture with us?
Yes, if that's what our supporters want, we certainly have that option. Talks are underway with the LLDC and Newham Council to decide the best option to honour our West Ham and England legends in both locations. We are committed to providing a fitting tribute to the men who played such an important role in the club's history. Ultimately we want our supporters to determine what we take with us and this will form a huge part of our ongoing consultation.
Will the Olympic Stadium site feel like West Ham United's permanent home with a full-time Ticket Office and Club Store etc?
Yes. The stadium will have the look and feel of West Ham's home ground all year round. This includes a fully operating Ticket Office and Club Store managed by West Ham United staff just as is the case at the Boleyn Ground now.
When can we see more artist's impressions and designs?
Three artist's impressions are already available in the public domain. These are the official architects' computer-generated images that have been supplied to us by the LLDC. We also have a series of drawings that demonstrate more fully some of the technical aspects, which can be found on whufc.com. These are the drawings which have been shown to key groups such as the squad, management staff, Supporter Advisory Board, Supporters' Club and a number of former players to name a few. Up until this point only physical copies have been available hence why they could not be distributed more widely. We will now share all drawings and images with you as they are generated.
What is the Desso pitch that the stadium will have? Does that mean it's artificial?
Desso surfaces are recognised globally as the optimum in pitch technology and will serve the proposed multi-use functionality perfectly. Desso is currently used at most major sporting venues including Twickenham and the Emirates and the majority of pitches used in the World Cup in South Africa were also Desso. The pitch quality will be second to none with under soil heating, drainage and the all-new Desso field of play. This is the pitch that the Boleyn Ground has had since 1998 where it has on three occasions been nominated pitch of year. A Desso pitch will ensure a consistent surface for the full Premier League season. Head groundsman Dougie Robertson assures us it is a 'phenomenal product'.
Will there be improved catering facilities at the Olympic Stadium?
Absolutely. The catering facilities on offer in and around the Olympic Stadium will be world-class.
We have looked at many of the other top stadia both around the UK and internationally including those you may be familiar with such as Wembley and the Emirates. Our intended offer will at least match, if not exceed the best in the market.
Many of the frustrations our supporters experience at the Boleyn Ground, such as the limited choices on offer, are as a direct result of the infrastructure restrictions in a stadium of this age.
This is not the case with a modern state-of-the-art stadium that is being designed with all the knowledge and experience required to understand and meet ever-expanding modern day supporter needs.
The catering outlets and kiosks in the transformed UEFA Category 4 stadium will be brought onto the podium to form part of the main stadium, as you would expect from a world-class arena.
The new stadium also enables a 'Club Level offering' for supporters and their families who still wish to enjoy a more traditional matchday experience but require access to a lounge, hot food and drinks.
What will happen to the ashes at the Memorial Garden at the front of the Boleyn Ground?
The club has been mindful of this consideration throughout this process and can assure all supporters that we will treat this situation with the utmost sensitivity and respect deserved by our departed supporters who are resting or remembered in the Memorial Garden.
We believe any action must be in line with the wishes of the families involved. There is no comprehensive list which details those who are rested, so we will be reaching out to the families we are not yet already in dialogue with asking them to get in touch.
We are in full consultation with the club's chaplain Reverend Alan Bolding regarding this matter.
What will happen to the commemorative bricks?
We will take supporters' personalised messages over to the Olympic Stadium with us but because many of the existing bricks are showing signs of wear and tear it's likely messages will be transcribed again. We appreciate their sentiment and, for many fans, they've been given as gifts to friends and family, and therefore we are keen to find a new home for them in Stratford.
Will international supporters be given the chance to participate in the survey?
Supporters living abroad who are on the club's database and fit the criteria of either holding a high level relationship with the club or match attendance will also be offered the opportunity to have their say when the survey is released.
Would the club consider opening a West Ham United museum at the Olympic Stadium?
Although there are no plans as yet to open a West Ham United museum within the stadium, all of the club's memorabilia and trophies will be coming with us and will be displayed for all to enjoy with the pride and reverence they deserve.
When does the lease begin?
West Ham will relocate to the Olympic Stadium in time for the start of the 2016/17 season, but we will not move until we are satisfied that the stadium is ready for football and for us to host our first match. There are extensive redevelopment works to be completed so that the stadium is able to host major footballing events. We have worked hard to agree a specification for the works and we will ensure they are implemented before we relocate.
Will the move create potential opportunities for local construction firms?
West Ham United will look to appoint a fit out contractor with strong knowledge of the club to ensure that all areas suitably reflect its heritage and history.
All major contracts will be led by the stadium SPV (Special Purpose Vehicle). We advise companies to make direct contact with the SPV when appropriate as the club will not be responsible for appointing construction companies to carry out the main conversion work.
Will there be parking facilities for supporters on a match day?
There will be ample parking opportunities for those supporters who wish to drive to the stadium on a match day and there are still potential partnerships to be explored with the likes of Westfield.
However one of the core benefits of the move is that the venue is one of the most well-connected stadiums in Europe so there will be plenty of easy alternative ways to travel on public transport to the ground on a match day.
This was one of the key aspects that attracted the club to the stadium, as it will ensure easy access - within minutes in many cases - from our core catchment areas throughout Essex and east London.
It is already served by the second best-connected station in London and nine lines across London's Overground and tube network, with Crossrail set to be added by 2017.
How will the move benefit the local community?
We are offering up to 100,000 free tickets per season that will ensure some of the most deprived children in the country will gain access to elite sport and drive an increase in sports participation.
Our award-winning community department will continue to operate multi- sport, educational and cultural activities to deliver the legacy we have always promised and to encourage youngsters to lead healthy active lifestyles.
What will happen to the Supporters' Club?
The E20 LLP (a joint venture between the LLDC and Newham Council) will be tasked with the letting of other concessions in the Stadium and the LLDC will also be tasked with the letting of units in and round the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.
It is our understanding that while some of these units will be let by, for example, the catering partner, that consideration is being given to ensuring that there are both small local business and community uses.
The Club has met with members of the Supporters' Club and has championed their case to the relevant members of the E20 LLP. Club officials have met with key officials from the committee and discussions regarding how the Club can further support the Supporters' Club are ongoing.
Will the stadium naming rights be sold?
Yes, it is the intention that the stadium naming rights will be sold. This is fast becoming the expectation of any big club with a stadium of the stature that would attract a naming rights partner.
It is apparent from those Premier League elite clubs that already have a stadium with a naming rights partner that it does not in any way adversely impact upon the Club's ability to retain its sense of identity.
Are matchday travel discounts a possibility?
It has always been our vision that the Club will play its part in ensuring that the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park becomes a day-out 'destination' to the benefit of its visitors and most importantly for our supporters.
This was a key feature of West Ham United's bid. Discussions are underway with the area's key stakeholders to fully explore the cross-marketing possibilities with the Park's stakeholders to ensure it becomes a thriving success and its regular visitors can benefit.
If the Club get relegated, will the Olympic Stadium tenancy agreement impact on the Club financially?
The core focus of our Board strategy is to ensure West Ham United remains a Premier League club.
As a Board we acknowledge that the Stadium must have a team that befits it. We have extensive business experience and are absolutely astute when it comes to managing the Club's finances both as its custodians and to create the revenue required to pay down the debt and invest in the squad and its development. We take our responsibility very seriously.
The Club's turnover has grown year on year since 2010. By the time we play our first match turnover is forecast to have doubled since 2010.
The Club will ALWAYS be able to afford its annual rent. Whilst we do not intend to focus on relegation, the deal is structured in such a way that the annual usage fee is reduced should the Club be relegated.
Where will the away supporters sit?
While we have identified some options for the away supporters' area, this is one of the key areas that we want to consult with our supporters about.
The areas identified will of course be as a result of operational considerations, such as segregation and access. We have already received some fantastic suggestions.
Our priority must be our own home supporters and their matchday experience. We are aware that the atmosphere at the stadium will form a key part of their enjoyment of the matchday experience. We are also keen to create a ground that visiting supporters want to travel to for us to proudly host them and to enhance the overall atmosphere.
Will there be better facilities such as WCs etc than at present?
Categorically yes. Many of the issues experienced at the Boleyn Ground due to the infrastructure and age of the stadium will be resolved by the stadium move. The ability to offer a world-class modern football stadium with all the associated amenities for our supporters was a key driver for the move due to the restrictions in developing the current stadium.
The Boleyn Ground has 283 WCs while the Olympic Stadium will have 995. It will also have more than double the number of food and catering units than at the Boleyn Ground.
Will there be an opportunity to honour legends such as Billy Bonds and Geoff Hurst?
Absolutely, and this is an essential part of our plans to make the stadium our home.
We have already confirmed that we will once again be able to name a stand after our legends Bobby Moore and Sir Trevor Brooking and there are also other exciting tributes for former players that will be announced soon. This again is the kind of consultation that we intend to have with supporters once we have gauged their overall feelings towards the move - who would they like to see honoured and how?
Will the Club offices be there?
Yes, the Club offices will of course need to move to the Stadium to offer a year-round location from which to run the Club and service our supporters.
Does the Club lose out commercially by being a tenant?
No, one of the main benefits of the move is that that Club will have a platform from which, with our sustained hard work and commitment, we are able to grow our revenue.
This will be without having to carry the burden of further debt which would follow if we were to the make the initial significant outlay for a new stadium. For West Ham United this opportunity would simply have not been possible any other way.
Not only do we have a unique opportunity to continue paying down our debt but with attendances which could regularly top 50,000 and a further 1,000 hospitality places, the Club has a real opportunity to grow.
The Club also retains all commercial control and revenue from its own assets such as shirt sponsorship, retail and ticketing. It will also take a share of catering income and naming rights.
The hard work we have put in to grow our business year on year as we have since 2010 will need to continue, but the move presents a real platform for us to move the Club to new levels.
This revenue would be re-invested in the squad, youth development and facilities to achieve our footballing ambitions.
Will local businesses such as pie and mash shops be able to move?
This will be down to the individual businesses. They are all privately owned so they will need to decide whether they want to relocate with the Club or not.
There are numerous retail and catering opportunities available in and around the park and the Club would encourage any local business that wants to move with the Club to explore those options.
As above the E20 LLP (a joint venture between the LLDC and Newham Council) will be tasked with the letting of other concessions in the Stadium and the LLDC will also be tasked with the letting of units in and round the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.
It is our understanding that while some of these units will be let by, for example, the catering partner that consideration is being given to a strategy that ensures there are both small local business and community uses.