West Ham income streams will take a hit in key areas after stadium move, says co-owner David Sullivan

Olympic Stadium 2

West Ham United will be denied crucial extra revenue when they make the move to the Olympic Stadium next summer, according to co-owner David Sullivan.

The club's owners had long banged the drum for the need to move to a bigger stadium.

Sullivan and fellow co-owner David Gold said it was a necessity if West Ham were to grow and compete with the Premier League elite in the future.

The move from their Boleyn Ground home of 112 years will be an emotionally charged one for Hammers fans. It is not something they have taken lightly.

Initial opposition to stadium move waned

Initial opposition from many supporters waned as talk intensified of competing with the best due to the increased revenue the Hammers would generate at the 54,000 seater venue.

But now in an in-depth interview with the Sunday Times – after more than 99% of existing season ticket holders renewed for this season and 15,000 signed up to be on the priority list for new ones at Stratford – Sullivan has revealed revenue will in fact take a big hit in two key areas.

The issues in question are naming rights and catering revenue at the Olympic Stadium.

Sullivan told the Sunday Times: "We’ve given up virtually all the naming rights, which are worth a lot of money.

"The catering income – and we make vast amounts from that at Upton Park – will be shared between us and LLDC."

Two big revenue streams take a hit for Hammers

While the naming rights would have been a bonus, surely it was one of the big draws from a business perspective to enable the club to try and close the gap on the English elite.

The likes of Arsenal and Manchester City negotiated stadium naming rights deals worth hundreds of millions of pounds with airline companies Emirates and Etihad.

With next to nothing coming in from that now closed revenue stream, the Hammers must also factor in the loss of a percentage of their catering income, which again will be a figure in the millions.

The news may come as something of a shock to supporters who also learned from the Sunday Times interview that the base rent being paid by West Ham on the 99-year lease is 'a lot more than has been said' according to Sullivan.

It will leave fans who resisted leaving their spiritual home plenty of cause for concern although others would argue that Sullivan and Gold are shrewd businessman who know what they are doing and deserve the fan's trust.

OLYMPIC STADIUM – DID YOU KNOW:

- The wrap around the stadium will actually be a digital wrap, so it is like one giant screen going all the way around the huge ground.

- West Ham will have the single biggest cantilevered transparent roof in the world which will cover all seats.

- Inside the ground will also be two of the biggest screens around, measuring in at more than 26m each and placed at either end.

- The stadium is obviously a top UEFA Category 4 ground which means it can host all major sports events including World Cup, European Championship and UEFA Champions League and Europa League finals.

- The sightlines have been designed by the same architects responsible for Wembley Stadium and The Emirates, offering unobstructed views of the action from every seat in the stadium.

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