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Soccer-West Ham to sell Upton Park after Olympic move

Reuters

Feb 10 (Reuters) - West Ham United have agreed to sell their ground at Upton Park to London developer Galliard Group once they have moved to the Olympic Stadium in 2016, the club announced on Monday.

The club have played at the Boleyn Ground in east London for over 100 years, but will move into the focal point of the 2012 Olympic Games in time for the 2016-17 season.

The stadium, built at a cost of 430 million pounds ($704.96 million), will have a 54,000 capacity once it is converted for use by the club, who have been granted a 99-year lease and will contribute 15 million pounds to conversion work.

"We opted to reach an agreement with Galliard because they are a local London developer and employer with origins in east London," club vice-chairwoman Karren Brady said in a statement on the club website (www.whufc.com).

"We know they are committed to working closely with the local community and Newham Council on proposals to transform the site into a residential and retail village, which will benefit the local community and east London's regional economy.

"The deal demonstrates that we have been true to our word by securing the regeneration of two areas of east London through our move to the Olympic Stadium in 2016."

Galliard plan to build housing, retail and leisure facilities and develop a garden in memory of club icon Bobby Moore.

($1 = 0.6100 British pounds) (Reporting By Josh Reich; Editing by Rex Gowar)

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