West Ham 'preferred partner' for Olympic Stadium

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Premier League soccer team West Ham has been named ''preferred partner'' in its bid to move into the London Olympic Stadium and will enter into exclusive negotiations over the terms of a 99-year lease.

An agreement to play in the 486 million pound ($783 million) venue collapsed last year, but the east London club won a new bid Wednesday.

West Ham would be moving 2 miles from its 35,000-capacity Upton Park to a stadium downsized from 80,000 seats at the Olympics to 60,000.

The company tasked with securing the Olympic Park's future named West Ham as the ''preferred partner'' while rejecting bids to use the stadium from third-tier club Leyton Orient, a soccer business college and a group hoping to stage Formula One races.

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