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Football

West Ham to play Juventus in Olympic Stadium opener

New beginnings: The Hammers will face the Italian giants on August 7

West Ham United’s first game in their new London Olympic Stadium home will be a friendly against Italian club Juventus on August 7, the Premier League club said on Monday.

The club leaves the Boleyn Ground, their home since 1904, at the end of the season after agreeing a 99-year lease with the London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC) to rent the London 2012 centrepiece for a reported 2.5 million pounds per season.

“We are delighted to be marking such a monumental day in West Ham United’s history by welcoming one of the world’s biggest clubs to our fantastic new home,” joint-chairmen David Sullivan and David Gold said in a statement.

“It was always our intention to open the new 60,000-capacity Stadium on Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park with a fixture fitting of the occasion, and the visit of the reigning Italian champions Juventus is most certainly that.”

Premier League club West Ham’s move to the stadium, built at a cost of around 500 million pounds, has drawn criticism after details of their rental agreement were revealed recently.

West Ham paid 15 million pounds towards a 270-million-pound re-fit of the stadium, which will also host next year’s IAAF world athletics championships. But they will not be responsible for running costs such as maintaining the pitch, goalposts, floodlights or even pest control and turnstiles.

West Ham will make performance-related payments to the LLDC, rising to 100,000 pounds should they win the league and a further 100,000 pounds if they win the FA Cup.

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