Sunday, 1 July 2012

West Ham - Olympic Stadium?

A popular topic of debate among West Ham fans is undoubtedly the Olympic Stadium - Yes or No?

David Gold recently announced that a decision on the move has been delayed until around September time. It had looked as though West Ham had secured a move there but since early this year there has been many obstructions to the proposal from the likes of Tottenham and Leyton Orient. It is beginning to turn into a saga the longer it drags on and the longer it does the less chance there is of West Ham being awarded it, in my opinion. 

Most West Ham fans you speak to will be against the move however David Gold and Karen Brady are constantly insisting this is not the case in polls conducted. The move has both its advantages and disadvantages as most things do. Firstly, it will be easier for most to get to with it being situated very close to Stratford station and with a large number of fans attending from areas near the same line. Obviously its capacity is a good thing, 60,000, most fans will know that these days getting tickets to a game is far from easy and even in the Championship there were a number of sell out games with the lowest attendance being just 25,680 at a midweek game against Middlesbrough where they bought hardly any. West Ham is an unbelievably well supported club and tickets for the play-off final were in huge demand and I feel that we could nearly have filled Wembley ourselves. If we do well in the Premiership then we could easy fill 45,000 each week and probably sell it out some weeks so the increased capacity from the Boleyn is a positive. As much as most people love Upton Park, the facilities at the shiny new Olympic Stadium will inevitably be better and the whole stadium will be more modern and this is another good thing. A final benefit of a move to the stadium will be that, in my opinion, it will attract players. Being able to play in the Olympic Stadium in England is no doubt an achievement and having it as the home ground will no doubt attract players to West Ham, this could help us reach a new era where we are a force in the Premier League whilst challenging for trophies too.

There are many bad points about a move too. One of the most talked about topics of the move is the distance to the pitch. Although there have been claims that retractable seating will be placed over the running track, this has not been set in stone and will only benefit a small proportion of the stadium with the majority still being very far away. Being close to the players is part of what makes a matchday special and the Olympic Stadium might take this away from fans. Another point is that it is very open, for years it has been said that more enclosed and compact stadiums hold a much better atmosphere and great evidence of this is at out present home where many times a season 'bubbles' reaches an earsplitting crescendo that all hammers can be proud of. Perhaps having such an open stadium will let out some of the sound and the atmosphere of a game, for me, is one of the most important things, it is an essential part of the game and should be preserved as much as possible. On a side note, the open stadium will also mean less protection from the rain and wind for spectators which is not crucial but still something to be desired and considered. Possibly the biggest thing about leaving Upton Park would be what we leave behind. Upton Park has lots of history and fans have witnessed countless great games over the years there, it has a place in fans' hearts, many have even had their ashes spread there! Also, the effect on the surrounding area should be considered, bars, markets and other things will massively suffer from no matchday custom.

To conclude, I am strongly against the move, mainly because I love Upton Park - there is something special about it and if we leave we won't just be leaving behind a stadium, we will leave a legacy and that is something rare and difficult to create. Nothing beats going to the Central or Boleyn before a game, getting a traditional hotdog from round the corner or just the buzz you get when you get near to the stadium. 

Please leave a comment whether it be to discuss the article or voice your own opinions on the topic. Also, I have made a poll at the top of the page on the right, please vote to show your views.

Thanks for reading! 


  1. Leaving Upton Park will be a emotional wrench for me persoally BUT when I consider what is best for the long-term future of the the club, its a no brainer, we simply have to move!

    1. Yeah it'll just be a shame to leave it all behind but I suppose it's maybe what's best in the end.

  2. Something special about the atmostphere at Upton Park, especially under the lights, but nothing special about the transport links and facilities. Lets finally give the incredible support a home they deserve.


Please don't post spam comments or adverts or they will be deleted!