Thursday, June 8

Seven London Stadium questions…

Well, the popcorn has settled on the first season at the London Stadium and according to the club, most season ticket holders have renewed. We all know about the initial problems, although to some extent the segregation and stewarding issues have improved. At times the stadium could seem like a bland soulless bowl when we were getting thrashed at home, though when we beat Chelsea, Palace and Spurs we all tended to forget where we were and it seemed like Upton Park again. It’s now being put back into athletics mode after a series of concerts and we’ve got another 99 years of our lease to try and get it right. A few questions still on my mind are:

Has a satisfactory new company been found to move the retractable stands? The previous company went bankrupt and there was talk of it costing the landlords £8m a year to move the stands.

Is there any way of redesigning/recalibrating the retractable stands so they can come forward a few more feet? That would make the ground seem more enclosed.

The biggest distance from the pitch is the seats at the halfway line. Would it be possible to fit a few more rows of temporary seats around the halfway line to reduce the bowl effect?

Would it be possible to rearrange the advertising hoardings so they were in a square shape? Psychologically that might male the ground feel more like a traditional stadium.

Could the subs and coaches benches be moved close to the managers’ technical areas so that Slaven looks less isolated?

In the long term is there any prospect of lowering the pitch and getting some more seats in if the club offered to help pay for this? And is there a problem with toxic waste if this is done?


With so much TV money coming into football now, how about knocking £1 off all stadium refreshment prices so the fans feel the club is on their side?


Anonymous said...

Retractable stands would be difficult to move even further forward without impacting upon sightlines, and the East Stand wouldn't be able to have the 'kop' infill as if you moved it forward, the back of the infill would obscure the seats in the tier behind. Plus, the gaps between tiers would get bigger + the roof would need to be increased even more.
Digging down would be problematic, time consuming and massively expensive, but probably not impossible, and would of course remove the athletics track. The retention of the track formed the whole basis of the 2nd bid process, the subsequent redesign, is also a commitment as part of the 2012 legacy, and provides the UK with it's only top-class major athletics stadium. Can't see it happening.

Pete May said...

Interesting points. You'r right, don't think the digging down would happen unless West Ham eventually managed to buy the whole stadium or the landlords find athletics loses to much money. Any moving forward would increase the gap between upper and lower tiers, but I wonder if it could be done in just the Betway stand or the ends if the East Stand stays as one Kop? Was only imagining a few feet, but it might make some difference. Though as you say, suspect we'e stuck with it as it is.

Anonymous said...

Nice article. In response to your questions all of the suggestions would not be possible apart from 5,6,7

Anonymous said...

Thought the club have nothing to do with the catering and it is arranged by the stadium owners so if that is the case no reduction in food and drink will be able to be made.