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West Ham join Olympic Stadium mystery

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Mihir Bose | 20:10 UK time, Tuesday, 23 September 2008

stratford438.jpg

West Ham are to hold talks with government officials in October to discuss a possible move to the Olympic Stadium in Stratford after the 2012 Games.

The idea has been revived following much debate as to the stadium's post-Olympic use, with a debate sparked following Boris Johnson's election as Mayor of London and his decision to have an in-depth look at the Olympic project and in particular its legacy uses.

Insiders say the West Ham talks are at a very preliminary stage and do not mean the club would move there and that they are part of a wider consultation.

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However the fact is West Ham's plans to move to the Parcel Force site - land which had been earmarked for a new stadium - have run into difficulties, with the development complicated.

This, combined with the worries created by the credit crunch, and fears of how the post Olympic use of the facilities would be funded, has reopened the whole issue of a football club moving to the site.

That the option of a Premier League use for the stadium has remerged at all shows how the whole question of Olympic legacy has changed in the last few months.

Previously the idea of a Premier League club using the site had seemed dead and buried.

Several London clubs had been canvassed, with West Ham and Tottenham, both of whom are looking for new homes, the front-runners.

The use by a Premier League side was much favoured in the government, in particular by the then sports minister Richard Caborn.

It was widely recognised only a Premier League club would provide the revenue necessary to fund the stadium after 2012.

But for various reasons the plans did not fly. Tottenham were not keen to go to a stadium which has an athletics track and although the West Ham option was much canvassed by Sir Robin Wales, the Newham mayor and devoted West Ham fan, and the club's owners were receptive, it got nowhere.

The result was that it was decided to build an 80,000 stadium, which would be scaled back to 25,000 after the Games.

This would provide an athletics stadium for London as promised when the capital bid for the Games. The problem since then has been to find viable tenants, although many have been canvassed, including Leyton Orient and rugby club Saracens.

With work on the stadium having already started there is need for a quick resolution.
One possibility being discussed is that after the Games the stadium would be scaled back not to 25,000 but 50,000, which would make it attractive for a Premier League club.

As for the running track there could be retractable seating like the Stade de France in Paris.

However all this would cost money, possibly £200m, and a Premier League club would have to find it and in the current economic climate that will not be easy.

A club like West Ham would undoubtedly like a type of deal similar to the one Manchester City obtained when they got the City of Manchester Stadium built for the Commonwealth Games for a rent on very favourable terms.

How easy the government would find it do such a deal and still fulfil its promise to have an athletics stadium for London are the legacy questions at the forefront of the current debate.

Comments

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  • 1. At 08:17am on 24 Sep 2008, Voice_of_commonsense wrote:

    Of course a Premier League club should be able to afford a stadium of this calibre providing it maintains its status in the league - what happens if it get relegated or Sky turn off the tv funding taps? (after all they, with their 'monopoly' could do that and then the money in the game could be vastly reduced from other tv companies!) The issue of the athletics track did not affect the original Wembley (cinder/dog track) and retractable seating would afford the luxury of both a modern football and athletics stadia. The cost of this option should be cheaper than a stand-alone purpose built stadium with associated land purchase costs etc.

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  • 2. At 08:51am on 24 Sep 2008, Gunner Do you All wrote:

    Not sure this article has actually answered any questions really just added to the mystery. You could of at least got some quotes or comments from interested parties rather than stating ifs and buts! Pointless article!

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  • 3. At 09:32am on 24 Sep 2008, super pig sufc wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 4. At 09:51am on 24 Sep 2008, englandcomeon wrote:

    seems a tad silly the article.

    Isn't this just pandering to the football clubs that seem to have money to burn when it comes to players, but if they can get a state of the art stadium paid for by the taxpayers they take it with open arms.

    Of course a EPL team can afford 200 million, after all it's about a quarter of the cost of the disasterous "New Wembley".

    Purpose built stadiums are out, especially if the taxpayer is footing the bill.

    These stadiums need to be used for concerts and all other sorts of events to make them pay.

    If a football club want a purpose built "football stadium", then they will have to build it themselves.

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  • 5. At 10:02am on 24 Sep 2008, Quick_Single wrote:

    Having worked for the company leading the consultation on the Olympic stadium, I can say that things aren't any advanced now than they have been for some time.

    The same issues exist - commitment to athletics legacy use, lack of a viable stadium tenant other than Premier League football - and the community use/wider elite sports use of the building.

    It won't get resolved until someone throws a lot of money at it.

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  • 6. At 10:08am on 24 Sep 2008, abou27 wrote:

    A new stadium is clearly for the long term. Therefore, it is vital, in my opinion, that it is built specifically for the football club's purposes so that it may incorporate its identity.

    Obviously, this cannot be the case if we're talking about inhabiting the Olympic stadium.

    As a West Ham fan, I sincerely hope this doesn't happen. I would rather the original planned development of the East Stand at UP which would give us a reasonable capacity without moving to an atmosphere free bowl.

    Let's hope they get the Parcelforce depot plans back in motion, though!

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  • 7. At 10:18am on 24 Sep 2008, Nick wrote:

    If a EPL team does actually move into the Olympic Stadium I think it could do them more harm than good in the first place. It will be a bit like when Arsenal moved to Wembley for Champion League games when they were at Highbury. All the other teams were so motivated to play there that it never worked out for them.

    This good be the same thing for teams playing at the Olympic Stadium.

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  • 8. At 10:38am on 24 Sep 2008, Richyburger wrote:

    I disagree with football teams moving into stadiums built with taxpayers money on principle.
    Look at the other clubs in the league, Arsenal for example had to cut back on their spending to fund their new stadium and now West Ham might get a better one than they could ever hope to build for almost nothing. I disagreed with it for Man City (now they are mega rich maybe they should pay a lot more rent for it!) and I disagree with it now.
    After all what if your a club that comes from a city where the government aren't going to build any fantastically over budget stadiums anytime soon, not exactly fair is it.

    Not that Weest Ham could fill an 80 or 50 thosuand seater stadium so the atmosphere would be rubbish!

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  • 9. At 10:42am on 24 Sep 2008, mblmbl wrote:

    It makes sense to have a football club use the stadium after the olympics as it will provide a revenue stream from rent, but also it will mean London has an athletics track capable of hosting European and World Athletics championships with a large crowd capacity. Also, as the two seasons don't really coincide with each other, it should be a good move for everyone.

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  • 10. At 11:42am on 24 Sep 2008, t0mmy99 wrote:

    I liked the blog for the fact that it starts a debate , just like it should do, it doesnt have to answer any questions likke someone previously suggested!!

    My view on it is that they promised for an athletics legacy after the olympics so they need to ensure there is an athletica venue!! but i not sure how realistic this would be but if west ham were to move in to the olympic stadium could they not just turn upton park into an athletics ground?>???

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  • 11. At 12:03pm on 24 Sep 2008, ViewFromThePaddock wrote:

    Interesting that this subject is raised in the same week West Ham look to have been hit with a £30m law suit.

    Hadn't the club previously rejected the chance to move to the Olympic Stadium?

    But now, with a massive pay-out looming, does it suddenly seem like good business to sell Upton Park and pay rent on a bought-and-paid-for stadium, like Man City did?

    What's key for me, though, is that the Olympic Stadium remains an athletics venue - top flight football clubs generate enough money to pay for their own all singing, all dancing stadiums whereas athletics needs funding from Olympics, governments and such to get new facilities.

    To lose the Olympic Stadium as an athletics venue would be GB's first defeat of the Games.

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  • 12. At 12:07pm on 24 Sep 2008, Isle Of Bute wrote:

    Just as an interesting aside, did you know that an anagram of "West Ham United" is "The New Stadium"?

    How appropriate is that!

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  • 13. At 12:14pm on 24 Sep 2008, In Zola We Trusted - Next Up The Undertaker wrote:

    This piece adds a bit more weight to the argument rather than adding to the mystery.

    http://www.kumb.com/article.php?id=2478

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  • 14. At 12:53pm on 24 Sep 2008, David Haskins wrote:

    IsleofButeFootyFan - you've just come up with the perfect name for the new stadium lol
    In all seriousness, if a Premier league football club can't afford to finance the stadium who can? Blackheath Harriers????

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  • 15. At 1:17pm on 24 Sep 2008, Quick_Single wrote:

    The big issue for WHU for me would be the nature of the agreement if a leasing arrangement took place.

    Posters are right to point out this is a bit of a hot potato politically and even though an Iron, i can't see a genuine reason why taxpayers' money should be spent on our stadium, if that's all it is.

    The other big issue (also mentioned above) is the need for the stadium to sweat 365 days a year - this means conferences, hotels, community usage etc etc. I can't see a situation where the funding partners wouldn't expect/demand a sizable chunk of this operational income, so would we be better off?

    It is technically feasible for the stadium to be demountable to the extent that it could be used for big athletics meets on an occasional basis (like the Grand Prix) but this costs money, and has to be designed in at the outset - hence why this has to be sorted out now, rather than in 2013.

    The Man City arrangement is a bit different because of course, Newlands has been permanently converted to football use.

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  • 16. At 1:19pm on 24 Sep 2008, bluedun71 wrote:

    Football and athletics do not work in the same stadium. As someone who is old enough to regularly go to a Stamford Bridge which had a running/dog track around it I can tell the experience is remote. The site lines are just too distant.

    Part of the thrill of the current game is the intimacy of the grounds. Even the new Wembley manages to achieve this.

    I suspect that at the heart of this issue is the old problem of not enough people attending athletics events. I am sure the part of the reason for this is that most of the action takes place such along way away.

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  • 17. At 1:31pm on 24 Sep 2008, Pompey_Addick wrote:

    Another possible angle on this of course, especially considering the money being thrown at cricket these days, is maybe it could be used as the new London cricket stadium - close in the roof, and have a 50,000 capacity for tests and 20/20 - and possible allow Essex to use it too. Would solve the problem of not being able to develop the Oval and also bring Essex into the 21st century stadium wise.

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  • 18. At 1:51pm on 24 Sep 2008, cynicaloldb wrote:

    Good article. One thing that is bothering me is that there are never that many winners in the dream number draw every week. That suggests that they are not selling that many tickets. The profits from Dream Number were to go towards the cost of the Olympics. Is there a target figure for the amount raised at any time eg £2.50 by December 2008 and is anybody responsible for checking that targets are reached. Remember when George Osbourne comes looking for £x00 million pounds in extra tax in his 2011 budget that you heard it here first. Mr Bose, anybodies comments, eg SEB Coe, would be welcome

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  • 19. At 2:15pm on 24 Sep 2008, pontoon_g117 wrote:

    It is no surprise to me that this issue is coming back into focus again. Quite apart from the economic downturn and all that, I have never been convinced that the proposed post-Games arrangements for the Olympic Stadium made sense.

    The need for a top-class athletics venue in London is blindingly obvious and has been for a long, long time. Crystal Palace is old and tired and needs a lot of money spending on it, so the idea of a replacement venue which was slightly larger than the Palace has some logic in that sense.

    But what if you want to host a major championship again? You've either got to put in temporary seating to bring the Olympic Stadium up to the necessary capacity or put a track in at Wembley, potentially meaning you can't use Wembley for a lengthy period of time before and after the event. And there is no real need for another, permanent 80,000+ capacity stadium in the capital.

    I've always believed that a stadium with a capacity of between 50 and 60,000 and retractable seating so that you can maintain the running track, represented the best option after the Games. Yes it may cost money to do but you will get more out of it in the long term without spending more cash further down the line. Let's get on with it.

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  • 20. At 2:16pm on 24 Sep 2008, djy1984 wrote:

    I have been a lifelong hammers fan and to see them move from Upton Park is the last thing I want to see!

    I hope as many hammers fans I hope that we can develop the East Stand and then increase our capacity to around 45000. Too much was spent on the Dr Martins stand just to let it all go to a stadium that might hold 50000 after the olympics, they havent decided!

    Give it to Leyton Orient, I will be disappointed should West Ham make the move as I dont think there is a better place than Upton Park!

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  • 21. At 2:17pm on 24 Sep 2008, Tim Wagg wrote:

    We are all companing about the amount of money which is floating around football today. We have Man Utd charge £41 for a League Cup game, QPR £50 for some games and Leeds down in League One wanting £30.

    What kind of message are we giving out if we start handing out stadiums to clubs who already turn over millions, rip of the fans and generally are immoral to the very people who support them.

    Manchester City were lucky enough to be the only team to fill that stadium back in 2002 but with the competition being that it is how to decide between the two. Is Leyton Orient going to fill 25,000 a week...? For that will West Ham fill 50,000 a week when they have to charge forty plus pounds a week.

    There has been much talk about the olympics and where the funding is going, why not use the venue as an athletic stadia and rent it out for concerts etc rather than give it away 'renting' at a very low rate, waiting for the next billionaire to come along and reep the rewards.

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  • 22. At 3:00pm on 24 Sep 2008, Sciatika wrote:

    They take away the playing fields (so much for youth football/rugby). They steal two large areas of allotments from people who probably have no garden to speak. They take a sizeable chunk of the Lea Valley - an area of special scientific interest (so much for our environment). And the pave it.

    They allow the only olympic size swimming in East London to be shortlisted for closure (so much for children getting into competitive swimming) because the Olympics are taking the funding. They are closing down Arts Centres, Galleries, Museums and Theatres in East London (because Arts and Sport funding comes from the same pot).

    Then they take millions of pounds from the pockets of Londoners to build a stadium that noone actually wants.

    Just recently, in my part of London, E17, which is just up the road from the Olympic site, they have decided to show it live on-screen in the town centre because they've already realised that no-one is going to be able to afford the ticket prices to actually get in to see any of it. We didn't win the Olympic bid, we lost it.

    If the Olympics won't pay for itself, then its time to scale down the Olympics, in my opinion.

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  • 23. At 3:11pm on 24 Sep 2008, LO_ALL wrote:

    to the question "is Leyton Orient going to fill a 25,000 seater stadium"
    of course they will - by 2012 they will be a Premiership side

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  • 24. At 3:27pm on 24 Sep 2008, Liverpool_DSY wrote:

    the whole idea of moving into a new stadium erases te good memories of the old one(if there are any). e.g Arsenal, have been in highbury for over a 100 years and then move to emirates stadium. all those great memories are gone.the last EPL title at least is. and 200m pounds isnt much for a prem club, a bank loan can help.

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  • 25. At 4:23pm on 24 Sep 2008, thOldhamFox wrote:

    Sounds like a dog dinner in the making. The tower cranes are now on site and it would appear that fundamental issues such as football to take precedence or athletics? 25,000 or 50,000 seats? retractable seating or not? have yet been finalised! Surely the final development will be compromised if these issues have not been finalised at this stage!

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  • 26. At 4:28pm on 24 Sep 2008, Tea Time At Harrods wrote:

    I think it is an excellent idea for WHU to move to a facility with an athletic track encircling the pitch.At least the opposition could get a sweat up whilst they are watching Ashton and Bellamy shoot repeatedly in to the stands.The only proviso is that a premiership club is needed to occupy it to make it financially viable post 2012-i wouldn't bet on either WHU and certainly not Spurs being in the top flight by then.

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  • 27. At 4:35pm on 24 Sep 2008, lochee_celtic wrote:

    Sky turn off the tv funding taps?

    Voice_of_commonsense if this was ever to happen and I struggle to think of a way in which sky would be involved in such a move unless it was forced upon them. The last thing that anyone in the EPL would have to worry about would be a new ground the EPL ball would be well and truly burst and what would survive after this year zero moment would be very different from what we have at the moment.

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  • 28. At 4:55pm on 24 Sep 2008, Stephen wrote:

    The history of the modern Olympiad is littered with disused and underused facilities built at public expense. Allowing a major football club to use the main Olympic stadium after the London games is vital to perpetuate their legacy in the East End. London’s previous mayor was ill-disposed toward football, largely on political grounds, and therefore dragged this sensible proposal off the agenda. He therefore takes his place amongst the pantheon of wild-eyed dreamers that have saddled so many countries’ taxpayers with the Olympic curse.

    At a time when many people are working purposefully to recreate Olympic football participation in this country, it is right that the lasting legacy of the Olympic should be maintained at least in part by the East End’s most important football club. West Ham can confidently be expected to fill a 50,000 seater stadium on a regular basis.

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  • 29. At 6:29pm on 24 Sep 2008, jeditoast wrote:

    I don't get why its such a 'bad' move to move into the Olympic stadium because it might get the opposition more motivated to do well?

    AS Roma play in the olympic stadium as do a german team i'm forgetting the name of now. I think it was Bayern, before they got the new one made for the World Cup in 06.

    Playing in a national stadium is a matter of immense pride and West Ham should be proud to continue the Olympic legacy...

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  • 30. At 6:36pm on 24 Sep 2008, AnotherEngineer wrote:

    It seems mad to me that anyone is thinking about using the Olympic Staduim site for athletics after 2012. If you do then you are essentially spending huge amounts of money to put lots of temporary seats in/out or put in moveable seats etc just to make Crystal Palace totally redundant. Far better IMHO to offer the stadium converted to sole football use (in a similarly clever way to the City of Manchester Stadium) to either West Ham or Tottenham at a reasonable price and then use some of the saved money to build a dedicated athletics facility at Crystal Palace. That would leave an Olympic Park that was regularly busy enough to support a vibrant community and an permanent legacy for athletics in a track with a suitable capacity that was solely for them, rather than a crumbling stadium in one part of east London twinned with a sparkly white elephant in another!

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  • 31. At 7:03pm on 24 Sep 2008, stopthepress wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 32. At 8:24pm on 24 Sep 2008, thebigfashXI wrote:

    The Olympic Stadium in Sydney is now known as the Telstra, and houses Rugby League games, Aussie Rules games etc. Their model is one we should have followed all along.

    Aye, the Olympic Stadium in Rome gets used by AS Roma and SS Lazio - two Serie A sides.

    The Olympic Stadium in Barcelona gets used by the Andorran national side!

    The Munich Olympic Stadium was used by 1860 Munchen and Bayern Munchen untill 2006, and is still used for everything from pop concerts, stadium snow boarding and pornography conferences - no kidding!

    So the idea of a debate over who should move in should not exist - Spurs and West Ham should both move in, they can sell their current grounds. T

    Or - they can use them in a deal with Boris Johnson. They get a new ground, and White Hart Lane and Upton Park get used for green sites.

    Cricket has two homes in London - and don't attract substantial crowds over the year. Rugby Union has a home, as do the FA and the Rugby League uses Wembley/Old Trafford.
    Athletics has Crystal Palace and doesn't attract enough fans -
    they should keep the full capacity and use it as a premiership stadium for Spurs and West Ham.

    Come to think of it - they should have just done a Stade De Francais to Wembley - is it too late...

    The Olympics in London really is a joke in my book. I am a bitter Scot - and I am slightly upset at not just the money being thrown at it.

    There is Twickenham, Wembley, Lords, Emirates, etc etc... in London - the Olympics should have thought about hiring one of them, redeveloping if necessary - raising the floor of the stadium if necessary.

    Or they should have thought about hosting the Olympics in Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool or Glasgow - Sydney is not the capital of Australia, Munich is not the capital of Germany, Barcelona is not the capital of Spain, Atlanta..........

    Liverpool and Everton, Aston Villa/Birmingham...

    "Club Rivalry" wouldn't allow it? What about a brand spanking new state of the art stadium? I think they would see sense.

    But it looks like games are going to be in London - so Spurs and West Ham, move in, it makes sense.

    Hope I don't spark a massive debate between Spurs and Hammers fans....


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  • 33. At 8:33pm on 24 Sep 2008, SuperStrikerShivam wrote:

    The Hammers shall have to improve their team first of all, by getting in the top 4, and no club in London actually has 'London' in it, so create a club or give it to them. OR NOT.

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  • 34. At 10:26pm on 24 Sep 2008, tarquin wrote:

    11. ViewFromThePaddock

    What's key for me, though, is that the Olympic Stadium remains an athletics venue - top flight football clubs generate enough money to pay for their own all singing, all dancing stadiums whereas athletics needs funding from Olympics, governments and such to get new facilities.

    ---

    I think that raises an interesting point, almost every sport raises its own capital and builds a purpose built stadium, and yet the olympics/athletics needs the government to do it

    enough people go through the gate week in, week out, or watch on tv to fund these massive football clubs - athletics only gets its moment in the sun during the olympics or one of the other rare well-known athletics meets - few are 'big' in the public mind - football, rugby, tennis, f1, horses all have to do it themselves - tho of course wimbledon does quite well out of only 2 weeks a year

    not saying it's right or wrong, i just noticed that when it comes to athletics we have to rely on government to provide facilities and find it an interesting concept - of course that may be a good thing to prevent rampant capitalism taking over athletic endeavour, or one might see it as throwing money at events that simply don't garner enough regular interest

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  • 35. At 01:55am on 25 Sep 2008, elicolu wrote:

    The former Telstra Stadium in Sydney, now known as the ANZ stadium is not a great example of how to use an Olympic stadium. The Rugby League teams who play there do so because of the financial incentives offered by the stadium management. It is largely unpopular with the supporters, as it is difficult to get to, spectators are far from the action, and there is no atmosphere given the half empty stadium. It looks awful on TV to see stands empty while top quality Rugby League takes place on the pitch. The stadium is far from the clubs' traditional heartlands, and is the most unpopular in the league.

    Aussie Rules is a minority sport in Sydney, which the AFL are trying to change by buying the ANZ stadium for a new franchise beginning in about 2012 (I think). The Sydney Swans (Aussie Rules) finals game against North Melbourne recently drew a record low crowd.

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  • 36. At 02:03am on 25 Sep 2008, julianoflavenham wrote:

    The solution is simple. Sell the Olympic Stadium to West Ham which Leyton Orient could be given a 50 year rental agreement to share on preferential terms. Let West Ham sell Upton Park for residential development to help pay to transform the stadium into a proper football stadium as happened in Manchester. That would leave Brisbane Road to be transformed into an 20,000 Athletics stadium supported by public money. Everyone becomes a winner?

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  • 37. At 04:25am on 25 Sep 2008, qldosfan wrote:

    If the Hammers move to the new stadium it would virtually kill off the O's. Maybe they should amalgamate and sell off both grounds?
    Sad to see as I have supported the O's since a boy, but such is progress.

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  • 38. At 10:03am on 25 Sep 2008, Baldinio wrote:

    I hope the East Stand can be extended, second option the Parcel Force site.

    I can't see why the country needs a 25,000 seater athletics stadium post 2012. The biggest athletics meeting this country, post the 2008 Olympics only had an attendance of 7,000 and I didn't hear stories of 18,000 people being turned away from Gateshead.

    West Ham couldn't afford the £200 million anyway, nor could Orient or Spurs. All three together would probably still be £100 million short!

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  • 39. At 10:36am on 25 Sep 2008, hopstepper wrote:

    We regularly hear of football fans complaining about a stadium with a track surrounding the pitch. However the fans still turn up, if it was that bad they wouldn't. If Wembley at a track around it I'm sure England and the FA Cup final would still get the same size of crowd.

    Regarding the biggest athletics meeting - if this country hosted the European or World Champs then that would necessitate 25,000 seats plus. The Commonwealth Games in 1970, 1986 and 2002 all pulled in 30,000 plus and I believe the Europa Cup filled Gateshead.

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  • 40. At 10:48am on 25 Sep 2008, The Realist wrote:

    @1 Voice_of_commonsense

    Sky turning off the funding tap?

    You having a laugh right? Even if Sky didn't bid for the Premiership then there are loads of other massive companies happy to take over the reins!

    Like Setanta, ESPN, BBC, ITV, Virgin, ABC, Channel5 (France), NBO, FoxSports tec

    So even if a british boroadcaster doesn't get the rights, thery will sell the rights to a british broadcaster or as ESPN have already stated and you didn't bother look up... they will setup their own sports channels in the UK to show the Premiership!!!!

    The money is going to up and up and up.

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  • 41. At 12:55pm on 25 Sep 2008, Rocky57 wrote:

    It is a poor experience to watch a game with an athletics (or any other) track in between. I'm old enough to remember QPR at White City, the old Stamford Bridge, old Wembley.

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  • 42. At 12:59pm on 25 Sep 2008, brentwoodhammer wrote:

    Who are these Hammers sayin that they couldn't stand a move away from UP, people from the corporate boxes who get chauffeur driven home? Surely not regular fans who have to spend half an hour or more queueing, often in the rain, for the tube station? All fans at all clubs have affection for for their old grounds - but ultimately any club with a future needs to move with the times.

    And what branch of insane spending of public money generates enough transport links to get people in and out of a new 80,000 seater stadium that will be in operation for 2 weeks and then have 3/4's of it torn down?

    We all need a bit of vision here - big stadium for the Hammers, a bit of public money for an athletics function to be retained (under retractable seats or they could maybe have the old UP site or we could grond share with Orient and use their old gaff as an athletics track etc. etc... there's all sorts of options so long as everyone involved has a bit of vision.

    One last point - please no more talk of Tottenham goin there - that's a North London club, all the Spurs fans I know seem to think a move completely away from their home turf would be a move too far. The days when a club can move completely accross town (e.g. Woolwich/Highbury) need to stay in the past.

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  • 43. At 1:51pm on 25 Sep 2008, Thames_Ironworks wrote:

    I'm one of these Hammers fans who would prefer to see West Ham in Upton Park. I was born and brought up in Upton Park, I made claret and blue rosettes at school before the cup final in 1980, I watched them bring the FA cup down Green St after the cup final and I watched Trevor Brooking open the Cavalier toy store on Green St in 1983.

    Green Street, Upton Park and the Boleyn are inextricably linked with history of West Ham United. Moving away will remove all that history and tradition. I still haven't heard a convicning argument as to why we we need to move anyway and why we can't expand on the current capacity by improving the East Stand.

    You would still have to queue for a train if the club moved to Stratford or West Ham so the argument about waiting in the rain doesn't make sense.

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  • 44. At 2:55pm on 25 Sep 2008, JohnnyBop wrote:

    I do not know if it has been mentioned, but the English FA are looking to hold the world cup, so if WHUFC do get the Stadium it means there will be 3 world class stadium in London, leaving Man U, Liverpool, Villa and one other club to hold the rest of the matches.

    It will also be good for WHUFC to do more for the local people, to help build not just a fantastic youth programme, but also help carry on the good work started by the BOC.

    I am one fan looking forward to the move.

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  • 45. At 3:22pm on 25 Sep 2008, JohnnyBop wrote:

    Thames_Ironworks, you comment about waiting for the tube if the stadium moves to Stratford. From what I have read about the link to the Stadium it is design to take 80000 people very quickly, so there should be no hanging around. Also the security levels at the new stgadium will be the best in the world. Making policing matches a lot easier.

    The move would also increase revenue to the club, meaning the club will get a better sponsor.

    I understand you point about the history and the roots of the club, but for WHUFC to compete with the like of Arsenal, Chelsea, Man Utd Liverpool and now Man City, the club needs to move a large stadium.

    I like you and all the other fans would love to see us in Europe every year and fighting for the FA cup and the league title every year.

    This will only happen with more money coming into the club. This means more bums on seats, a world class sponsor, and you know what, the price of tickets does not need to go up, they could even drop the price to get more people in and it would still not effect the overal profit of the club.

    Money bringings in better players and brings in the silver wear.

    If this not a good enough reason to move forward than I am confused what is.

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  • 46. At 4:07pm on 25 Sep 2008, jonthensome wrote:

    Maybe the eventual Olympic Stadium could be used temporarily while Upton Park is redeveloped. Fulham used Loftus Rd for a season, I'm sure it could work in this case. Whatever happens, I hope the architect omits turrets from the design this time. Looks like a Disneyland set up shop in the Scrubs.

    Note to Mihir - There is still no mystery. It's still colourless and all third person but at least it's not fictitional.

    :)

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  • 47. At 9:20pm on 25 Sep 2008, Thames_Ironworks wrote:

    JohnnyBop - fair point about the transport and policing in Stratford being better than Upton Park, you're right about that.

    I still don't understand why we can't increase the capacity at Upton Park and get increased revenue from that without having to relocate to Stratford though...

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  • 48. At 10:23pm on 25 Sep 2008, JohnnyBop wrote:

    Hi Thames_Ironworks - The ground only holds 35100 and there is no way the ground can be expand to hold 50000. Also there is no way either of two stations will be able to handel a larger crowd coming through, plus this increase will also cost the club more money on policing the game, plus parking is already bad enough.

    The new stadium can be reduced to say 55000, making it a good selling point to FIFA to help us get the next world cup.

    Football, is no longer about football it is about making as much money as possible, for the owners and the shareholders.

    We have a great chance of having a world class stadium, with great facilities not just for the players but also for the fans.

    The sad thing is, it does not matter what you or I think or the rest of the fans think. It will be down to the owners and the shareholders and who every is the new sponsor.

    Money talks and if the owners can get a new groung for say 50 million, then they get it cheap without all the headaches.

    They can do what Arsenal did keep part of the stadium as museum and a store.

    The money that make from the sale of the ground or again do what Arsenal have done and build properties and sell them and make a large amount to pump into the club.

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  • 49. At 09:54am on 27 Sep 2008, djy1984 wrote:

    In RE: Brentwood Hammer comment 42

    I am not one of these 'Chaffeured Driven Fans' that you talk about, as for queuing for Upton Park tube, when you've won you dont care about the queue, the atmosphere is still buzzing! Also, you dont like it, there is this common thing called.......WALKING, to East Ham tube station, easy 10 minute job, and alot easier, believe me!

    I love Upton Park, it holds some great memories (me in the stands watching Di Canio score that wonder goal against Wimbledon and beating Utd last year 2-1, always good) and some bad (Rob Harris sending off 2 players, booking the rest and losing to Leeds 5-1, not a happy day! Thank you Ian for redecorating the ref's dressing room) I would really love to see the East Stand get re-developed and see success at the ground where I feel the atmosphere isnt any better (yes, I am a bias West Ham fan and I dont care!)

    What I am concerned about is Sheffield United and this stupid ruling and not the stadium, I believe the F.A owes us 5.5 million now, as I think its harsh getting punished twice for the same thing!

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  • 50. At 11:31am on 01 Oct 2008, lordSUPERFRED wrote:

    Many good points raised , one missing is that WHU own the Boylnn and as suh is a very saleable asset even in these cash strapped times and the West Ham board need every penny , by moving in a deal simular to Man city then it would free up much needed cash .
    I would not like to see it happen for many reasons the main one being it smacks of selling the family silver .
    Peoples ashes are placed in the ground and thousands of memories as well .
    West ham are not and never will be Arsenal , attracting 60,000 a week and the current ground is a perfect size with a development of the East stand as was promissed by the last chairman if the climate was right , clearly after the Sheffield united debacle it is not and wont be for many years to come but it does not mean you have to sell up and move

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