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West Ham's London Stadium upgrade is old news and 62,500 capacity claim is only half the story

West Ham United were in the headlines yesterday over their plans to upgrade the London Stadium.

The likes of Sky Sports ran the story that West Ham are looking to increase the capacity of the London Stadium in order to become the biggest club ground in the capital.

Sky reported that the Hammers were set to increase the number of seats at their Stratford home by 2,500 to 62,500.

That report was then picked up by a host of other national sports outlets and pushed out as big news.

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Reports make big news of old news

In doing so the stadium would be bigger than Tottenham Hotspur’s new stadium which is currently the biggest Premier League ground in London with a capacity of 62,062.

“Although no planning application has so far been submitted, West Ham are meeting local residents on Monday night to consult on the possible expansion of the former Olympic Stadium,” Sky Sports reported.
But not only is it old news, it is only half the story.

That is because West Ham already have an agreement in place to raise the capacity to 66,000, making it the second biggest club football stadium in the UK.

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62,500 is only half the story

West Ham agreed to pay almost £450,000 extra per season to use the London Stadium if the capacity is raised to 66,000, as reported by BBC Sport back in December.

The figure was revealed in a joint letter from West Ham and the stadium’s operators E20 to the London Assembly.

That letter outlined the detail of the ‘peace’ deal that was agreed by the two parties in November.

The deal was reached minutes before a potentially costly court case between the two parties.

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Biggest in London? Try second biggest football club stadium in the UK

Under the agreement, West Ham’s capacity rose from 57,000 to 60,000 in the second half of last season.

At 60,000 capacity West Ham now pay another £250,000 annually.

They have now started the procedure to move up to the next phase of 62,500. That will cost the club a further £83,000.

Once in place the club will then look to make the final increase of 3,500 to 66,000. The timescale is expected to be over the next two seasons.

Nothing will ever replace Upton Park.

But the London Stadium is finally starting to feel like a home for West Ham United.


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