There is confusion among fans over West Ham’s London Stadium redevelopment plans after the big announcement last week.
Many West Ham fans were and remain unhappy with the London Stadium since the big move to Stratford in 2016.
The major bone of contention has been the distance from the stands to the pitch.
Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images
Given what West Ham fans had at their beloved Upton Park and the vision sold to them on leaving the famous Boleyn Ground, it is easy to see why.
Co-owners David Sullivan, David Gold and vice-chairman Karren Brady pledged to investigate the possibility of bringing seats closer to the pitch some time ago.
Seating behind both goals at the London Stadium was reconfigured last year. The seating was squared off in line with more traditional football stadia.
Photo by Igor Kralj/Pixsell/MB Media/Getty Images
It certainly looks better aesthetically. The two reconfigured stands – the Sir Trevor Brooking and Bobby Moore Lower Tiers – were also fully designed with any possible future developments with regards to safe standing already in mind.
Brady also pledged to supporters some time ago that West Ham would liaise with architects to evaluate the possibility of eventually squaring off the east and west stands of the bowl shaped arena.
As previously reported months ago, West Ham were in discussions over an agreement for a £14.5m redevelopment to improve the West Stand.
That contract tender was estimated to be around £14.5m as previously reported by The Telegraph.
Photo by Catherine Ivill – AMA/Getty Images
And last week West Ham announced that redevelopment will take place this summer alongside a stadium capacity increase from 60,000 to 62,500.
“The West Stand Lower Tier will be reconfigured to further develop a more traditional football stadium layout, bringing the upper and lower tiers closer together and more fans nearer to the action,” West Ham said in the announcement.
The news was welcomed by many West Ham fans who hate the bowl-shaped nature of the ground as it was presumed the West Stand would be squared off – as the Hammers had done with the stands behind the goals.
Confusion over West Ham’s London Stadium redevelopment plans after big announcement
But there is confusion over the plans after Hammers website Claret and Hugh claimed that will not be the case.
“The London Stadium, which is paying it with taxpayers’ money, is doing so to save money from moving the seats over the summer,” Claret and Hugh report.
“West Ham needs to approve the change so what are they getting out of it? Primarily it will be the new premium 1966 seats that they can sell for £1,500 to raise more ticket income.
“A few hundred seats will move further away from the pitch by the corner flags; the new stand is not being squared (off) like the ones behind the goals so it is a stretch to call it a more traditional football stand.”
That news will really disappoint many supporters who feel that squaring the stadium off on all four sides and bringing he stands closer to the pitch is the only way to truly make the ground feel like home.
Winning on the pitch helps too of course.
David Moyes and his team are certainly doing their bit in that regard over the last two years.