West Ham are reportedly close to seeing a £14.5m agreement reached for the London Stadium West Stand to be redeveloped.
Many West Ham fans were and remain deeply unhappy with many things since the big move to Stratford.
The major bone of contention has been the distance from the stands to the pitch.
And it is easy to see why supporters have been so upset given what they had at their beloved Upton Park and the vision sold to them on leaving the famous Boleyn Ground.
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.
They were true to their word and seating behind both goals at the London Stadium was reconfigured last year. The seating was squared off in line with more traditional football stadia.
It certainly looks better aesthetically. The two reconfigured stands Sir Trevor Brooking and Bobby Moore Lower Tiers have been fully designed with any possible future developments with regards to safe standing already in mind. So they will be compatible for future installation, to allow them to be adapted should there be any changes to Premier League guidelines on safe standing.
West Ham close to £14.5m agreement for London Stadium stand redevelopment
Brady also pledged to supporters 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.
And now West Ham are close to seeing an agreement reached for a £14.5m redevelopment to improve the West Stand.
That’s according to London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC) deputy CEO Gerry Murphy when appearing in front of the London Assembly budget committee last month.
“We are just at a point of agreeing on a West Stand improvement programme through sustainable capital investment,” Murphy said, as also reported by Claret and Hugh.
That contract tender was estimated to be around £14.5m as previously reported by The Telegraph.
The deputy CEO went on to claim that the stadium seat moving costs could drop from £4.3m to £2m per annum after the West Stand reconfiguration and more if Major League Baseball returns to the London Stadium too.
This is key to placating many disgruntled West Ham fans in the long term. Supporters have been much happier in the stadium since the vast improvement in the team under David Moyes and the return following the pandemic shutout.
But the chasm between the West and East stands and the pitch is something Hammers supporters simply cannot bear.
“The Exchequer will shell out £14.5m for fresh seating as the club redevelops its West Stand to bring fans close to the pitch,” The Telegraph reported last July.
“Another £20.5m of public money will go on providing West Ham with stewards over the next four years, according to contracts disclosed by the Government…
“A spokesman for West Ham United said the tender notice for the stand was at the “very early stage of a process examining costings and ideas for improvements.”
With Czech billionaire Daniel Kretinsky on board and the team doing so well under Moyes, things are really on the up for West Ham.