|All you need to know about West Ham United FC's potential move to Stratford.
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I took part in this today and used it as an opportunity to scope the site out should we end up there. It's an impressive stadium and interestingly the views into the centre were great - I think football would be fine there from the sightlines perspective. However every photo I took made it look like it would be a really **** view for football, really really ****. The running track was distracting, but not really something I'm worried about. The seating was good - reasonable gaps between seats rather than at the Boleyn where they are on top of each other. The thing that did bother me was how detached it felt to be there when it was a long way from being full. I don't know if thats the size of the stadium compared to the size of the crowd or the distance to the field - but either way it'll be interesting to see what a bigger crowd would feel like. Overall it did "feel" very nice
Oh and there were appalling ques to get in and to get out for this event. Really, really slow, tedious going.
In a moment of absolute insanity , I too signed up for this as it was the only way I could get inside the stadium prior to the club signing up to relocate there .I wasn't the only West Ham fan running for sure , loads of Tat's , colours etc on show .
Firstly , the distance from the train station .There is one significant road to cross , which no doubt plod will close off post match , but otherwise it's a 7 or 8 minute walk to the nearside of the stadium .The road though is a bottleneck if left open .
Next , access to the "island" .The main bridge is extremely wide and will present no bottleneck . It was possible to move around outside the stadium - circumnavigate it with ease and speed .There is ample space to locate multiple food outlets all the way around the stadium .
Access to your seat .Stunningly quick .Absolutely incredible .Fears about getting to and from the toilets / catering / smoking areas are not accurate .Toilet to seat time was less than 15 seconds .
Viewing .I checked two aspects , very deliberately .I initially went to tier two - which was up , from memory 18 steps, and you are straight into a viewing height comprable with the front of the upper tier in the Rio upper .Location would have been between corner flag and 18 yard box , and at that height football would be watchable ( note - I am one of the most vociferous critics of the move, based entirely upon the view , for me to admit this is a huge slice of humble pie ) .Not as good as the Boleyn , you are definately further away but i would place the view as somehwere between the Emirates and Wembley . Next , I went "downstairs" to the lower tier, but the same angle ,Here the shallow rake - and I was near the back of the lower tier - would make the watching of football impossible .It's just too shallow .
To be clear , the issue is not retractable seating , it really isn't , the issue they need to resolve is the rake of the lower tier .
As for behind the goals - an absolute non starter .
Toilets - still no hot water , but there are plenty of toilets , and room for plenty more to be installed .
Overall , this is a very very basic shell of a stadium .I could see there were some areas that looked like they had glass windows which I reckon were more for TV facillities than corporate .I still don't think it's suitable for football , and the conversion costs will surely be massive , but I'll admit , some parts of it are not as bad as I thought they would be .Demand for tickets on the halfway line middle tier will be high .I can pretty much guarantee there will be no kids for a quid in those seats .
p.s Didn't win .
I went to an event there today just to get a look and thought it was ok in terms of view as well. I also found the lower teir comparable to the Boleyn in terms of view and think it would be ok for football.
The issue for me is the space behind each goal. The amount of work to be done to get it to a state, using retractable seating or some other cure, would be immense. I just can't see it happening. I wouldn't be at all surprised if they just add some corporate boxes and alter the roof while leaving everything else as it is with tickets behind the goals being practically given away.
I've always been in favour of the move and am still but going today has definitely made me worried about what the stadium will be like should we move in there. I think it will hardly change at all.
shame I didn't know you were doing this in advance, I'd have bought you a beer. Or powerade
In fairness I only looked from the middle of the upper tier and the views were fine as you say - I just found it really odd that every photo I took made it look like the worst possible stadium for any kind of sport, let alone football!
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