Straight sections to come up at West Ham club


London Stadium new stands Image: MJR Group Ltd. / Coliseum

West Ham United football club had claimed way back in February that it is all set to give an ethereal experience to its fans on match day. However, their tall claims have proved to be a damp squib.

The English professional football club based in Stratford, East London, had promised the moon to supporters sulking in the lower ends of the seating bowl. The fact of the matter is that current temporary stands at London Stadium, which are curved, will be replaced by different temporary stands, which are straight. The new structures should be in place by 2020-21.

Fans behind goals will be moved closer to the field. But, it will be just by a few meters. They will still be at a considerable distance from the center of action. Those with season tickets near the corners will be moved even further away from the action.

There was not much progress on the issue since the February announcement till last week’s meeting of the Official Supporters Board (OSB). The whole seating renewal exercise will likely be done before next August, after the June baseball games and summer athletics.

Tender for the same was launched in February this year and bids are reportedly being reviewed by the London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC). The tender covers not only new seating coming up in lieu of old ones, but it also foresees the winning bidder carrying out the summer conversion every summer for seven seasons, with an option to extend by two more.

If Football.London’s data is anything to go by, the contract’s price tag would be worth some £11.5m, which means cost of some £1.6m per annum. Presently, the summer conversion of both ends costs £4m.

It is reported that spectators who have season tickets in the stands (read stands which are causing much discomfiture to them) has not been contacted by the club to date.

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