What Next For Our Home? Looking Into The Future At The London Stadium
Author: Emily Pulham. Published: 1 November 2019 at 12:54pm
Written by : George M.
It does not need repeating that the move into the London Stadium experienced some gargantuan issues and flaws. From the moment our former chairman, Eggert Magnússon, made it clear that it was the club’s owners’ ambition to move into the former Olympic Stadium, there were concerns over how the move would be executed and how the stadium would perform as a footballing venue.
The first mention of the move almost 12 years ago certainly gave plenty of time to ensure that it was the right decision and that the move could be executed effectively and efficiently. However, we all know how the move initially first played out. A few fan vs security clashes, pitch invasions, and carpet installations later, we find ourselves with a stadium that lacks soul and identity but with the potential to become a world-class sporting venue. Here is a look into how the stadium could turn around its fortunes to become a place we can call home and make every supporter proud.
The first point of call should be to buy the stadium outright. Having cost an estimated £486 million to construct and a further £274 million to renovate for footballing purposes, the stadium will not come cheap. However, the value of the stadium is expected to drop overtime. It makes a lot of sense for the owners to consider buying the stadium to have the ability to renovate it to how they would like, rather than having to go through copious amounts of committees & meeting to change the slightest thing. In doing this, the club would have total control over how the stadium is operated, renovated and managed.
With total control over the stadium in place, the club could look into plans of moving the seats closer to the pitch – an obvious starting point. Although the club has already announced plans to square off the end stands, the same must happen to the stands running along the pitch in an effort to improve the atmosphere. However, this may create a gap between the first and second tiers of the stands. This could be rectified by adding in an extra tier between the two existing tiers which would ultimately increase the capacity and fill in a gap that would likely create an eyesore.
Next, the club could remove the white seating from the stadium and replace it with claret seating just like we had at Upton Park. With the new coloured seating in place, claret and blue boarding should be installed to cover up the grey concrete concourse surrounding the stands.
To make sure that the whole match day experience is improved and not just the stadium, the club should create an immersive atmosphere outside of the stadium. This should include the erection of statues of West Ham legends, installation of claret and blue decorations surrounding the stadium’s exterior or even 3 more digital screens at parallel ends of the stadium surrounding. Although not much can be done about the dull and bleak walk through the Stratford Shopping Centre, efforts should be made to enhance the experience of walking to the stadium on a match day, rather than walking up what seems like a roadworks site.
Now, one thing to keep in mind is that most of these suggestions were pretty much what was promised in the first place. If you can recall the mock-up mage that was released on what the stadium was going to look like, then you get the idea of where the suggestions come from. The reason they have been mentioned is to remind you of what the stadium could become. It is fair to say that the move did not go to plan. However, with a bit of patience, the stadium could become a spectacular venue and one we would be proud to call home.