England: WHU to expand London Stadium for its anniversary
source: StadiumDB.com; author: Robert Saganowski
West Ham United have informed fans of ambitious plans to modernize their home ground. The work is expected to be completed before the 22/23 season, making London Stadium the second largest venue in the league, second only to the legendary Old Trafford.
From the sporting side, West Ham can consider the last few months as very successful. In the previous Premier League season, "the Hammers" finished in a high, sixth place, which gave them the right to play in this year's edition of the UEFA Europa League. The current campaign may also have a happy ending. WHU are still in the running for a final triumph in the European cup while in the league it is possible to repeat the success of the 20/21 season.
As is well known, stadiums in England are often filled to the last place not only during matches against the very top of the league. In the current competition, The Hammers' supporters fill London Stadium in more than 97% of the capacity, with more supporters sitting in the stands on average than at the venue of local rival Tottenham. Spurs games are attended by 2,500 fewer spectators, despite the modern Tottenham Hotspur Stadium boasting a larger capacity than the WHU facility.
The East London club's governing body has rightly pointed out that it would be a good idea to expand the venue that hosted the opening and closing ceremonies of the Olympic Games 10 years ago. However, many West Ham supporters still have nostalgic memories of Boleyn Ground, where the club played its games for over 100 years. The renovation of the current stadium is intended to bring back the old English atmosphere, which is remembered with a tear in the eye in Britain.
As part of the development, London Stadium's capacity is set to increase from the current 60,000 to 62,500, putting the Hammers' home ground ahead of the aforementioned Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in terms of seating capacity. In addition to the extra 2,500 seats, the lower tier of the West Stand will be fully reconfigured, with the upper and lower tiers brought closer together to allow fans to sit as close to to the pitch as possible. This is an important innovation that WHU supporters have been pushing hard for.
We are always listening to our supporters and working hard to improve their experience at London Stadium, in line with the fantastic feedback we’ve received from them. The expected increase in capacity will see London Stadium become one of the highest-attended grounds in the capital and indeed the country, giving an even greater number of our supporters the opportunity to watch our exciting team in action - this is what club Vice-Chairman Karren Brady said about the relationship between the club and the fans.
In addition to infrastructure innovations, West Ham is preparing something special for its fans. The club aims to offer the supporters season tickets for just £299, making London Stadium the venue with the lowest prices in all of London when it comes to Premier League.
Despite the fact that the season for West Ham will end in mid-May, with concerts by the likes of Green Day and Red Hot Chilli Peppers taking place at the stadium in June, 'The Hammers' are already set to start the new Premier League season at the revamped venue in August.
On June 5, for the first time ever, the arena is also set to host the English National League play-off final, which will decide which fifth-tier team will win promotion to the professional level.