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A Rough Guide To West Ham United
Thursday, 23rd Dec 2021 11:30

Our sixth visit to The London Stadium, but only the fifth with fans and it has to be said it's a fine view from outside but not so great inside watching the match, not our happiest hunting ground.

The London Stadium as the former Olympic Stadium is now called has had its fair share of teething problems since West Ham United moved in as tenants, most of these have been caused by the fact that it was not built as a football stadium and therefore is not geared up towards segregating rival fans both in and outside the ground and secondly because security had been the responsibility of the owners of the stadium and not the club itself, so again their experience is of Athletics meetings not football matches.

Like the also very originally named (Not) Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, it is a great stadium, but a poor ground for watching football.

West Ham United are going well again this season and their fans will feel that they will be enjoying another day of festive cheer against Saints, fewer Saints fans than normal will go due to transport issues, with no trains running from Southampton and also issues with driving and parking.

The Stadium

It is a quality stadium, however it was built for athletics so therefore it has an bowl design and is able to convert back to being used for athletics events, this means that supporters are some way from the pitch and the view is far from brilliant in this respect, so perhaps taking a pair of binoculars is needed.

Getting There

The London Stadium has been designated a 'public transport destination,', this means that driving is discouraged, there is no parking at the stadium itself except for those in corporate hospitality etc and the streets around are no parking zones, meaning that just about the only place to park is the Westfield Shopping centre at £10.00 for the day, being Boxing Day and the sales starting this will be rammed.

Normally you could park at Richmond at the end of the M3 and get an overground train to Hackney Wick, but the London Overground line from Richmond to Stratford appears to be replacement bus services.

An alternative would be to get the District Line tube from Richmond to Mile End a 53 minute journey and then a Central line tube from there to Stratford 3 minutes.

If you want to drive, the easiest way, is to take the M25 round to junction 25 and head towards London on the A10, I would suggest perhaps looking to park around Hackney Wick and walk to the ground, although I do not know what parking is available in this area.

By Train

There are no trains on Boxing Day from Hampshire up to London.

The Away Section

Visiting supporters are housed in the lower and upper sections of the South West part of the stadium, the facilities are excellent with the toilets even being likened to those in a hotel as well as plenty of food and drink outlets, but we are talking Wembley prices here with a pie costing £4.20 and a beer costing £5.20 a pint.

The main footballing issues have been segregation with only a waist high barrier separating home and away fans, a combination of readily available and cheap tickets has meant that a lot of old school West Ham fans have returned to the fold so to speak and there have been some unsavoury incidents both in and out of the ground, last season this was exasperated by West Ham's poor season and it's heading that way this..

This season has not seen reports of unrest on the scale of the first few seasons at the ground, however it is probably advisable to wear colours with caution if going to pubs etc.

Drinking Eating Etc

All reviews so far suggest you are far better eating and drinking away from the stadium, most of the nearby pubs etc are by Stratford Station, however they are mainly home fans only and you could find it hard to get into any of them.

The Westfield shopping centre does of course have plenty of eating and drinking outlets, however it is unclear whether there are any restrictions on football fans.

Capacity: 60,000* (all seated)
Address: Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, E20 2ST
Telephone: 020 8548 2748
Pitch Size: To be advised
Club Nickname: The Hammers or Irons
Year Ground Opened: 2012
Undersoil Heating: Yes
Shirt Sponsors: betway
Kit Manufacturer: Umbro
Home Kit: Claret and Blue
Away Kit: White and Blue

Photo: Action Images

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