West Ham United (Boleyn Ground)
35,333 (all seated)
Address: Green St, Upton Park, London, E13 9AZ
Telephone: 020 8548 2748
Fax: 020 8548 2758
Ticket Office: 0871 529 1966
Pitch Size: 110 x 70 yards
Club Nickname: The Hammers or Irons
Year Ground Opened: 1904
Shirt Sponsors: betway
Home Kit: Claret and Blue
Away Kit: White and Blue
On the whole the stadium is an impressive one, being of a good size and having three modern stands. On one side of the ground is the impressive looking Betway (West) Stand that was opened in 2001. This large two tiered stand (which is reputedly the largest league ground stand in London), has a capacity of 15,000. Located between the tiers are two rows of corporate executive boxes. Opposite is the East Stand, which was opened in 1969. This stand in comparison, although two tiered, is rather on the small side and looks somewhat out of place compared to its larger shiny neighbours. Both ends are large, smart, two tiered stands. In the North East and South West corners there are video screens installed as well as an electronic score board in the South West corner. Also in the South West corner is a large image of Booby Moore who overlooks the ground.
Probably the most striking feature of the stadium can only be seen externally, where an elaborate facade comprising of two castle turrets has been built around the reception area entrance. The turrets have been modeled on those appearing on the club crest. It is nice to see a Club actually trying to instill some character into a new stand. Just outside the ground near the Boleyn Pub, is the handsome statue of England Captain Bobby Moore, holding aloft the World Cup Trophy which England won in 1966. The statue shows Moore being hoisted aloft by fellow West Ham players Geoff Hurst and Martin Peters with Everton defender Ray Wilson.
The Club are now preparing to move to their new home at the end of this current season. After spending 112 years at the Boleyn Ground they will move around four miles to take up residence at the state of the art London Olympic Stadium in Stratford, East London. The Club will be tenants at the stadium and have signed a 99 year lease. Since the Olympics were held in 2012, the stadium has been modified and its capacity reduced from 80,000 to 60,000. Its roof has been extended to cover all of the seating areas and in doing so has become the largest cantilevered roof in the world. Retractable seating will also be brought in to cover the athletics track. The Club will be kicking off in its new home for the beginning of the 2016/17 season. The Boleyn Ground has been sold to a residential developer.
Away fans are housed in one end, in the lower tier of the relatively modern Sir Trevor Brooking Stand. The usual allocation for away supporters is 2,200, but if demand requires, away fans can be allocated the whole of the lower tier of the North Stand, where up to 3,600 supporters can be accommodated. The ground is compact, with the fans are seated close to the pitch. This coupled with the passionate support of the West Ham faithful can make for a vibrant atmosphere. However this can be intimidating for away supporters, so exercise caution around the ground. If you find yourself seated on the far left of the away section (towards the East Stand) then as the pitch is situated towards the West Stand, you may experience some sight difficulties of the action going on, in and around the corner on the other side.
I personally enjoyed my visit and it is certainly not as bad as it was a few years ago and the West Ham fans can still give rendition of their club anthem ‘I’m forever blowing bubbles..’ I was though surprised to see the local Metropolitan Police erecting portable metal detectors outside the entrance to the away turnstiles. They then subsequently announced that it was a condition of entry into the stadium to pass through a detector, if instructed to do so by a Police officer. Charming! My mate was convinced that the metal plate in his arm was going to set them off (he had a bad accident some years ago), but alas the officers waved us by without going through them. The turnstiles do not have human operators, so entrance is gained by putting your ticket into a bar code reader.
Inside the ground the stewards were fine, however the concourse is somewhat cramped, which leads to somewhat of a scrum at half time. There are flat screen tv’s on the concourse to keep fans entertained. Food on offer includes a range of Peter’s Pies; Chicken Curry, Steak, Meat and Potato, Cheese and Onion Pastie and large Sausage Rolls (all £3.30). Burgers and Herta Hot Dogs are also available (£3.80). Alcohol is also served but is rather pricey and no draught is available, so it is either cans or plastic bottles; Carlsberg £4 (500ml bottle), Tetley’s Bitter £4 (440ml can), Magners Cider £4.20 (330ml bottle), Guinness £4.20 (520ml can) and Red or White wine (187ml) £4.
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Kevin Hosking informs me; ‘Probably the best option for away fans is the Wetherspoon outlet called Millers Well which is opposite East Ham Town Hall. It is though about a twenty minute walk away along Barking Road (although it may be an idea to travel to East Ham tube station before the game, go to the pub and then walk on to the stadium)’.
Peter Bennett a visiting Newcastle fan adds; ‘We had a drink in safety in the Queens on Green Street’. This pub is also near to Upton Park Underground Station (as you come out of the station turn right and the pub is down on the right).
Most of the other pubs around the ground are very partisan, and are for home supporters only. The Boleyn Pub on the corner near to the ground, plus the Greengate, Wine Bar and Village pubs all on Barking Road should all be given a wide berth by away fans.
Directions from the M25:
Travel to M25 Junction 27, and go on to the M11 southbound. Follow the M11 south until it divides to join the A406 (North Circular Road). Take the Left Hand fork signposted A406 South. Do not follow the signs for the City.
The end of the motorway joins the A406 from the left, creating a 4 lane road for a short distance. You need to be in one of the outside 2 lanes (this can be tricky if traffic is heavy). Proceed south (dual carriageway with slip roads) passing the junctions for Redbridge, and Ilford.
Leave the A406 at the Barking junction. At the roundabout at the bottom of the slip road, turn right, taking the 3rd exit towards East Ham (Barking Road). Proceed West along Barking Road through several sets of traffic lights until you have passed the lights at East Ham Town Hall (big red Victorian building on the left just before the lights). 3/4 mile further, you pass the ground on your right (behind a parade of shops, including the Hammers Shop). At the next lights (Boleyn Arms Pub on right hand corner), turn right into Green Street. The main entrance to the ground is 200 yards on your right. Thanks to Gareth Howell for providing the directions.
On Saturday matchdays, parking is very restricted with little or no off-road parking. The best areas to look for spaces are roads left off Barking Road, once you are past the lights at East Ham Town Hall. Andy Wright suggests; ‘You can park at Newham General Hospital, where there is a pay and display car park, which costs £2 for three hours, or £4 for six. To find the hospital; From Barking Road, passing the ground on your right, after a few traffic lights turn left into Prince Regent Lane (Newham General is signposted at the lights), the hospital is just up this road and is about a 15 minute stroll away from the ground’.
Rob Wells adds; ‘As a season ticket holder who travels to home games from Nottingham I can offer an alternative route from the M11 to avoid the nightmare of Barking Road on a Saturday. After leaving the M11 on the A406 take the exit for A12 signposted Stratford. Stay on this road taking the underpass to the Green Man roundabout, which is a major junction. Then take the A11, again signposted Stratford. After about three miles turn left onto the A112 signposted East Ham, through Plaistow. Carry on over the junction with Barking Road (A124). Third left after this junction is Glen Road, which takes you to the aforementioned Newham Hospital for parking. I find this journey a lot easier, although not recommended for midweek matches as the traffic gets too heavy’.
Whilst Alex Stewart suggests an alternative route; ‘come off the M25 at J29 and take the A127 to Upminster. Park at Upminster tube station (£2 for the day) and you can get a return ticket to Upton Park which will get you there in less than 25 minutes’ (Cost £8 return adults, under 16’s go free). Chris Ackrill agrees; ‘I’ve experimented over several years with various routes to the stadium, and my conclusion is that it saves time and frustration by parking well in the suburbs and getting a tube. Getting anywhere near the ground by road can easily add on an hour, and it’ll be the hardest hour’s drive you’ve ever had. Things are no better on Sundays either’.
Post Code for SAT NAV: E13 9AZ
The nearest tube station is Upton Park which is on the District, plus the Hammersmith & City Lines. The station is a short walk from the ground. Please note that West Ham tube station is nowhere near the ground. Steve Cook adds; ‘the queue at Upton Park tube station after the game can be horrendous. You are better off going for a couple of pints and letting the queues die down. There are plenty of pubs along Plaistow High Road which are only a 5-10 minute walk from the stadium and as long as visitors are ‘well behaved’ they are more than made welcome’. Adam Long a visiting Reading fan informs me; ‘After the game you are probably best to walk up to East Ham, which will at least mean you will get a seat, before everyone else gets on at Upton Park’. Craig Belcher a visiting West Brom fan adds; ‘Rather than face the long queues at Upton Park, we walked down to the next station on the line, Plaistow, which is only a ten minute walk away from Upton Park. We managed to get on a tube okay, as apparently according to station staff the tubes are not filled to full capacity on leaving Upton Park”. Just turn left after Upton Park station, into Harold Road. Walk down to the end of this road (it becomes Terrace Road) and then bear left into Pelly Road/Clegg St. At the bottom of Clegg Street is a T-junction with Plaistow High Street. Turn right into the High Street and Plaistow station is further down on the left.
Whilst Andrew Saffrey suggests; ‘Forest Gate station is about 25 minutes walk from Upton Park, and it’s much less busy than Upton Park Station after the final whistle. It is served by local Great Eastern trains from Liverpool Street. Turn right out of the station, then left at the corner next to the pizza shop into Hampton Road. Walking down Hampton Road, turn first right into Richmond Road, a small street with traffic calming and lots of roundabouts. Go straight down this road and this eventually becomes Green Street. Then for the long walk down Green Street which has lots of shops and takeaways, before arriving at Upton Park’.
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Common with most Clubs, West Ham United operate a category system (A, B & C) for matches whereby tickets cost more for the most popular games. Category A+ game prices are shown below with Category B & C prices shown in brackets:
Home Fans Betway Stand (Centre): Adults £85 (B £65) (C £35) Concessions £45 (B £35) (C £25) Betway Stand (Wings and very upper centre): Adults £75 (B £60) (C £35) Concessions £43 (B £33) (C £25) Betway Stand (Upper Outer Wings): Adults £70 (B £55) (C £25) Concessions £38 (B £32) (C £20) Betway Stand (Lower Outer Wings): Adults £60 (B £45) (C £25) Concessions £35 (B £25) (C £20) East Stand (Centre): Adults £85 (B £65) (C £35) Concessions £45 (B £35) (C £25) East Stand (Wings and very upper centre): Adults £75 (B £60) (C £35) Concessions £43 (B £33) (C £25) Bobby Moore (Upper Tier): Adults £70 (B £55) (C £25) Concessions £38 (B £32) (C £20) Bobby Moore (Lower Tier): Adults £60 (B £45) (C £25) Concessions £35 (B £25) (C £20) Sir Trevor Brooking Stand (Lower Tier): Adults £60 (B £45) (C £25) Concessions £35 (B £25) (C £20)
Away Fans Sir Trevor Brooking Stand: Adults £60 (B £45) (C £25) Concessions £35 (B £25) (C £20)
In addition ticket prices are sometimes further reduced for cup ties and for some games Under 16’s are admitted for £1 when accompanied by a paying adult. Concessions apply to Over 65’s and Under 21’s.
Official Programme: £3.50 On The Terrace Fanzine: £2 Over Land And Sea: £2.50
Chelsea, Millwall and Tottenham.
For details of disabled facilities and club contact at the ground please visit the relevant page on the Level Playing Field website.
Record Attendance At the Boleyn Ground: 42,322 v Tottenham Hotspur Division One, October 17th 1970.
Modern All Seated Attendance Record: 35,050 v Manchester City Premier League, September 21st, 2002.
Average Attendance At the Boleyn Ground: 2015-2016: 34,910 (Premier League) 2014-2015: 34,846 (Premier League) 2013-2014: 34,197 (Premier League)
If anything is incorrect or you have something to add, please e-mail me at: [email protected] and I’ll update the guide.
Thanks to Owen Pavey for providing the ground layout diagram.
Thanks to Haydn Gleed for providing the YouTube video of the Boleyn Ground.