West Ham United
60,000* (all seated)
Address: Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, E20 2ST
Telephone: 020 8548 2748
Ticket Office: 0333 030 1966
Pitch Size: 105m x 68m
Pitch Type: Grass
Club Nickname: The Hammers or Irons
Year Ground Opened: 2012
Undersoil Heating: Yes
Shirt Sponsors: betway
Home Kit: Claret and Blue
Away Kit: All White
Third Kit: Navy Blue
The build quality of the stadium is excellent and it is certainly up there as being one of the best in the country. The stadium is essentially a bowl design, but when you consider that the stadium was primarily built for athletics and it still retains its ability to host large athletic events, then this is understandable. The bowl-like design is quite evident when viewing the stadium from the outside and to be honest when looked upon during the day its visual impact is somewhat underwhelming. The Club have tried to brighten up its appearance with a ‘wrap around skin’ featuring various images, including the largest digital screens in Europe and at night when it is lit up, the stadium looks far more impressive.
Inside, the stadium is bright and ‘airy’. Certainly, the 14 large triangular towers fitted into the front of the mostly translucent roof (which is the largest cantilevered roof in the World), certainly create this feeling and are a unique feature in themselves. The stadium is totally enclosed with all sides being essentially two-tiered, although the West Side gives the illusion of having three tiers, as a large corporate area has been installed at the front of the upper tier of what is now called the Betway Stand. Strangely there is a larger gap between the front of this stand and the playing area, compared to the opposite Billy Bonds Stand. You just would have thought that the ‘posher’ seats would be located in the closer stand. Interestingly, parts of the lower tier are made up of large blocks of retractable seating that can be moved backwards and forwards to make way for the athletics track, or for other events taking place at the stadium when needed. For football matches, these blocks are pushed forward to cover parts of the area of the athletics track. But in doing so there are quite large gaps present between the back of the pushed forward blocks and the rest of the stand. So much so, that elevated walkways are put in place to allow access from the concourse behind. At each end, there is an impressive looking large digital screen located between the two tiers.
Built for the 2012 Olympics, the London Stadium cost in the region of £500m to build. Originally it had a capacity of 80,000, but this has since been reduced to an all seated capacity of 66,513, although licencing regulations currently restrict the Club to a maximum matchday attendance of 60,000. Since 2012 a further £200m was spent on further upgrading the facilities, including the construction of the largest cantilevered roof in the World
Away fans are housed in both the upper and lower tiers in the South West part of the stadium, in the Sire Trevor Brooking Stand, where just under 3,000 can be accommodated for League games (or up to 8,000 for domestic cup ties). Supporters enjoy fine unobstructed views, however, fans are housed quite far away from the playing area, especially at the back of the upper tier, so make sure you bring some binoculars, or more practically if you can, get yourself a seat in the lower tier or at the front of the upper tier. Due to the nature of the retractable seating, there is a sizeable gap between the lower and upper tiers of the visiting fans sections, which looks odd. The more vociferous West Ham fans are located to the left of the away section in the upper tier. But with the roof of the stadium being rather high up above the supporters, as well as the gap between tiers, then the atmosphere is hindered somewhat. Annoyingly if you are housed in the lower tier, then you need to show your ticket each time you go back to your seat. On returning with a coffee at half time, I had to show my ticket twice to get back to my seat. Lucky I had the ticket on me and not with my mate who booked them. On the whole though the stewards were friendly and helpful.
On the plus side, the facilities inside the stadium are mostly very good, with ample food and drink outlets located on spacious concourses. However, on my last visit, I noticed that some of the facilities such as the toilets are already showing signs of wear and tear. Food on offer inside the stadium includes a range of Pies; Steak & Ale, Chicken Balti, Vegetarian (all £4), Hot Dogs (£6) and Nachos (£4.20). Most of the food and drink outlets take card payments, which also is handy.
Entrance to the stadium is through electronic turnstiles, meaning that you insert your ticket into a bar code reader to gain entrance. But before that, you need to pass through a security cordon around the stadium, where searches are carried out. And then expect to be searched again after going through the turnstiles. With this in mind then make sure that you arrive in plenty of time before kick off.
After the match has ended home and away fans are well separated immediately outside the stadium by a large fence and there is normally a sizeable Police presence. Those fans who have travelled by coach are directed to use a separate walkway back to the coach park. Fans heading back to Stratford are sent on a long walk away and around the stadium. This is to keep home and away fans apart, which it does mostly but near the end fans come into close proximity with West Ham supporters moving along a walkway above and to the side of the visiting supporters. Unfortunately, this led to a number of unsavoury exchanges on my visit, with the Police trying hard to keep rival fans at bay.
Confusingly inside the stadium, there are a number of empty seats on matchday including the away section, even though the game may be ‘sold out.’ This is because the stadium holds 66,000 but West Ham are only allowed to sell 60,000 seats. Rather than having whole sections of seats empty it would appear that the Club have spread them around the stadium. Please note that as nearly all League matches will be sold out in advance this season at the London Stadium, then please do not travel unless you already have a ticket.
There is not much in the way of drinking outlets close to the stadium, so it is mainly the case for visiting fans to drink in Central London or on route. Alcohol though is served inside the stadium, although not cheap at £5.10 for a pint of Amstel, or there are bottles of Heineken (£5.10), Bulmers (£5), or small bottles of wine (£5.50), plus cans of Gin & Tonic (£5.50). The Club also offers a ‘Pie and a Pint’ for £8.45. Please note that for certain high profile games then the Club opts not to sell alcohol to visiting fans.
There are a number of pubs in the centre of Stratford itself, but nearly all of these have declared themselves for home fans only. John Ellis a visiting Leicester City fan informs me; ‘Having been turned away from the Wetherspoons pub called the Goldengrove, the doormen pointed us in the direction of the Goose pub at 78 Broadway, where we were made welcome. There was a mixture of home and away fans inside and families were also allowed in. Adam adds; ‘Before the game, we went to the Hamilton Hall Wetherspoons pub at Liverpool Street Station before journeying to Stratford and the Stadium. This pub has been popular with fans visiting London for a game over a number of years’.
There are a number of eating places and restaurants within the nearby Westfield Shopping Centre that also serve alcohol. My pick of these is the ‘Cow’ on Westfield Avenue, but there is also a bar inside Aspers Casino, as well as the Holiday Inn, which are all situated on the Westfield complex. Just outside Stratford International Station, there is the ‘Tap East’ which brews its own beers. Whilst near Hackney Wick station there are two bars that also are attached to breweries, The CRATE and the ‘Howling Hops’ are both housed next door to one another in an old warehouse complex. Whilst just a little further along the canal from these brew pubs (in the opposite direction to the stadium ) is Mason & Company which is a Craft Beer and Italian Food outlet.
The London Stadium has been designated as a ‘public transport destination,’ which in other words means that people driving by car to the venue are actively discouraged. So, for example, an extensive Residential Parking Zone is put in place around the area of the stadium on matchdays, meaning that you need to have a permit to street park. Also what limited paid parking is available close to the stadium, such as the Aquatics Centre and Copper Box, are off-limits to the normal fan.
If you still wish to drive then: Leave the M25 at Junction 27 and take the M11 towards London. At the end of the M11 motorway keep in the left hand lane and follow the signs for the North Circular A406 (S) (A12, A13). At the bottom of the flyover where the roads merge, move into the left-hand lane for the A12. At the roundabout take the fourth exit onto the A12 towards Central London and Stratford. Keep straight on the A12 for around four miles At this point you should be able to see the Velodrome building over on your left. Exit here onto the A106 signposted Stratford and Westfield. At the bottom of the slip road at the traffic lights, take the left hand filter lane, towards Stratford and Westfield. Continue along this road and you will reach the stadium on the right and the Westfield Centre on the left. Just before the Westfield Shopping Centre you will reach a set of traffic lights, where you turn left for the Westfield Car Park, A,B & C, which are clearly signposted from this point.
Car Parking The nearby Westfield Shopping Centre offers car parking at £10 for a day (Saturday or Sunday), or £7.50 for a weekday evening. You can get a discount of up to 25% on the parking rate if you sign up for the Westfield Smart Parking Scheme. There is also the option of renting a private driveway near the London Stadium via YourParkingSpace.co.uk.
Currently, the Club are only allowed to sell 60,000 tickets on matchdays, although the stadium has a capacity of 66,000. The Club are working with their stadium landlords and local authority to see if the number of tickets that can be sold can be increased from 60,000 to 66,000.
West Ham haven’t been at the London Stadium all that long really but there are plans to develop the ground further. The West Stand is going to be in receipt of a few thousand more seats fairly soon; this will increase the season ticket numbers the club can offer. Beyond that, the club are exploring the possibility of bringing the seats closer to the field; the distance from the stand to the pitch has long been a bone contention at the West Ham ground owing to the fact it was used for the 2012 Olympic Games. The cost of the latest changes is expected to be in the region of £15m.
There was an almighty fuss made when West Ham announced their stadium move from Upton Park – the Boleyn Ground – to the London Stadium; it was understandable as they’d called Upton Park home since 1904 – that means it had been home for 109 years when the announcement was made. Fast forward another three years and the move in was complete. Anyway, whilst the move tugged on the heart strings of Hammers fans, it’s not like the Boleyn had been the clubs only home. In fact, they’d almost been a nomadic club in the early years.
The Hammers – or Irons as they’re also known – were formed in 1895. In the first nine years they played at three different stadiums with two – Hermit Road and Browning Road – barely the West Ham ground for more than a season. The other was the Memorial Grounds. The club stayed there for seven years before heading to the now famed Upton Park.
Although works were obviously completed on the West Ham stadium over the years there are a couple of key changes to note. The Second World War saw a bombing and a rebuild of one corner whilst the all-seater legislation that came in the nineties also saw big changes to many of the stands.
Zeelo is running direct coach services for home fans travelling to London Stadium. With the long and crowded tube or tiring drive, Zeelo offers a hassle free service straight to the stadium. Travel in a comfortable coach, with a guaranteed seat and soak in the atmosphere with other fans. This family-friendly service has special rates for seniors and children with prices starting from as little as £12.50 return. Check the Zeelo website for more details.
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The London Stadium is served by three railway stations all of which are around a 10-15 minute walk away. These are; Stratford, Stratford International and Hackney Wick. The stadium and stations are well signposted around the area.
Stratford Station is located next to the large Westfield Shopping Centre. It is the main station in the area, as not only does it have overground connections to London Liverpool Street and Clapham Junction, but is also has an Underground station which is located both on the Jubilee and Central tube lines. In addition, it is also located on the Docklands Light Railway.
Stratford International Railway Station is located on the other side of Westfield Shopping Centre and is served by local services from London St Pancras, the journey time from which is just seven minutes. It is also located on the Docklands Light Railway.
Hackney Wick Railway Station is located on the opposite (West) side of the stadium compared to the Stratford Stations and Westfield Shopping Centre. It is served by trains from Clapham Junction, Richmond and Stratford. It also stops at Highbury and Islington, which is also situated on the Victoria Tube line and can be a handy for those fans travelling down to London Euston, which is around 20 minutes journey time away. Please note that due to its limited size, fans are being discouraged from using Hackney Wick. However it is open on matchdays and I’m sure if arriving in good time, it will be fine to use before the match. After the game it might not be a good choice, as the trains arriving at Hackney Wick, will probably be already jam packed with fans who will have already got on at the preceding Stratford Station.
I have been informed that after the match all fans that are wanting to go to Stratford Station, are sent on long set route (this avoiding going into the shopping centre) and is stop/started in places to regulate the flow of fans, before being finally met with huge queues for the trains themsleves.
For travelling across London by public transport I recommend planning your journey ahead with the use of the Travel For London Plan your journey website.
Booking train tickets in advance will normally save you money! Find train times, prices and book tickets with Trainline. Visit the website below to see how much you can save on the price of your tickets:
As per an agreement with all Premier League Clubs, away fans will be charged a maximum price of those shown below for all Premier League games:
Adults £30 Over 65’s £25 Under 21’s £25 Under 16′ s £25
Official Programme: £3.50 On The Terrace Fanzine: £2 Over Land And Sea: £2.50
West Ham vs Millwall rivalry
When you talk about football rivalries every club is keen to state theirs as the most fierce. Well, the West Ham vs Millwall derby has been scripted for film it’s so big; hate doesn’t come much bigger than that. The roots of the hatred actually date back to the early 1900s where the two sets of fans held differ stances on workers rights down at the dockyard. It creates division between them and football became a stick to use for beating. As time ticked on, the two faces off on a frequent basis with things getting feisty. That became something else with the rise of hooligans and gang culture in the capital. Nowadays the two play each other less often but go to West Ham’s ground when Millwall visit and you’ll see more than a game.
West Ham vs Tottenham rivalry
West Ham and Tottenham aren’t particularly fond of one another. The two are located in the city of London and, as such, a big proportion of their fans love on close proximity to one another. This aids the ‘banter’ they share whilst the clubs hierarchies haven’t always seen eye to eye either. This fixture also saw the infamous lasagne gate back in 2006; this saw Spurs struck down with a bout of food poisoning before a huge game in their quest for Champions League football. West Ham ended those dreams. Now, the Hammers hope to overtake Spurs in the hunt for a top four finish.
West Ham vs Chelsea rivalry
West Ham vs Chelsea is another London derby but it’s not the city that causes the hatred between the pair – although the Hammers are more worried about this rivalry than their Blue counterpart. For years there had been an on and off rivalry but one transfer between the clubs really revved it up; Frank Lampard. Since he left Upton Park for Stamford Bridge, the fans of each club have never seen eye to eye.
As mentioned above the London Stadium has 66,513 seats but the Club are licenced to use only 60,000 seats on matchdays. When West Ham first took on the tenancy of the stadium the Club were only allowed to use 57,000 seats, but this was later increased to 60,000 and it is expected that this will further increase in the coming seasons. The next further increase will take the capacity to 62,500 and this could happen before the end of the 2019/20 season. This making the London Stadium the biggest Premier League Stadium in London and the second largest in the League (only Old Trafford Manchester United is larger at 74,879).
The stadium offer regular self guided audio tours. They cost:
Adults £17 Concessions £14 Family Ticket 2 Adults + 2 Children £48 Tours can be booked online via the London Stadium website.
Concessions apply to OAP’s, Under 17’s Students and Disabled.
59,988 v Everton Premier League, 30th March 2019.
2019-2020: 59,925 (Premier League) 2018-2019: 58,336 (Premier League) 2017-2018: 56,885 (Premier League)
Special thanks to Martyn Stimpson, Stephen Killick, Melissa Bell, Joshua Hammond and Mike Cleave for providing some of the photos of the London Stadium.
Swansea City Awayday at the London Stadium West Ham United was produced by Swansea City Matchday Experience and made publicly available on YouTube.
Southampton Awaydays at the London Stadium West Ham United was produced by the UglyInside and made publicly available via YouTube.
The Matchday London Stadium tour was produced by West Ham Fan TV and made publicly available via YouTube.
Why not write your own review of the London Olympic Stadium and have it included in the Guide? Find out more about submitting a Fans Football Ground Review.