West Ham United news: Plans revealed to move fans closer to London Stadium pitch to improve matchday experience

18 Feb

West Ham want to bring fans closer to the action at the London Stadium in a bid to improve the matchday experience for supporters.

The lower tiers of the Sir Trevor Brooking and Booby Moore stands, behind the goalposts at either end of the ground, may be moved forward by four metres.

They also want the stands to be squared-off in line with a more traditional football stadium.

The London Stadium where West Ham United play

The Hammers have written to season ticket holders who currently sit in those areas to inform them of the plans.

The proposals have also already been presented to the West Ham Official Supporters’ Board.

Inside the London Stadium

Karren Brady, the club’s vice chairman, said: “Last year I re-stated the club’s commitment to supporters that we were constantly working hard to continue to enhance the matchday experience at every level.

“My team and I have been working hard in the background with stadium management, mindful that seating is something supporters wanted us to explore and we have listened.

“Following positive feedback on the initial concept we are pleased that we are now in a position to be able to move forward.

“As part of the process it is important, first and foremost, that we consult with fans currently in those stands on any proposals and have already started that process.

“The club and stadium are committed to working together to ensure we have a home that our fans deserve and can be proud of.”

West Ham have called the London Stadium home since the start of the 2016/17 season, and the club have recently been involved in legal disputes with the London Legacy Development Corporation, the stadium’s owners, over various issues including the ground’s maximum capacity and the colour of material surrounding the pitch.

West Ham United news: London Stadium owners predicted to lose £5million over disputes with club

15 Dec

The owners of the London Stadium are predicted to lose up to £5million due to legal disputes with West Ham United.

According to The Times, the London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC) believe costs will reach the amount by the end of the present financial year, with £3.6million of the predicted loss used to defend against West Ham’s attempts to increase the capacity of the stadium.

West Ham agreed a 99-year tenancy of the London Stadium in 2013

West Ham wanted full use of the 66,000 seats at the London Stadium under the existing terms of their 99-year lease, meaning they would not have had to pay additional rent.

The LLDC fought West Ham over their plans, however, and the case was settled last month with the club forced to pay an extra £250,000 per season to use a further 3,000 seats.

To use the full capacity, West Ham will have to stump up an extra £450,000 per season.

Other legal cases have caused further costs, including an issue over the colour of the material surrounding the pitch.

Karren Brady, the West Ham vice-chairman, said earlier this year that West Ham would be interested in buying the London Stadium should it’s owners go bust.

West Ham United to increase London Stadium capacity after agreement reached with landlords

19 Nov

West Ham United can lay claim to having the second biggest stadium in the Premier League after settling a legal dispute out of court.

The Hammers took their row with the London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC) to the High Court and on Monday announced an agreement which will enable them to increase the capacity of the London Stadium to 66,000.

The Hammers will be bested only by Manchester United with their new official capacity

After two years of unsuccessful talks – during which time they have been restricted to selling just 57,000 tickets for their home games – the Hammers opted for legal action.

According to the club, the new agreement reached with E20 (a subsidiary of LDC) means that, subject to regulatory permission, they will be now able to sell up to 60,000 tickets for their games and leaves scope to increase that to 66,000 seats in the future.

West Ham say the resolution of the row, which centred on the cost of making the additional seats available and the revenue from them, will result in more funding for E20 and significant extra match-day revenue for the club.

The Hammers already boast the highest number of season-ticket holders in London and say and the new agreement gives them the chance to reward thousands of fans on a waiting list.

An extra 9,000 West Ham fans will pack into the Stratford venue

In a joint statement, Lyn Garner, chief executive of E20, and West Ham vice chairman Karren Brady said: “West Ham United and E20 will now work together to maximise this magnificent stadium for the benefit of fans, our community and the public purse.

“Both parties are fully committed to making the London Stadium the jewel in London’s crown that we all know it can be.”

West Ham moved into the old Olympic stadium in Stratford in 2016, having signed a 99-year lease, paying rent of £2.5million a year.

The new arrangement will see the London Stadium become the largest football stadium in London and the second biggest in the Premier League behind Old Trafford.

The club say the increase in capacity will also make the stadium a more attractive proposition for a potential naming rights partner.

West Ham news: Karren Brady confirms club would be interested in buying London Stadium

18 Oct

Karren Brady admits West Ham would be interested in buying the London Stadium amid a dispute with the much-maligned ground’s current owners.

Earlier this year it was reported E20 Stadium LLP, who own the London Stadium, could go bust in the coming months having been forced to take out a loan of public money just to stay afloat.

West Ham agreed a 99-year tenancy of the London Stadium in 2013

E20 are expected to be backed by the London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC) until at least next March, but their chief executive, Lyn Garner, criticised West Ham for agreeing a peppercorn rent to use the ground.

“What is really driving the problems are the low rents paid by the concessionaires, particularly West Ham,” she said last month.

“I’ve got to say the elephant in the room is the fee that they pay us is the usage cost does not cover the event-day costs and that’s before we go anywhere near a commercial advantage.”

Brady has hit back at figures released by the LLDC which say taxpayers are shelling out up to £250,000 for each West Ham match, with the vice-chairman insisting the stadium is ‘generating millions of pounds’ on matchdays.

“There should be a surplus,” Brady was quoted by the BBC.

“We would like more control over our matchdays, no one knows how to do that more than us. When we first wanted to move in, we offered to buy the stadium, and we would have been responsible for all costs and that was rejected.

“London Stadium craves direction, it should be a jewel in the crown. It needs financial control, it needs investment, it has nowhere near reached its potential and that’s incredibly frustrating.

“Unfortunately our help has not been sought.”

She added: “I refuse to accept any criticism that our rent is too low, because that is simply not the case. Costs are too high.”

Brady has defended West Ham’s tenancy of the London Stadium

West Ham pay a reported £3million-a-year in rent which could see the London Stadium lose £140million over the next decade, and Brady has made it clear the club will look to buy the venue if the opportunity arises.

“That’s certainly something we’d look at,” Brady continued.

West Ham have called the London Stadium home since 2016, having been granted a 99-year tenancy of the ground in March 2013.