London Stadium and Arena Group have completed work to reconfigure the lower tier stands behind the goals at West Ham United’s ground.
The stands have been brought closer to the pitch and squared-off in line with a more traditional football stadium configuration as the next step in improving the overall supporter experience at London Stadium.
This week the last seat was put in place by Arena Group, who has carried out the work for London Stadium, bringing supporters in the North Stand (Bobby Moore) and South Stand (Sir Trevor Brooking) nearer the action in a new squared off design.
The new layout will allow seats to be moved more quickly and efficiently for the full calendar of events. The reduced timeframe for the £5 million seating system will save about £1 million a year on seat move costs, helping to repay the investment and reduce the venue’s operational costs.
The venue has welcomed world class rugby, multiple sell-out concerts, two MLB season fixtures, in addition to its recognisable role as a global home of athletics, with the popular Anniversary Games a regular in the Diamond League calendar at the Stadium.
The work has been completed on time and to budget, and is ready to be used by West Ham United fans once spectators are permitted to return to venues.
Graham Gilmore, CEO of London Stadium said:
We are delighted to have delivered this project because of the additional benefits it brings, both in terms of bringing the stand closer to the pitch and providing more efficient seat moves.
Our multi-use Stadium brings major global sporting and entertainment events to London, along with Premier League football, benefiting the local and city-wide economy. This is a further example of the efficiencies and improvements we are driving to create a sustainable business for the long-term.
Greg Lawless, CEO of Arena Group commented:
We are pleased to provide a truly flexible seating solution that enhances the legacy of the London Stadium. Yet again this shows the strength of our innovation and project management in delivering a value-enhancing solution to our customers.
This is something fans wanted and the club has delivered, after naming the Billy Bonds Stand and introducing more claret and blue last year. West Ham said:
The Club worked hard to ensure the challenging process of relocating supporters was as smooth as possible. Although West Ham United were not able to host fans at London Stadium to discuss the plans in person due to the social distancing measures introduced to help contain the outbreak of COVID-19, the Club created a bespoke online portal for fans to be able to see the reconfigured stands alongside computer generated images showing views from seats, so that they were fully informed ahead of season ticket renewals being announced for the 2020-21 season.
Club captain Mark Noble said:
I’ve always said the West Ham fans are the best around – they make a real difference and the atmosphere they create at London Stadium is massive for the players. Bringing the fans closer to the pitch can only be good for them and us, and we can’t wait until everyone is back together in the Stadium again.
The reconfigured lower tier stands are designed to be compatible for rail seating, to allow them to be adapted in future should there be any changes to Premier League guidelines on safe standing.
A number of creative options to further enhance the look and feel of the Stadium have been incorporated, including the use of claret and blue club colours, with the designs also improving access to amenities on the concourse.