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West Ham United FC revealed last week that a planning application has been submitted by E20 LLP for a spectacular wrap solution for the former London Olympic Stadium, which, if approved, promises to set a new benchmark in world stadia. The Club then confirmed this week that the Stadium will be increased to 60,000-capacity.

The Club and its stadium partners have worked tirelessly with leading digital experts to develop an optimum solution that would revolutionise the exterior of the Stadium. It would see the largest digital screens in Europe, measuring a massive 83m by 12m, installed on the outside of the Stadium.

If approved, the new installation will provide immense benefit to all partners of the Stadium, enabling events throughout the year, including West Ham United matches, to have a highly-visible, cutting edge digital platform for content, information and promotional material, all in glorious HD.

For West Ham matches, the Club’s fans will be able to enjoy clips of their heroes past and present as they make their approach to the world-famous venue they will call ‘home’ from August. So expect goals from Dimitri Payet or classic clips from Bobby Moore’s heyday to enthral the Claret and Blue Army on their way in to the Stadium.

And crucial to that end, the screens would be designed to respond to different brightness settings, meaning definition remains at an optimum level for day or night games in any weather condition.

The exciting new plans – which replace the previously submitted application – also include including prominent, Olympic legacy-inspired Claret and Blue shards, and the Club’s crest and colours, in addition to branding and advertising. This is key to the Club’s absolute commitment to ensuring the Stadium looks and feels like the unmistakable home of West Ham United.

Now that the above proposal has been submitted for consideration, West Ham United and its Stadium partners will be working hard with the planning authority to reach an agreeable outcome. A response is expected within the next eight weeks, to allow installation to take place between May and July.


New Stadium capacity increased to 60,000

In conjunction with the London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC), Newham Council and Stadium operators LS185, West Ham United announced that the former Olympic Stadium will now boast a capacity of 60,000 for Hammers matchdays.

The move will see the release of 6,000 additional seats, so that even more West Ham fans will be able to enjoy the team’s debut season on Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

The Club announced late last year that the number of people registered on the Season Ticket Priority List five times exceeded the number of seasonal seats available. In the months since, the West Ham Board have been working closely with their stadium partners on how to accommodate the maximum number of Hammers fans.

This new higher capacity will bolster footfall to the site, with West Ham’s presence bringing 1.5 million visitors to the park each year.

With the Club’s transition to Stratford proving an overwhelming success so far, West Ham United Vice-Chairman Karren Brady said she was thrilled that thousands more loyal Hammers fans would have the opportunity to take their place in West Ham history. She confirmed:

This announcement is further evidence of the upward trajectory of this Club. We are on course for what could be our most successful Premier League performance ever and our ambitions to finish in the top six and break into Europe are very much within reach.
West Ham fans are famous the world over for their wonderful support. They have demonstrated this once again at matches this season and in the way that they have embraced the move to the new ground. We are delighted to be able to reward that magnificent support by releasing additional Season Tickets and bring even more visitors to the Park to enjoy all that it has to offer.
The 2016/17 season looks bright for the team, the Club and our fans. Not only will we have one of the world’s greatest new stadiums, but now it will be one of the very largest in the world’s most-watched league – a Stadium with both the quality and the capacity to match our ambitions.
David Edmonds, Chairman of E20, added:
It is fantastic to see such a high demand for West Ham United tickets as it shows how eager people are to watch football at the Stadium. By meeting this demand the use of the venue will be maximised, increasing its revenue and the return to the taxpayer. It will also give more people the opportunity to enjoy Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park’s beautiful parklands, historic waterways and unrivalled sports facilities.
Mayor of Newham, Sir Robin Wales, said:
The Stadium is an iconic venue and it is fantastic that even more people will be able see football in such a high quality setting. Our investment in the Stadium was all about giving as many Newham residents as possible the chance to see top class sport in the borough. This announcement further supports that commitment.
Linda Lennon CBE, Chief Executive LS185, Operators of the Stadium said:
We are delighted to have worked with West Ham United to deliver this extra capacity. 60,000 fans will provide a great atmosphere and it is a superb way to begin the new season in this iconic venue.
Main image: Artist’s impression of the design submitted to the planning authorities.
Images courtesy: West Ham United FC

West Ham United Football Club (‘Hammers’) have announced that a stunning ‘West Ham’ seating design is to be installed at the former Olympic Stadium. 

Following extensive consultation with supporters, the seating layout will now be transformed to feature the unmistakable claret and blue colours of West Ham United, while preserving the iconic shard design synonymous with London 2012.

The enhancement – which will be paid for in full by the Club – will also see the words ‘West Ham’ emblazoned across the ‘Kop’ style East Stand, which will be complemented by the instantly recognisable crossed hammer symbol, synonymous with the Hammers, appearing across the lower tier seats and both the North and South stands.

West Ham United Vice-Chairman Karren Brady said:

I am proud to unveil our final designs for the seating at our new home. My Board’s aim is always to exceed our supporters’ expectations. After detailed consultation with our Supporter Advisory Board and other fan groups it became clear that this matter was of paramount importance to them and reaffirmed our belief that we must work day and night to pursue a solution that they would be proud of.

It is important to note that this transformation, along with several others, is being completely funded by West Ham United as another example of our commitment to pay our way at the new Stadium.
We have always pledged that the new Stadium will look and feel like West Ham’s home and today’s announcement is further evidence that we have absolutely kept our promise.
The improvements to the seating are just one of a number of crucial changes that our supporters will see taking shape following the end of the summer events, after which the Stadium will be handed back to the construction team in November. Only then, will the real ‘Westhamification’ take place.
The day when we can finally unveil the finished Stadium to our fans is getting closer and I, for one, cannot wait.

The Club also confirmed that 20,000 new people have now joined the Priority List for Season Tickets at the new Stadium and the new-look seats will be just one of a number of major upgrades they will notice at the Hammers’ first game in their new home in August 2016.

The football requirements will also see an upgrade, when the current turf is taken up to be replaced by a new world-class playing surface. West Ham United Head Groundsman Dougie Robertson will oversee the construction and development of the pitch over the winter to ensure it meets the extremely high standards he has set at the Boleyn Ground.

Away from the pitch, fewer than 200 places now remain in Club London and its stunning hospitality areas will be fitted out from scratch. Among them is The Boleyn bar, The Arnold Hills and The Academy, each with bespoke interiors inspired by the Club’s rich heritage.

Once complete, the VIP areas will offer unrivalled luxury and style to the thousands of supporters who have already secured their VIP seat.

They will set a new benchmark in hospitality in line with the Club’s spectacular designs revealed in September last year.

The new Official Stadium Store will also begin to be fitted out in January ahead of its opening next summer.

The huge,  cutting-edge new retail space will be nearly three times bigger than the current Stadium Store and will mean tens of thousands of supporters can enjoy a wider choice of products and much quicker service every matchday.

There will also be a vast increase in West Ham branding around the Stadium to ensure it is a sea of claret and blue come the big kick-off next August.

The new West Ham United crest will have prominent placing throughout.

In addition to these significant developments, by the end of the year, the Club hope to confirm the final specifications of further groundbreaking marquee features, which are presently subject to planning consent.

Finally, the area that will host the new Champions Place stones and Champions Statue has also received planning permission for development, with work beginning in earnest in November.



Rendering of how the converted stadium will look

The final bill for the stadium in Queen Elizabeth Park has been confirmed by the London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC) at £272 million. Add that to the original £430 million for the Olympic version to get £702 million, making the stadium the most expensive in Britain and in the same league as some US billion-dollar builds.

The LLDC’s strategy is still on course, with international events scheduled for the venue, a pro-active operator in place and a Premier League tenant that will bring large audiences to the site on a regular basis. It will be the only stadium in the UK to meet UEFA Category 4 classification and be a fully compliant IAAF Category 1 athletics facility. Hemmed in by the commitment to athletics, the LLDC chose to convert rather than rebuild, which was made possible by the latest roof and retractable seating technology. The cost overrun of £118m on its original estimate is put down by the LLDC to:

the huge scale of the works undertaken to transform the former Olympic venue from a temporary athletics stadium into a year-round multi-use arena capable of delivering world class sporting and cultural events.

LLDC predicts:

The Stadium will help deliver millions of additional visitors to the area every year and will be part of a regeneration programme that will create an additional economic benefit to east London of well over £3 billion.

The Stadium work included the removal of the original roof and light paddles and installation of a new permanent roof, the largest of its kind in the world. The 45,000sq. m cantilevered roof needed significant strengthening of the superstructure to support the 8km of cable net, 112 steel rafters, 9,900 roof panels and 14 light paddles each weighing 45 tonnes. The new roof covers every seat in the venue, improving the acoustics and spectator experience.

An innovative retractable seating system required the removal of the lower seating bowl. The 21,000 movable seats bring the fans close to the pitch for football and rugby ensuring the Stadium has a long-term legacy.  Other works included installing catering facilities, toilets and turnstiles, all of which were only temporary during the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Before the Stadium re-opens permanently in 2016, the transformation works will be paused this summer to allow the venue to host the Great Newham London Run, Sainsbury’s Anniversary Games, a Barbarians v Samoa rugby union fixture, five matches in the Rugby World Cup 2015, an England v New Zealand Rugby League international and the Race of Champions motorsport event.

David Goldstone, Chief Executive of the London Legacy Development Corporation, said:

We have invested in transforming a temporary athletics venue into a permanent world class multi use arena that has a secure and long-term sustainable future. This has required a significant amount of work and innovative engineering solutions.

Alongside the transformation work the deals signed with British Athletics and West Ham United and the appointment of a stadium operator ensures the Stadium will pay its way and not require any continuing subsidy from the taxpayer.

With a significant amount of work still to do until the Stadium opens in its permanent mode, the Legacy Corporation still holds a contingency fund, which is not included in the costs already announced. Once the transformation of the Stadium is complete it will not require continuous subsidy from the taxpayer and will see a return to the taxpayer through future profits due to the agreements in place with the operator VINCI and concessionaires West Ham United and UK Athletics. The Stadium will contribute to the ongoing and hugely successful regeneration programme already being delivered at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.