West Ham United is to explore the possibility of moving the lower tiers of the Sir Trevor Brooking and Bobby Moore Stands closer to the pitch in a bid to improve the atmosphere at the London Stadium.
The stadium was built for the 2012 Olympics in London and some fans have complained that the layout of the venue has an adverse effect on the match-day experience.
West Ham is seeking to address that and the club announced that it is working with stadium management on a consultation on the proposed changes. The proposal would bring the vast majority of fans in the lower tiers of the two stands closer to the pitch, many by more than four metres.
The stands will be squared off in line with a “more traditional football stadium configuration” behind the goals. The club has written to supporters who hold season tickets in these stands.
The concept would move thousands of fans closer to the action and West Ham said the project would allow for a quicker and more straightforward seat installation and removal process. This would in turn increase the availability of the stadium for events throughout the summer and reduce the annual costs of operating the stadium.
Karren Brady, vice-chairman of West Ham, said: “Last year I re-stated the club’s commitment to supporters that we were constantly working hard to continue to enhance the match-day 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.”
Lyn Garner, chief executive of London Stadium owners London Legacy Development Corporation, added: “We are pleased to have a proposal which brings fans closer to the pitch which we know is something the supporters and club want. The atmosphere at the stadium has been fantastic this season and this layout will help build on that momentum.
“It will also be another important step in getting the most efficient seat moves. This is a multi-use stadium bringing major global events to London such as Major League Baseball, athletics and international music stars which, along with Premier League football, benefits 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.
“We continue to work closely with West Ham United, our main partners, so we have a stadium that meets everyone’s needs.”
Image: West Ham United