Ever since the news first broke that West Ham may be taking over residence at the Olympic Stadium, there has been a raging debate as to whether it should happen or not with arguments being made for and against the move. I have not hidden my views on the subject and openly support the move, I think it would be great for the club with a huge potential for the future.
Having said that I’m going to try and be objective for this article over the saga of the future of the £468m stadium which has been long and drawn out, punctuated by missed opportunities, legal battles and expensive mistakes. The original deal with West Ham had to be scrapped amid legal challenges from Tottenham Hotspur and Leyton Orient.
Despite this West Ham remain committed to moving into the stadium and are the most lucrative option, but there are still financial hurdles to be crossed, with the mayor seeking a bigger contribution from the Premier League club. The OPLC committee seriously fear that without football in the stadium, it will purely become a White Elephant. The West Ham bid blows all others out the window but everything must be taken 100pc seriously and done accurately to avoid future problems.
This has caused a delay on the decision which still could continue on further but is not now expected to do so after serious talks that are ongoing. Obviously there are both pros and cons to the move. My mains reasons for the move would be new money coming in from sponsors just because of the stadium, let alone the extra revenue from the amount of extra seats that would be available on match days which would benefit the club so much financially.
I feel that with the move, apart from the established audience the support for West Ham will grow astronomically again due to the new stadium. I don’t think there will be an issue with filling the ground like some people seem to think. It’ll be exactly the same as it is now, some games will sell out, some won’t.
The main argument I keep hearing, is how spectators will be too far away to be able to watch properly and will need binoculars. To this I say waffle. People watching the Olympics had no such issues and everyone I’ve spoken to that watched an event only had good things to say about the stadium.
The other criticism has been about the running track, with people saying even the front seats will be too far away from the pitch. Well, as West Ham have said in their plan, they want to put in retractable seats to cover the track, so this will negate that problem and people’s view will be no different than those at another big stadium say Wembley for example.
I’m sure the debate will rage on and I eagerly await the outcome and sincerely hope West Ham get to become the new residents of the Olympic Stadium. The way I see it, West Ham is my religion, Upton Park is my church and the Olympic Stadium will be my cathedral.