Now in its third year, The London Stadium Survey 2019 was completed by 4,392 match going supporters in March revealing some interesting comparisons when compared year-on-year since the move from the Boleyn Ground to the former Olympic Stadium.
This year the survey has shown improvements in every single area when compared to last year which is encouraging that supporters perceptions are clearly changing. When compared to 2017 just two areas have not shown improvement which are catering and stewarding. Supported by a number of different West Ham websites, blogs and social media accounts, including Blowing Bubbles, the survey has been completed by over 15,000 match-going supporters in three years.
The questions have remained broadly the same to allow comparisons to be made. First up, we asked if after 30 months in the London Stadium, if they believed that the move was a good idea. Some 49 per cent said yes, which is a significant improvement since last year when only 22 per cent said the move was a good idea. Some 27 per cent said no and 24 per cent said they weren’t sure.
Next up, participants were asked when the London Stadium will feel like our proper home with 20 per cent voting that it already does – this is an increase of 14 per cent on both 2018 and 2017. There was also a decrease of 20 per cent of those voting for ‘it never will’ which dropped from 41 per cent in 2018 to 21 per cent this year.
The vast majority of people believed it will take between two to five more seasons (32 per cent), while 18 per cent felt it could be between six to eight seasons and nine per cent voted for ten seasons plus.
The next question gave as an insight as to how many of those filling out the survey are season ticket holders. When asked if they planned to renew their season ticket, 12 per cent stated they already had while 47 per cent said they did plan to renew. While 26 per cent stated they either weren’t a season ticket holder or on the waiting list.
This indicates that around 3,149 of those filling out the survey are season ticket holders with 532 saying they had already renewed their season tickets, and 1,989 planning to renew before the May 31 deadline. Also revealed was that 445 are undecided at the moment. The big take out on this question is only 6 per cent say they won’t renew because it was 18 per cent last year.
When asked if season ticket holders had ever used the ticket exchange functionality for matches they couldn’t attend, there was an increase of five per cent from 25 per cent to 30 per cent. Asked about their view on the general matchday atmosphere at the London Stadium in terms of volume and support for the team, there was an increase of 15 per cent saying the general atmosphere is excellent or good from last year, which is probably down to more wins at home and some better football.
There was also an increase of 12 per cent of people who either responded with ‘excellent’ or ‘good’ on their view of the quality of stewarding and security at the London Stadium. There was further improvement of 17 per cent in the ‘excellent’ or ‘good’ answers when asked about the experience of the London Stadium sightlines and views of the pitch.
Some 21 per cent said it was excellent and 44 per cent voted for good. By contrast, 35 per cent voted for either ‘average’ or ‘poor’. There wasn’t much improvement on the question asking for views on the quality, choice and price of food and drink within the London Stadium with 17 per saying it was either ‘excellent’ or ‘good’ – up from 13 per cent in 2018.
But there was a good jump of 15 per cent on people voting for either ‘excellent’ or ‘good’ on their experience of travelling to and from the London Stadium. Almost half of those polled were positive – suggesting supporters are getting used to the transport links and finding better and more efficient ways to travel – compared to 37 per cent last year.
As for rating the general matchday experience at London Stadium, there was a massive increase of 28 per cent in the ‘excellent’ and ‘good’ sections on last year, which suggests perceptions are changing as a result of better football under Pellegrini.
Only 11 per cent voted the experience as poor. This was down on the 29 per cent recorded last year. When asked if West Ham should pay more in the contribution to the running costs of the stadium, 54 per cent said no – an increase on the 36 per cent last year.
The crystal ball questions saw fans voting on whether or not they felt West Ham will become a regular top six club within the next five years, and kick on to the next level and become a top-four team within 10 years as a result of the move to the London Stadium. It was a resounding no to both with 62 per cent saying a regular top six place is out of our reach within five years and 70 per cent against the idea we could become a top-four team within 10 season.
Only 14 per cent felt the former could be achieved, and seven per cent felt the latter would be achievable for the club. Finally, 39 per cent felt the board are doing either an excellent or a good job – up from 27 per cent the year before.
The amount of people who felt they were doing a poor job decreased from 69 per cent last year to 16 per cent this year. Both most likely relate to the summer spending and landing Manuel Pellegrini.
As in previous years the results and additional comments were shared with the West Ham board including David Sullivan, David Gold and Karren Brady as well as senior management at the club. While never officially acknowledging the London Stadium survey, one senior figure described the results as an interesting read.