It's West Ham's home... but in the future

The Hammers have set out their stall to "deliver one of the greatest stadiums in world football" – but it won't be Tottenham's at any point, as FFT's Joe Brewin discovers...
West Ham's future stadium, as seen by a bird

Bird's eye view

Phwoar... one must admit that West Ham's new home for 2016/17 onwards looks pretty darn swish. It should be, of course – after all, the Olympic Stadium was the centrepiece for a hugely successful London 2012 – but the Hammers' plans to make it their own certainly look the part. 

Not only will it have an extra 19,000 seats on Upton Park and a digital wrap (see the next slide for more), the east Londoners will soon be able to boast "one of the best-connected stadiums in Europe" (it says here). Which is lovely.  

Talk of Tottenham part-occupying it for 2017/18, however, has already been quashed by vice-chairman Karren Brady, speaking to reporters on Tuesday. "In reality another team probably could play here but only with our permission. No one's asked yet, and if they did we'd probably say no. If you get my drift." Basically, Daniel Levy need not bother picking up the phone. 

The stadium's new exterior is a digital wrap

Digital world

The Olympic Stadium's coversion is costing an estimated £135 million according to the BBC, though West Ham are only contributing £15m of that and paying another £2m rent per year on top.

The rest is coming from the Government, Newham Council (a loan) and the London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC). Catchy, right?

Money aside, Brady & Co. have set out their ambitious plan – and intend to fulfil every element of it. Following the move, West Ham will be expected to become a top-six Premier League club, all while paying off their debts and becoming self-sufficient. 

The wrap above has not yet received final approval, but the club are confident it can help "consolidate its (the stadium's) status as a global icon and one of the best sports venues in the world". Don't expect Mo Farah-esque laps of honour from Big Sam every other week, mind.  

Claret and blue! Flashing lights! Bubbles!

Matchday

"The most important thing we've done is price it to sell out," said Brady. "Do we think we can fill the stadium? Absolutely."  

Music to the ears of fans, if their version of reality aligns to that of their club's. To land their season tickets they'll have to book an appointment at the club's futuristic new Reservation Centre in Stratford – more akin to a travel agent than a ticket office. "Welcome to the future!" FFT was told on arrival. 

The new West Stand, as shown on a Tuesday night in the League Cup

West Stand story

West Ham are working carefully to make sure the Olympic Stadium looks very much like theirs – but they're also "working round the clock" with the E20 board who want to celebrate the stadium's legacy (buzz word, folks) of success. "A number of solutions regarding seat design and colour are being pursued... our supporters will be in no doubt that they are in the home of West Ham United."

It seems they're going big on the heritage stuff too: a pre-presentation video kindly reminded us that the Hammers basically won the World Cup in 1966, don't you know (with three players in the starting XI).  

Whatever the case, one of West Ham's key objectives is to "create a new benchmark... and deliver one of the greatest stadiums in world football."  

The Hammers' swanky new Club London hospitality aims to "set a new benchmark"

Club London

West Ham's big launch on Tuesday was centred around Club London, the city's "newest and most luxurious members' club".

The corporate seats have gone on sale before anything else, with four options: The BM6 ("invitation-only private club"), executive boxes (16 in total, of which a third have already been sold), Arnold Hills (more relaxed dining club named in honour of the club's founder) and the Royal East (a "chic and elegant lounge" which accommodated the Queen at the Olympics).

Brady claims the new VIP areas will offer "the finest hospitality available in the world of any sport". Prices are yet to be announced (so don't wince just yet), though the Hammers' vice-chairman insists the club have "thought carefully about pricing" to help subsidise other tickets around the ground.