New West Ham Stadium

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Template:Merge to Template:Use dmy dates The New West Ham Stadium was the working name of a proposed football stadium to be built in East London. It would replace the Boleyn Ground (Upton Park) as the home of West Ham United F.C., but plans to develop a new stadium were shelved in the wake of the 2008–2012 Icelandic financial crisis. In 2010 the club submitted a bid to take over the 2012 Olympic Stadium after the games.

Proposals

The Boleyn Ground has a capacity of 35,000, tenth-largest in English football, leaving West Ham at a financial disadvantage compared to its competitors with bigger grounds. Three options were been considered:

Olympic Stadium

File:West Ham United & Newham Council Olympic Stadium.jpg
Artist's impression of the proposed redeveloped Olympic Stadium

The stadium for the 2012 Summer Olympics and Paralympics is close to Upton Park and it is seen as a possible location.<ref name=goldos>Template:Cite news</ref> However the stadium has an athletic track. These are few amongst British football grounds. The City of Manchester Stadium was the athletics venue for the 2002 Commonwealth Games and was converted to football use by removing the running track and digging down and building a new lower tier holding 12,000 new seats, but the legacy requirements of the Olympics prevent that option as the track has to remain.<ref name=track>Template:Cite news</ref>

West Ham's chairman Eggert Magnusson offered to buy the Olympic stadium for £100m and reduce its capacity to 60,000, with 20,000 retractable seats allowing the continuing use of the athletics track.<ref name=Hytner>Template:Citation</ref> However it would cost £400m, and this option was considered too expensive.<ref name=Pritchard>Template:Citation</ref>

Parcelforce site

The London Development Authority wanted the club to build a new ground on the site of a Parcelforce depot southwest of West Ham station. However this site was intended for a new bus station, and gas holders on the site are listed buildings. The new stadium would have a capacity of 50,000 spectators, with the option of extending to 60,000.

The club could have bought the Template:Convert Parcelforce site from the LDA for £15m, and built the ground and a hotel for £200m.<ref name=Pritchard />

Redevelopment of Upton Park

Redevelopment of the existing ground is currently the least likely option. Under Magnusson it would have expanded from 35,000 to 50,000 capacity.<ref name=Pritchard /> As of 2009, they have planning permission for the redevelopment of the East Stand by 2014, increasing capacity to between 43,000 and 44,000. There is an inherent problem with development of the East Stand, as extending it would mean building above Priory Road, which is the main route for the bus station for the East London Bus Group. Routing bus traffic under a stand raises issues of both traffic and fire safety while simultaneously reducing the usable floor area of the new structure. <ref name=kumb>Template:Citation</ref> In 2011 West Ham chairman, David Gold announced that the Boleyn Ground would not be redeveloped saying, "I am ruling out developing the Boleyn, that would be pouring money down the drain."<ref name=goldos/>

Status

Plans for a new stadium have been on hold since the financial crisis of October 2008. West Ham were badly affected as they were owned by Björgólfur Guðmundsson who also controlled Landsbanki, the Icelandic bank at the centre of the 2008–2012 Icelandic financial crisis. In June 2009 he sold the club to a consortium of Icelandic banks to whom he owed money, and declared bankruptcy a few weeks later.

The club's CEO Scott Duxbury indicated in June 2009 that the club's priorities were a new training ground and players, and that they would see what happens with the Olympic stadium after 2012.<ref name=kumb /> The idea of using the Olympic Stadium for football was revived in 2009 as part of England's bid for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, but the Olympics Minister rejected this concept in July 2009. However, since then, West Ham bid for and won the right to be the sole tenant of the Olympic Stadium. It was announced on 22 March 2013 that the team signed a 99-year lease for the Olympic Stadium after the government agreed to put in an extra £25m towards the costs of converting the site. They plan to move into the Stadium before the start of the 2016–17 season.

See also

  • Ground developments to football stadia in the English football league system

References

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Template:Proposed British Football Stadiums

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