West Ham United F.C. - Stadium


See also: Boleyn Ground and Olympic Stadium (London)

West Ham are currently based at the Boleyn Ground, commonly known as Upton Park, in Newham, east London. The capacity of the Boleyn Ground is 35,016. This has been West Ham's ground since 1904. Prior to this, in their previous incarnation of Thames Ironworks, they played at Hermit Road in Canning Town and briefly at Browning Road in East Ham, before moving to the Memorial Grounds in Plaistow in 1897. They retained the stadium during their transition to becoming West Ham United and were there for a further four seasons before moving to the Boleyn Ground in 1904.

Former chairman Eggert Magnússon made clear his ambition for West Ham United to move to the Olympic Stadium after the 2012 Olympics, a desire reiterated by current chairmen Gold and Sullivan when they assumed control of the club stating that they felt it was a logical move for the Government as it was in the borough of Newham.

However in February 2010, the British Olympic Minister stated that West Ham wouldn't get the stadium, and it would instead be used for track and field. On 17 May 2010 West Ham and Newham London Borough Council submitted a formal plan to the Olympic Park Legacy Company for the use of the Olympic Stadium following the 2012 Olympic Games. The proposal was for a stadium with a capacity of 60,000 which would retain a competition athletics track. The proposal was welcomed by the chairman of UK athletics, Ed Warner, who said "I think it will feel great as a football stadium and I speak as a football fan as well the chairman of UK Athletics. I think you'd find West Ham would cover the track in the winter season so it wouldn't look like you had a track between you and the pitch".

On 30 September 2010, the club formally submitted its bid for the Olympic Stadium with a presentation at 10 Downing Street, and on 8 October 2010 the world's largest live entertainment company Live Nation endorsed the club's Olympic Stadium plans. Three days after Live Nation's endorsement UK Athletics confirmed its formal support for West Ham United and Newham Council in their joint bid to take over the Olympic Stadium in legacy mode. In November 2010 West Ham United commenced a search for potential developers for “informal discussions” about what would happen to the ground if it wins its bid to take over the Olympic Stadium after the 2012 Games. According to the club, the site could be vacated and open to redevelopment by the summer of 2014. On 11 February 2011 the Olympic Park Legacy Committee selected West Ham United as the preferred club to move into the Olympic Stadium after the 2012 Games.

The decision in favour of West Ham's bid was unanimous, although controverisal as local rivals Tottenham Hotspur had also been bidding for the venue. However, their hopes of moving to the stadium have since been placed under doubt following a challenge by Leyton Orient, fearful that having West Ham playing less than a mile away from their Brisbane Road ground could steal support from the club and put them out of business. On 3 March 2011 West Ham United's proposed move to the Olympic Stadium was formally approved by the British government and the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson.

On 8 June 2011, it was confirmed that the Westfield Shopping Centre had been in detailed talks with West Ham for naming rights of the new Olympic stadium which could be called the Westfield Stadium In August 2011 an independent investigation initiated by the Olympic Park Legacy Company upheld the decision to award West Ham the Olympic Stadium after the 2012 Games. West Ham announced plans to move from The Boleyn Ground from season 2014–15.

By March 2012 West Ham was one of the four bidders for the Stadium. With a decision due by the Olympic Park Legacy Company in May 2012 Boris Johnson delayed the final selection of future tenants until completion of the 2012 Olympics stating that it was "overwhelmingly likely" that the tenants would be West Ham United.

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