Tony Cottee Column: Olympic Stadium is the perfect platform for West Ham

11:42 13 September 2012

Proposed view of West Ham

Proposed view of West Ham's occupation of the Olympic Stadium

Archant

“I believe once Hammers fans see the detailed plans, any doubters will soon change their minds.”

Following a fantastic summer of British sport, a lot of which took place at the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, the focus has changed to what happens next in terms of the spectacular venues inside the Olympic Park.

We all know that West Ham have put in a bid to become the tenants of the Olympic Stadium and right from the word go I have been a strong supporter of the move.

It is a difficult decision for me, as I have so many fond memories of Upton Park both as a player and a fan, but I just feel that in order to progress on to the next level, we have to move to the Olympic Stadium.

Increasing the capacity would mean that more West Ham fans would be able to come and watch the team that they love, and the board have already said that they would make ticket prices more affordable to families.

The reason that Upton Park is not a complete sell-out week in, week out is that tickets are highly priced, but that would change if the Hammers’ moved.

One key point that I hope the club have played hard ball with is the retractable seating.

I think that the running track being on display would not be acceptable for the fans, for the players and for the club.

We live in the 21st entury and there are always solutions to these problems and I am sure that if we were awarded the stadium it would become a world class home and we would be the envy of the rest of the teams in the Premier League.

If the club are successful in their bid, I believe any fans that doubt the move would change their minds as soon as they saw the detailed plans.

The club are sworn to secrecy at the moment and they don’t want any images getting leaked while the bidding process is underway, but if West Ham win the rights to the stadium and everyone sees the plans, I think every fan will be happy.

I know some fans have a concern about the club losing its history, and it is true that we will be losing the ground where many past events have happened, but we would also be moving closer to our spiritual home, and actually closer to West Ham.

We would be staying in the borough, moving two-and-a-half miles down the road, and moving on to bigger and better things.

The facilities and transport links would be unrivalled – Stratford station is the best linked station in the whole of Europe.

At the moment, fans from all over the country find it hard to get to West Ham games, that would simply be a thing of the past.

There would be no worrying about where to park the car near the stadium as you wouldn’t need to.

Even Hammers fans from as far afield as France and Germany would be easily able to come and watch home games, it will open up a whole new market of supporters.

Some are questioning whether West Ham could fill a stadium with 60,000 fans week in, week out, and I don’t agree with this.

Obviously a lot depends on the pricing as I mentioned earlier, but I am certain for the big games against the likes of Manchester United and Arsenal the ground would be full.

The away teams would also get large allocations, perhaps 6,000, and then for the less glamorous games I am sure the club will continue to operate the highly successful kids for a quid scheme.

I think the positives far outweigh any negatives over the potential move to Stratford, and for the good of the club as a whole we should embrace the move.

I am not saying the move to the Olympic Stadium will guarantee West Ham to challenge for the Premier League title, but it would definitely make the club a highly attractive one to play for.

And then who knows.

Tony Cottee was talking to Nathaniel John

Sign up for our news alerts today!

Our editors' picks for the day's top news delivered to your inbox or phone.

Sign up for email alerts Sign up for mobile alerts
1
2 3 4 5 6
7

Latest West Ham news

Wednesday, May 27, 2015
Karim Benzema of Real Madrid. (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images)

Chelsea told to forget about goalkeeper while Spanish giants eye Arsenal left-back.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015
West Ham ratings

It was a season of two halves for West Ham which ultimately ended in Sam Allardyce leaving the club just three minutes after the final whistle at Newcastle. Here are how we rated the Hammers’ players this season.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015
West Ham United's Diafra Sakho celebrates after he scored the opening goal of the game for his side during the Barclays Premier League match at Turf Moor, Burnley.

West Ham’s summer holidays will be cut short with the news that they have officially qualified for next season’s Europa League.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015
Marcelo Bielsa   (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images)

Marseille boss Marcelo Bielsa appeared to give an emotional goodbye speech to France after their final games of the season at the weekend.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015
Rafael Benitez, head coach of Napoli (Photo by Giuseppe Bellini/Getty Images)

West Ham’s managerial search looks to have suffered a setback with the news that Rafael Benitez is “99 per cent” certain to be the next Real Madrid coach.

What is this?

Near You Now

Competitions

The sell out 2014 event 32 Londoners, returns to the Coca-Cola London Eye!

The Coca-Cola London Eye is proud to announce that 32 Londoners will be returning this June, following last year’s sell out event. The event will feature 32 talks, in each of the London Eye’s 32 capsules on 32 extraordinary Londoners.

Read more
You could take in stunning views of London over brunch at the Sky Garden

Celebrate lighter, brighter days with the chance of winning an indulgent brunch for two with a bottle of bubbles at Darwin, the cool and casual brasserie 36 floors up at Sky Garden.

Read more
Time to experience the dizzy heights of London's tallest attraction!

Morgan Pryce, commercial property experts based in London are offering one lucky reader the chance to win a pair of tickets to The Shard viewing platform in the city itself.

Read more

Don't Miss...

West Ham Transfer News

Chelsea's Petr Cech attempts a save against Arsenal  (Photo by David Price/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

The season is almost over, with the FA Cup final bringing the curtain down next weekend, so clubs all around the capital, country and Europe are now looking at summer transfer deals. Here is our handy Tuesday round-up.

Read more
Jackson Martinez of FC Porto battles with Dante and Jerome Boateng of Bayern Munich (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

The Premier League season is over but silly season has just begun. Here are the latest transfer rumours from around the web.

Read more
Gonzalo Higuain and Rafa Benitez

Napoli striker Gonzalo Higuain reportedly had a furious confrontation with manager Rafa Benitez after their 3-1 defeat to Juventus on Saturday.

Read more
Arturo Vidal of Juventus FC celebrates (Photo by Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images)

The latest transfer news and gossip on the final day of the Premier League season.

Read more