Since the momentous decision when West Ham United, in partnership with the London Borough of Newham were announced as the recommended preferred bidder to occupy the Olympic Stadium post the 2012 Games, there has been much coverage in the press and great discussion surrounding the decision. But what does this really mean for you - our principal stakeholders?


Where are we now and what does it mean?

West Ham United along with Newham Council have unanimously been recommended by the OPLC as their preferred bidder to occupy the Stadium post the 2012 Games.

This decision has since been ratified by the Mayor of London's Office and the Government on 3 March 2011. We are still part of a process which is in part confidential. This means despite the fact that we are keen to share more information with you regarding the specifics of our bid, we are unable to go into some of the finer details.

We would look to occupy the Stadium from the start of the 2014/15 season.

Why did we go for the Olympic Stadium in the first place?

This amazing iconic Olympic Stadium will be one of the top stadia in the country. We have been given a once-in-a lifetime opportunity to occupy the Stadium and grow the club. We had to take this chance. The Board and staff have ambitious but realistic goals for West Ham United including doing anything we can in the long term to establish us as a top-six club.

We must be ambitious and this must be our goal.

A move to the Olympic Stadium offers the best opportunity we have of realising this ambition. Also, once Tottenham entered the race the alternative did not bear thinking about.

Will we fill it?

We have been around capacity for several years now. Average attendance over the last two seasons is 33,500 - close to full capacity irrespective of recession, current team performance and considering segregation, an often under-utilised away allocation is still at 93.4%.

We recorded the second highest attendance in the FA Cup fourth round with only Arsenal recording a higher attendance at the Emirates.

Our database is huge. More than 700,000 have registered with us and you continually tell us that the reason you don't attend matches is either due to lack of affordability or poor transport links, both of which are resolved by the move.

Accessibility, affordability and facilities will also be greatly improved for those who do currently attend. Our proposals with Newham Council also include free tickets for schools and community groups.

You keep telling us that football is too expensive. Our strategy since the owners came on board in January 2010 has been to address this and the Stadium presents a real chance to do something about it. We also have the opportunity to grow and widen our fanbase in the area as the Olympic Stadium will be easily accessible to several boroughs.

The club anticipates a 60,000 sell-out for the big games - Arsenal, Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester United, Liverpool and Manchester City.

Why can't we stay at Upton Park?

For all of the reasons outlined above. We have also looked into developing the current site previously and our ambitions cannot be realised. Our bid is about more than football alone - it is a substantial investment in the community, creating much needed businesses and jobs for the regeneration of east London.

A move back 'home' to the old borough of West Ham at the Olympic Stadium could also start a chain reaction of five desperately needed redevelopment projects in four different boroughs.

What will the sightlines be like in the new stadium?

Once the multi-million pound conversion has happened, NO seat in the stadium will have a worse view than the furthest at Wembley, and in fact the seat furthest away at the converted stadium is closer to the pitch than at Wembley. We will guarantee it will be an inspiring place to play and you will have great views and - unlike many stadiums - always see the ball when it is in play.

We are already reviewing proposals that have been submitted to help make this a truly world-class football stadium when in football mode.

Much has been made of the considerations regarding retractable seating. The club can confirm we are exploring this option for a permanent solution similar to that at the Stade de France. This could cost in the region of £10m. We are continuing to explore this option with one of the world's leading stadium designers - Populous.

We will continue to investigate this and other options. It is essential to note, however, that the Stadium is far more intimate than many assume. This is why we are so keen to arrange Stadium visits for supporters. As well as our respect for the OPLC process, we have been unable to hold tours because the Stadium has been deemed a construction site.

This has meant only limited numbers of people have been able to visit at any one time. We assure you we are pushing to start the tours at the earliest opportunity and we expect to be able to update you on this in the very near future.

Nothing is off the table. The club is run by fans for fans and we more than anyone know that we have to ensure optimum sightlines and atmosphere for the club to thrive. Once we have full confirmation of preferred bidder status we will be able to reveal far more details regarding the options available to us and rest assured we will be consulting you every step of the way in this regard.

Don't forget - the UEFA EURO 2012 final next year is in a stadium that has a running track, has have three of the last four host venues for the FIFA World Cup final.

What will the atmosphere be like in the Olympic Stadium?

One of the best match atmospheres in England will not be lost, with a pricing strategy to encourage a full stadium and an intimate environment created by our proposed state of the art roof design. You will make the atmosphere - just as you do now.

I don't feel I have been consulted?

As detailed above, there have been restrictions on what we have been able to share with our supporters and to a certain extent our proposals are at this stage largely conceptual.

Rest assured, we will be stepping up our consultation with supporters - now that we have the opportunity to do so under the OPLC process.

That said until now we have been regularly updating people and asking for fan feedback via articles on, emails to supporters and the matchday programme - and we are grateful to everyone who responded.

Thousands of replies have been received to date - especially through our dedicated email address at This address was set up exclusively for fans who wanted to engage more fully with the process and we have been consulting regularly with hundreds of supporters who have engaged with this process.

You can be confident that we have taken every single comment on board but we look forward to receiving many more in the weeks and months to come. This address remains open so please do contact us directly.

Questions regarding views on the Stadium were also included in last season's Premier League Fan Survey which was sent to supporters to complete on several occasions in the first half of the season.

The next steps after Mayoral and Government ratification of the OPLC decision include our intention to start supporter tours and also revealing more details behind our bid.

We will also be staging fan forums once this stage is complete and will the new Supporter Advisory Board will truly give an extra voice in the key decisions affecting the club.

Back in December in the Manchester City programme, we first revealed the details of this fan consultation panel and will be advertising this more widely in the coming weeks. This would be an independent body with a direct voice to influence and suggest on key areas such as the stadium move, kit design and all fan-based issues. You can email to find out more. Representatives must be either Season Ticket holders or hold some level of membership with the club such as Corporate, Academy and International.

As a club run by fans for fans, we will be guided by you. Please contact the club at any time should you want information.

What will be left at the Boleyn Ground and what will come with us to our new home?

A major consideration is how to leave behind the Boleyn Ground, and to make sure that we do it in the proper and respectful way. We would make the Olympic Stadium a home from home. More than just memories will come on the short journey from Upton Park to Stratford - whether it is the John Lyall Gates or the commemorative bricks. The move is another step in our great and proud history and our heritage will be with us at every stage.

We have a full register of all those whose names appear on the bricks and those names will travel with West Ham United to our new home.

Similarly we will be very respectful in terms of the memorial areas at the front of the Boleyn Ground, and will endeavour to respond to supporter wishes in respect of honouring their loved ones. We will be contacting the appropriate people individually to ensure their wishes are met.

What happens because of relegation?

Relegation will not affect our business plan - which is cost effective and proven. It is realistic and deliverable at every level in every scenario. The beauty of our plan is we are in complete control along with Newham Council. We have the funds ourselves - we are not borrowing from banks.

Our attendance is likely to remain high just as it has when we have been in this situation previously.

Is there a danger the current owners will sell up?

David Sullivan and David Gold have waited their whole lives to 'come home' to West Ham. It is not about bricks and mortar for them but a commitment to helping their club to be the best it can be wherever they play. David Gold was born in the East End, in Green Street, and David Sullivan went to university here. They know the area, they know the people and they have a long-term vision.

Our owners are supporters and no one will work harder than them to ensure the success of the new Stadium and the club as a whole. That is a promise.