Olympic Stadium Q&A - Part 4

THE email address [email protected] has been set up to enable you to ask any question you wish in relation to the West Ham United's historic move to the Olympic Stadium.

We know how important it is that you are given the opportunity to have your questions answered. Every single question is read by the Vice-Chairman personally as well as members of our executive team.

As you will appreciate, many of the most pertinent and frequently asked questions are shared by a large number of you and we are working through them all, starting with the most popular and topical.

We greatly appreciate the quality of your questions and please appreciate that sometimes they are so detailed that they require us to seek further information from the LLDC or other third parties but rest assured we are holding nothing back. We are sharing all the information we have with you as we get it.

Due to the sheer volume and duplication of questions we cannot send personal replies but are publishing the answers on whufc.com on a weekly basis.

What will happen to the Supporters' Club?

The E20 LLP (a joint venture between the LLDC and Newham Council) will be tasked with the letting of other concessions in the Stadium and the LLDC will also be tasked with the letting of units in and round the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

It is our understanding that while some of these units will be let by, for example, the catering partner, that consideration is being given to ensuring that there are both small local business and community uses.

The Club has met with members of the Supporters' Club and has championed their case to the relevant members of the E20 LLP. Club officials have met with key officials from the committee and discussions regarding how the Club can further support the Supporters' Club are ongoing.

Will the stadium naming rights be sold?

Yes, it is the intention that the stadium naming rights will be sold. This is fast becoming the expectation of any big club with a stadium of the stature that would attract a naming rights partner. It is apparent from those Premier League elite clubs that already have a stadium with a naming rights partner that it does not in any way adversely impact upon the Club's ability to retain its sense of identity.

Are matchday travel discounts a possibility?

It has always been our vision that the Club will play its part in ensuring that the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park becomes a day-out 'destination' to the benefit of its visitors and most importantly for our supporters.

This was a key feature of West Ham United's bid. Discussions are underway with the area's key stakeholders to fully explore the cross-marketing possibilities with the Park's stakeholders to ensure it becomes a thriving success and its regular visitors can benefit.

If the Club get relegated, will the Olympic Stadium tenancy agreement impact on the Club financially?

The core focus of our Board strategy is to ensure West Ham United remains a Premier League club.

As a Board we acknowledge that the Stadium must have a team that befits it. We have extensive business experience and are absolutely astute when it comes to managing the Club's finances both as its custodians and to create the revenue required to pay down the debt and invest in the squad and its development. We take our responsibility very seriously.

The Club's turnover has grown year on year since 2010. By the time we play our first match turnover is forecast to have doubled since 2010.

The Club will ALWAYS be able to afford its annual rent. Whilst we do not intend to focus on relegation, the deal is structured in such a way that the annual usage fee is reduced should the Club be relegated.

Where will the away supporters sit?

While we have identified some options for the away supporters' area, this is one of the key areas that we want to consult with our supporters about.

The areas identified will of course be as a result of operational considerations, such as segregation and access.

We have already received some fantastic suggestions.

Our priority must be our own home supporters and their matchday experience. We are aware that the atmosphere at the stadium will form a key part of their enjoyment of the matchday experience. We are also keen to create a ground that visiting supporters want to travel to for us to proudly host them and to enhance the overall atmosphere.

Will there be better facilities such as WCs etc than at present?

Categorically yes. Many of the issues experienced at the Boleyn Ground due to the infrastructure and age of the stadium will be resolved by the stadium move. The ability to offer a world-class modern football stadium with all the associated amenities for our supporters was a key driver for the move due to the restrictions in developing the current stadium.

The Boleyn Ground has 283 WCs while the Olympic Stadium will have 995.

It will also have more than double the number of food and catering units than at the Boleyn Ground.

Will there be an opportunity to honour legends such as Billy Bonds and Geoff Hurst?

Absolutely, and this is an essential part of our plans to make the stadium our home.

We have already confirmed that we will once again be able to name a stand after our legends Bobby Moore and Sir Trevor Brooking and there are also other exciting tributes for former players that will be announced soon. This again is the kind of consultation that we intend to have with supporters once we have gauged their overall feelings towards the move - who would they like to see honoured and how?

Will the Club offices be there?

Yes, the Club offices will of course need to move to the Stadium to offer a year-round location from which to run the Club and service our supporters.

Does the Club lose out commercially by being a tenant?

No, one of the main benefits of the move is that that Club will have a platform from which, with our sustained hard work and commitment, we are able to grow our revenue.

This will be without having to carry the burden of further debt which would follow if we were to the make the initial significant outlay for a new stadium. For West Ham United this opportunity would simply have not been possible any other way.

Not only do we have a unique opportunity to continue paying down our debt but with attendances which could regularly top 50,000 and a further 1,000 hospitality places, the Club has a real opportunity to grow.

The Club also retains all commercial control and revenue from its own assets such as shirt sponsorship, retail and ticketing. It will also take a share of catering income and naming rights.

The hard work we have put in to grow our business year on year as we have since 2010 will need to continue, but the move presents a real platform for us to move the Club to new levels.

This revenue would be re-invested in the squad, youth development and facilities to achieve our footballing ambitions.

Will local businesses such as pie and mash shops be able to move?

This will be down to the individual businesses. They are all privately owned so they will need to decide whether they want to relocate with the Club or not.

There are numerous retail and catering opportunities available in and around the park and the Club would encourage any local business that wants to move with the Club to explore those options.

As above the E20 LLP (a joint venture between the LLDC and Newham Council) will be tasked with the letting of other concessions in the Stadium and the LLDC will also be tasked with the letting of units in and round the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

It is our understanding that while some of these units will be let by, for example, the catering partner that consideration is being given to a strategy that ensures there are both small local business and community uses.