Tenancy is due in 2015/16, so we have a couple of seasons to go.
But what does this hold for me, the supporter?
Well, I think the transport links will be very good – it is a bloody nightmare getting out of Upton Park on a matchday, and having been to the actual Olympics, it was a relatively painless experience.
The view is good – it just depends how close the pitch will be to the seating. But quite regular, I had more or less the same seat in the West Stand and North Bank for quite a period of time – that will be gone and perhaps you could get a random seat anywhere. I like my consistency.
And what about the pre-match ritual?
Without fail, I get out of Upton Park tube and head straight for Queens Fish Bar for chips and sausage. OK, I deviated about 3 times in the last 20 years, but this is the pre-match ritual. I don’t bother with a pint as it is just too much in the Queens or the Boleyn Arms.
So what am I going to do in two years time? Well, with all things change is good, but when you have done the same thing for the last 20 years, it is going to feel odd and strange. I hope that Queens will be given a license to have a mobile stand or summat. And then we have places like Ken’s Cafe and other burger vans on Green St. Some have been going to these eateries for far longer, so this may impact the local business as well as give the supporter a strange feeling.
Not everyone is going to like it – there will be some that refuse to attend the new ground as it i not the Boleyn. Some say that this is going to be the new Emptycrates – devoid of atmosphere. And ticket prices – we are already paying far too much for some seats, and I suppose that West Ham are doing their best to ensure that football can be affordable with deals and such. However, I can’t help thinking that pricing will increase to cover not only the £2m rent that we have to pay per year but also the wages and other expenses.
So yet to see if affordable football will be at the Hammers.
And then there is Upton Park – the Boleyn Ground. The land is valuable, so a chance to perhaps sell it and wipe out the debt. Or better still flog it to Barry Hearn – he is after a bigger stadium for his patethic little club and ambitions. But it will be sad to see the thing get knocked down and turned into rubble. But that is progress – Highbury is now a bunch of flats, Maine Road, Roker Park and the Baseball Ground now stand proud with houses, where once the terraces stood. I am hoping that the flog a seat on ebay, as I will be interested in getting a wee bit of history.
So lots of things – both good and bad – but at the end of the day, it is good for the club and that is all that matters. Other things are incidental and people will adapt./
Change is good.