Sunday 10 January 2016

The Olympic Stadium is Simply a Dream for International Hammers!

As the move to the Olympic Stadium draws ever closer, VERYWESTHAM decided to take a trip to road test the Olympic experience. On the weekend of the Stoke City game,  we flew in on Friday and pretended that the game was at the new Stadium... Given our hopes of taking in more live action over the coming years, we approached the visit with a sense of trepidation - would the stadium be as impressive as reports suggest, and how easily accessed will it be for the foreign visitor who wants to support their Hammers heroes in person?

No room at the inn.....yet!
Taking the early morning flight from Shannon, we arrived at Stansted airport and proceded to the information desk. Lo and behold there was mughty good news as it turns out that we shall no longer incur the extreme costs of the Stansted Express into London (£34 which is often more than the Ryanair flights!).

Even better, no we are also no longer behoven to the tired old district line. While it has been a (mostly) efficient source of transport during our matchday trips out to Upton Park, for the time-pressurised long distance visitor it is frustratingly slow! 

Instead, to our delight we find that there are multiple bus companies willing to regularly ferry us to Stratford station in a mere 50 minutes!

Upon arrival, one can ditch any non-footie inclined and/or whinging family members, who are then free to shop to their heart's content for the day at the fancy shopping centre or local markets while we take in the footie action. 

If they get peckish, they can even dine at Jamie Oliver's restaurant nearby, although we couldn't find Jamie anywhere when we visited.
Maybe it was his day off? 

One issue that was evident is that it's not really clear where fans can congregate for a perimatch pint or two. Undoubtedly, our intrepid fanbase will resolve that uncertainty pretty soon after we move!

For those with Exercise Nervosa, immediately astride the stadium is the Olympic swimming pool which provides an ideal spot to work off those prematch tensions (£6 for entry to the state of the art facilities) before making the short walk across the Queen Elizabeth Park to the stadium proper.

For those with youngsters who have serious gaming addictions, or who for whatever reason get tetchy at the thought of being without wifi even for short periods, there are a number of conveniently positioned free wifi spots! This is also welcome news for international visitors who want to avoid crippling roaming charges while staying in touch to co-ordinate their visit!

Unfortunately, we were unable to gain access to the stadium proper. However, there can be little doubting that it is impressive, as those who follow independent Hammers media will know that the vast majority have expressed positive opinions when viewing stadium seats in the race for season tickets. This includes a host of previously sceptical fans who seem to have quickly been won over to the new place.

Finally, there's even some humorous signage that is likely to further irritate Latent Orient and the spies down at No Heart Lane! How many times do we have to tell you guys....NO, we won't be sharing our new home with you!

For the international fan the new stadium represents a fantastic opportunity to realise those season ticket aspirations that you have been harbouring for years; attractive, accessible, affordable.

All we need now is to fill the stadium with atmosphere and celebrate the new chapter in our great history!


  1. good article,i will be flying in from nenagh.

  2. Wanna join the Killaloe-Ballina West Ham Supporters Club sometime for a game?

  3. Wherever is showing the game in Ballina- O'Riain's bar usually, although we sometimes meet at Robbie's house instead which is in the village.

  4. Wherever is showing the game in Ballina- O'Riain's bar usually, although we sometimes meet at Robbie's house instead which is in the village.

  5. i have been living in london b ut i am moving back to nenagh.


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