Friday, 11 November 2016

First impressions to the new West Ham digs, aka the London Stadium

I caught the West Ham v Stoke (3pm kick-off 05/11/2016) match. I was sitting in the East Stand, block 233, so here’s my first impressions to the new stadium. Oh and I’ve put together a twee timeline to the existence of the stadium too.  

We decided on a pre-match pint at Leyton Technical pub, then took the Central Line one stop to Stratford

Arrival: From Stratford station you have 2 options, follow the man with a placard or cut through the shopping centre

We took the latter but I’m guessing It won't be too long before fans of the beautiful game will be about as welcome as the Blues Brother’s last visit to a shopping centre

Last stop saloon. Cheeky pints at the Tap East

I think this is the "West Ham Way" that people keep talking about

Through the turnstiles, mind your pees and queues

Beer and Loo queues weren't too bad. Shame they only seem to sell Heineken at £4.60 per bottle. It wouldn't hurt to stock up on some London Pride or Guinness even. I only noticed hot dogs for sale and a Nathan’s Pies stall would be very much appreciated in this new environment

Hey ho, let's go...

Inside the stadium: It’s big, it’s impressive. I didn’t know we had that many fans...  

It was great to hear “I’m Forever Blowing Bubbles”  blasting out of the new trendy sound system. As for pre-match music, i'd like to hear the likes of Ian Dury and Dizzy Rascal’s “Bonkers” added to the mix, shouldn’t we be celebrating that local heritage

Crowd control: Going by the size of the place the recent agro is very much a minority thing and let's hope it gets nipped in the bud. We've paid to watch football not a WWE wrestling match

Greetings from the heavens of the East Stand. And when we where up, we were up

A little snoop under the retractable seating at half-time. Exciting 
Fire up the floodlights and on with the show. Sitting up in the East block heavens the game started to look like a computer game. Catching the highlights on TV later it did feel like I had witnessed a different game, that'll be the live experience for you. Keeping it live, Stoke's away fans where singing away, testing out the acoustics of the place. Do we need more songs or perhaps something good to cheer about, come on you Irons 
Don't panic. This isn't a conga, we haven't hit "save our season" just yet. This is the leaving part, post extra-time
The great escape: We worked out that it took a good half an hour (leaving the Olympics took about a hour and a half) to get back to Stratford station. Remember, there's quite a few more of us these days so be patient 

Unfortunately I didn't stick around for a post-match beer so I'll put together a proper reccy of the local pubs at a later date. As for the new London Stadium, looks like it will take a while to settle in and no doubt we'll see big name players and managers come and go along the way. And on that note I'll just park this picture here. Caption as follows... 

England and West Ham's Booby Moore * trains alone at a deserted Upton Park on a Sunday morning before flying out with the England team for the 1962 World Cup finals in Chile. 

* * *

A twee timeline to the London Stadium's existence

Bear with me on this as it seemed like a good idea when I started it.

July 6, 2005: London
wins Olympic bid…  

"It's not often in this job that you punch the air and do a little jig and embrace the person next to you," Tony Blair on speaking to the press

7 July 2005:  The following day saw the 7/7 London bombings...

2005:  West Ham gained promotion back to the Premier League

Blog Post: West Ham v Burnley FA cup match 

July 12 August: The London Olympics 2012 and Paralympics commence…

Blog post: Olympics Technical Rehearsal

The Olympics: Team GB win a whole load of medals and with Danny Bole’s vision we witness David Beckham driving a boat up the Thames, the Queen jumping out of a plane bound for Stratford and West Ham fan, Russell Brand takes part in the closing Olympic ceremony....

Roll out the Russell Brand, Olympics 2012

    9 December 2012: The Following week West Ham lose 2–3 at home to Liverpool

Blog Post: West Ham UTD v West Bromwich FC.

07 May 2016: West Ham’s penultimate game at the Boleyn lane losing 1-4 to Swansea

Blog post: West Ham's Penultimate game

10 May 2016: The last first-class match played at the Boleyn Ground, winning 3 -2 to Manchester United

May 2012:  West Ham finish 10th in the Premier league table.

Blog post on Mark Noble's Testimonial 

August 04 2016: West Ham play their first match against NK Domzale at the London Stadium winning 3 - 0 with Cheikhou Kouyate  scoring the first goal. 


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