WEST HAM vs Hull: My first visit to the Olympic Stadium

Last weekend I have been to the London Stadium for the first time when West Ham hosted Hull City. West Ham was lucky to win the game due to a Mark Noble penalty, securing 7 points from their last three games and climbing up the table to 13th. The game will be remembered for the posts of West Ham’s goal which were hitten three times by the opponents. That made ”the Post” being deservedly voted “man of the match”  (http://www.skysports.com/football/news/11095/10700630/west-ham-fans-vote-the-post-as-man-of-the-match-after-win-over-hull ). My feelings after the first visit to the former Olympic Stadium are not euphoric, but all in all quite positive.

We travelled to the former Olympic Stadium by bus from Shoreditch and walked to the ground about 15 mins. I missed the Green Street buzz before the game, but when we reached the main concours (a little too late) the feeling and the excitement was the same as everywhere outside a ground immediately before kick-off.

Then inside the stadium in the Sir Trevor Brooking Stand Lower (a part of the stadium in which the retractable seating has been installed) the experience was good: though West Ham’s game was poor, the crowd got behind the team, there was some banter with the away fans, and the atmosphere wasn’t very different from the average game at the Boleyn.

The big crowd in the two main stands was amazing: so many people following West Ham, no problem to fill a stadium that has a capacity of more than 60% plus and having thousands and thousands on the ST waiting list really has to be acknowledged.
The new club store is big enough and well organised to avoid long queues and being overcrowded too much after the game.
What I didn’t fancy at all was the long way to Stratford after the game, no one there to sell food or badges, no pubs or cafés and the feeling of being locked out from getting into the Westfield Shopping Centre. Though I can understand that the crowds have to be managed to make their way to Stratford station this was a “turn-off”.
But all in all, I think the club has done well to seize the opportunity of moving to a bigger ground when it was there, and now we have to make the best of it. As others have already said here, things will get better, we will get more used to the new surroundings and a new match day routine will be developed by those who can go regularly. For me as a supporter from outside the UK, a trip to London watching West Ham will always be something special.
Of course I miss Green Street and the old Social Club where one could have a pint or two after the game, I miss the West Ham Hotel with its view over the pitch and I miss the short walk to the World Cup sculpture before the game (of which I hope that it will remain at its place) and also the small Catholic Church near the towering Stadium… But come on you Irons, let’s see the positives! We can grow as a Club as has our ground, and when not only the results but also the team’s performance will start to improve and we will share more and more memories from great games that we have watched there the OS will feel home after some time.
I am looking forward to my next experience at the new ground – sometimes next year hopefully. COYI !!!

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