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West Ham

Ground: London Stadium

Visits: 1

Date: 2nd January 2017

Match: West Ham - Manchester U  0-2  (Premier League)

Attendance: 56 996

West Ham used to play at Upton Park (aka Boleyn Ground)

The highlight of my trip was without a doubt West Ham v Manchester U. Ten years ago I visited Upton Park (aka Boleyn Ground) for West Ham v Manchester C but in the summer of 2016 West Ham moved to London Stadium. London Stadium is of course the Olympic Stadium used in the 2012 Olympics. West Ham´s move meant I needed to visit the London Stadium in order to re-complete the Premiership grounds. A games against Manchester U is not exactly the easiest to get tickets for and at first I bought a hotel + ticket package. For safety reason, there has been trouble at several West Ham games this season, my ticket was withdrawn though. I got a full refund of course but was still disappointed and started to look at other options. On Friday evening, 23 December, I managed to get a ticket for the game via West Ham´s ticket exchange. I was of course very pleased and was by now even more excited about my upcoming trip. My ticket was posted out but since it didn´t arrive before I left for England I had to go to the ticket office and pick up a new one. The ticket office opened at 10am on Monday morning and I had no problems getting my ticket. Kick-off was not until 17.15 meaning I had a few hours to kill. Christian and Magnus were at Queens PR v Ipswich and I decided to go to Shepherd´s Bush to meet up with them. After a few drinks and a late lunch I stopped by my hotel before once again making my way to the London Stadium.

As London were awarded the 2012 Olympic Games an Olympic park was built in Stratford in east London. In 2014 West Ham took the decision to move from Upton Park to the Olympic Stadium. At a cost of 323 million pounds (!!) the ground was rebuilt so it could host football. It is still possible to have athletics meetings at the ground the entire lower tier has to be taken away in that case. It is not a retractable tier and it takes around a week to convert the ground from football to athletics. The ground has 60 000 seats in football mode but at the moment it is only licensed for 57 000. My seat was in row 73, which is the top row, of the East Stand. With the kiosks (and toilets) being at ground level I bought a bottle of water and something to eat and brought it to my seat. The advantage of being in the top row was there is space behind the seats where you can store your belongings. I have read plenty of negative reviews about the London Stadium but in my opinion the ground is not that bad. From my seat I had a great view of the pitch. The official attendance was 56 995 but the atmosphere, apart from the away supporters, was not as good as I had expected. Maybe the early red card for a West Ham player played a part in lowering the expectations but I was still a bit surprised. 0-0 at half-time but in the second half Manchester U scored twice to win the game 2-0. Zlatan scored the second goal and to my knowledge this is the first time I have seen him score at club level. After the game there were long queues leading back to Stratford station but having re-completed the Premier League I was still in a very good mood.

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London Stadium

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London Stadium at sunset

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Stadium map

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West Ham United

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West Ham United at night

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The FA Cup winners from 1980

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Trevor Brooking

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Forever blowing bubbles

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Bobby Moore

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Sir Trevor Brooking Stand

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West Stand

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Bobby Moore Stand

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Gap between the lower and upper tier

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East Stand

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Come On You Irons

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Players and officials entering the field

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Kick-off

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My view

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Sir Trevor Brooking Stand

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Manchester U fans

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West Stand

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View of play

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Bobby Moore Stand

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West Ham fans

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Pano

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Pano