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Exclusive: Solution found for OS retractable seating

airskatesWith just 16 days before the first West Ham match on August 4 at our new home ClaretandHugh can exclusively reveal a solution to fix the London Stadium retractable seating is very near.

The good news is the new 20,000 capacity East End stand is already in football mode and will not move back for this weekend’s Anniversary games athletics meeting over Friday to Sunday.

On the following Monday , a new air skate system will be deployed to move the remaining three stands into football mode. The new air skate is similar as the one successfully used by Stade du France and more recently on the Singapore Sports Hub Arena designed by Arup engineering.

A combination of manpower and ‘air skates’ (which carry the seating on a base injected with compressed air) will put the retractable seating sections into place. This will replace the previously flawed wheel and motor designed by Alto Seating which went into administration last year.

The £17m retractable seating has been plagued with delays and engineering challenges but we are told it is expected that a reduction in turnround from 11 to seven days between athletics and football is now expected.

A source close to the stadium transformation revealed that that the operators expect all stands to be in full football mode by the evening of Thursday August 4 but as a precaution the club decided not to sell more than the 54,000 capacity listed on the current safety certificate and season tickets in the lower West, South and North stands will not be sold until they are sure the new system works.

The video below shows how it all works

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About Sean Whetstone

I am Season Ticket Holder in West stand lower at the London Stadium and before that, I used to stand in the Sir Trevor Brooking Lower Row R seat 159 in the Boleyn Ground and in the Eighties I stood on the terraces of the old South Bank. I am a presenter on the West Ham Podcast called MooreThanJustaPodcast.co.uk. A Blogger on WestHamTillIdie.com a member of the West Ham Supporters Advisory Board (SAB), Founder of a Youtube channel called Mr West Ham Football at http://www.youtube.com/MrWestHamFootball, I am also the associate editor here at Claret and Hugh. Life Long singer of bubbles! Come on you Irons! Follow me at @Westhamfootball on twitter

10 comments on “Exclusive: Solution found for OS retractable seating

  1. Not understanding this. I thought the point of the movable stands was to bring them closer to the pitch when he running track wasn’t required for athletics. If the East Stand, where my seat is, is already in football mode, and there’s an athletics meet taking place before our first game, does that mean it will always remain, at least the width of the running track, away from the pitch?

    • The east stand would//will move for the world athletic championships in 2017 but it will not move for this weekend. They have found a way around it for this year.

  2. Yes its true. But the seating has still moved a fair way over what was the long jump area during the Olympics. I was there on Sunday and my view from my ST seat in row 9 was very good. I also sat in a similar seat during the rugby world cup on the west side and really don’t think anyone has anything to worry about. It will never be the same as the Boleyn but what 60,000 plus stadium could be?

    • Oh ok, thanks. I’m actually in the upper tier so my seat won’t move anyway, I was just interested to know. I was BML, behind the goal at The Boleyn, so it’s a massive change for me anyway. The view they showed us from the equivalent of our existing seats wasn’t anything like what we had, so we thought we’d just change completely & move round the side.

  3. Ray mate, I’ll C&P what I wrote on the forum yesterday.

    ” I have done my best with angles and lens’s to try and get the scale of the place across but it’s impossible.

    The truth is this. . . . . if you were sat in the front row of the East Stand at the Boleyn then forget it because you will not get a comparable view. Personally I never liked those seats anyway because you see nothing from pitch level but they were closer than the new front row at the OS.

    However if your old seat was in an elevated position then your new seat will be excellent in comparison.

    Proximity to the pitch will clearly not be the same but the quality of the view must also be considered. Avit (a forum member) had an excellent seat at the Boleyn but when the play was down the other end of the pitch he could see f@(k all because everyone would lean forward and obscure his view . . . . . that will never happen here.

    It’s easy to confuse proximity to the pitch with the ‘view’ and get caught up in how far the pitch is from the stands but the views are unrivaled. I watched Sarries v Quinns at Wembley three months ago and the views here are much better. The elevated banking and space around each individual seat gives everyone a very good sight-line . . . .. . you’ll see the game unfold as clear as day that’s for sure”

    Hope that helps mate

    • That’s brilliant thanks mate, much appreciated. I totally get the ‘leaning forward’ thing and understand that being closer isn’t necessarily always a good thing. We bought the European tickets today so can’t wait to finally get in there now.

    • There are some great videos on YouTube by West Ham fans, including Gonzo’s of course: One guy has done a whole series of short videos from many parts of the ground, including getting opinions of others: Search “Olympic Stadium seating views”….

      I was VERY dubious about the OS, until I saw those videos….Now, I’m REALLY looking forward to it. It’s up to US to create the atmosphere under that massive roof; it’s all there…

      One of the best things is that because the stadium is oval, the curse of people leaning forward blocking views of people behind is a gone FOREVER!….Yeeesssss!!
      The future’s bright; the future’s CLARET AND BLUE!!

      • Cometh hopefully creating the atmosphere shouldn’t be too much of a problem, as Gonzo says about the stadium and you will no doubt have seen from the videos the views although further from the pitch are clearer than at UP, I went to watch the Rugby there and deliberately got a seat midway up the stadium to se what the views would be like and although I was about 80 metres from the pitch almost parrallel with the goal line I could see everything really clearly and because of the acoustics the noise was so loud and the place was buzzing. So unlike the other club in London who have great unrestricted views at the Emirates we will have the views and the atmosphere so hopefully we can make the OS a fortress also.

        • With you on that No 32! The Emirates is like a library apparently (I’ve never been), but can’t see that happening at the OS – NO CHANCE! We’ve got so much humour and sing our hearts out…it’s going to be brilliant! That roof should hold it in more than at UP, so it’s all set up to be dynamite! Fortress OP!….
          All we need now is a huge 50 foot f*ck off statue of Billy Bonds to complete the intimidation of away fans!
          I’ve supported WHU nearly 50 years, and apart from ’75 + ’80, I’ve NEVER felt like this…Last season was just UNBELIEVABLE; those way wins; vital home wins…Antonio’s header v Man U…all of it…And this season? Can’t wait!

  4. “The good news is the new 20,000 capacity East End stand is already in football mode and will not move back for this weekend’s Anniversary games athletics meeting over Friday to Sunday.”

    Sorry if I appear dense, but hoe does that work?

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