All roads point to America for West Ham as club director lifts the lid on pre-season tour

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We may only be a third of the way through the current Premier League campaign but West Ham United will soon be finalising their pre-season plans.

The Hammers will leave their Boleyn Ground home of 112 years next summer when they move to the Olympic Stadium in Stratford.

West Ham have previously toured the likes of New Zealand, Germany and Asia as the emphasis on growing the club's growing brand has increased.

In the summer the East Londoners had a more competitive pre-season as they played a series of Europa League qualifiers which ultimately ended in failure.

But next year they will be back on their travels again as part of a pre-arranged tour.

'It has to be done before Christmas'

Speaking to Sports Pro, West Ham's commercial director Felicity Barnard has revealed she is aiming to finalise plans for the 2016 pre-season tour.

"Now we are seeing that as we are growing and our fanbase is growing, the types of brands that are interested are very different so they are looking for global expansion," Barnard told Sports Pro.

"We went on tour last season to New Zealand which for the very first tour that you go on with a football club is probably the furthest away you can go, but it was fantastic.

"What that did, that demonstrated to the club, but also to our fans, that we're a global club and we're a club that has aspirations to be in the top six.

"You know in a couple of years, we have money coming in, we really do have those aspirations to get up there.

"We need to establish and confirm a tour and a pre-season strategy which has to be done before Christmas because it makes the playing side happy."

All signs point to USA

With a decision due on where the Hammers will be jetting off to in the coming weeks, all the signs point to the United States of America.

Last month the vice president of America's NFL has confirmed he is exploring the possibility of bringing the sport to West Ham United's new Olympic Stadium home as part of a new partnership.

Then at the weekend Telegraph Sport revealed that serious talks have taken place over bringing a series of Major League Baseball matches to the Hammers' new ground, potentially as early as 2017.

So watch this space because it could be star spangled Hammers come next summer.

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