Real Sociedad give West Ham hope over future redevelopment of London Stadium

An aerial view of the London Stadium and ArcelorMittal Orbit is pictured during a flight over the capital London in a Cessna 172 plane on August 1, 2017.

A large section of West Ham United fans are unhappy with how the club's heralded move to the Olympic Stadium has panned out.

General view inside the stadium prior to the Premier League match between West Ham United and Liverpool at London Stadium on May 14, 2017 in Stratford, England.

The Hammers' move to Stratford from their beloved Upton Park has been beset by problems from the start.

The first season at the London Stadium was marred by in-fighting among the club's fans to segregation issues, violent scenes between home and away supporters, a general dissatisfaction with the distance from the stands to the pitch and concerns over the atmosphere at a ground many refer to as 'soulless'.

Many supporters felt there were broken promises over the move and that has seen a lot of vitriol directed at co-owners David Sullivan and David Gold and their vice-chairman Karren Brady.

Birmingham City's Chairman David Gold (L) and Managing Director Karren Brady (R) share a light moment as club co-owner David Sullivan (foreground-R) looks on before the kick off against...

Ahead of the move, Hammers fans were promised a genuine retractable seating solution in communications from the club.

In reality they have been left with a temporary lower tier built on a complex scaffolding which will reportedly take weeks to deconstruct and reconstruct each season at a cost of £8 million - some £7.7m more than the original estimate.

The distance from the stands to the pitch is a major bone of contention for many fans with the bowl shape of the venue the biggest problem as the stadium was not built with football in mind.

This season things do seem more settled and the Hammers fans have proved once again how loyal they are to the club by selling out 52,000 season tickets once again.

But having signed a 99-year lease many supporters are disillusioned at the prospect of a long-term future at the ground in it's current state.

An aerial view of the London Stadium and ArcelorMittal Orbit is pictured during a flight over the capital London in a Cessna 172 plane on August 1, 2017.

Supporters have been led to believe that even if the owners did one day buy the stadium outright - as Dave Sullivan revealed is a serious consideration for his dad David - redeveloping the ground to be closer to the pitch and more suited to football is an impossibility.

However, there could be hope for the Hammers from the unlikely source of Real Sociedad in Spain.

That's because the La Liga club are in the process of undertaking a major reconstruction of their own inherited bowl shaped athletics stadium into a football arena with the stands right next to the pitch.

Estadio Anoeta officially opened on the 29th of July 1993 with the European Youth Athletics Championships. The first match at the stadium was played a few weeks later when Sociedad entertained Real Madrid in a friendly.

But supporters have never been happy there, primarily due to the distance between the spectators and the pitch which has resulted in a cold atmosphere.

Real Madrid players warm up prior to the La Liga match between Real Sociedad and Real Madrid at Anoeta stadium on September 17, 2017 in San Sebastian, Spain.Real Sociedad's Anoeta Stadium in San Sebastian, Spain.

In the mid-2000s the club put forward plans to remove the athletics track and redevelop the stadium, a project dubbed Gipuzkoarena, but it failed to get off the ground.

They tried again in early 2014 with proposals for Anoeta, which includes the extension of the lower tier closer to the pitch, increased hospitality areas and an enlarged roof, and an increased capacity to 42,000 seats.

Those plans got the go ahead in 2016 and the works are now underway and are scheduled to finish by the start of the 2019-20 season.

A series of images and videos on stadiumdb.com show just how Sociedad plan to achieve the redevelopment and they will give Hammers fans great hope for the future.

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