Everything West Ham fans need to know about migration to the Olympic Stadium

West Ham United's plans to migrate fans from the Boleyn Ground to their new Olympic Stadium are under way, but exactly how does it work in reality?

Much confusion has surrounded the process which will see the club attempt to relocate all current season ticket holders from the 36,000-capacity Upton Park to the new 54,000-seater Olympic Stadium.

Firstly, in order to have been guaranteed a seat at the Olympic Stadium when the Hammers move to Stratford a year from now, fans had to have renewed their season tickets for the last ever time at the Boleyn Ground for 2015-16 before the May 31st deadline.

From there, fans - starting with band one season ticket holders seated near the dugouts in the West Stand lower and moving backwards and then to the sides - are allocated an appointment at the club's swanky new Reservation Centre in Westfield from which you can see the magnificent stadium standing proudly in the distance.

The appointments started in May for band one and will continue through to band four right through until next February.

At the appointment you and the other seven or eight fans in that time slot are invited to watch an impressive, if somewhat cheesy, CGI video on the Olympic Stadium narrated by Hollywood star and West Ham fan Ray Winstone.

In reality it is the club's last ditch bit of PR rhetoric designed to try and persuade any of those fans who may have come to the appointment undecided or perhaps wavering, that the Olympic Stadium is where they want to be.

For once though, West Ham seem to have got things right. It is all done with a bit of class and makes a mockery of age-old accusations from the club's long-suffering supporters that most things it does are for want of a better phrase "two-bob".

After the video you are allocated a sales executive who talks you through the software being used on his computer where they will already have an equivalent seat to the one you sit in at Upton Park ready to show you.

This will be based on a whole set of factors. If, like me, you currently sit on the halfway line behind the dugouts then a like-for-like equivalent seat won't exist. That's because that area will rather disappointingly be taken up by corporate suits much like they are at Wembley.

Let's just hope a huge swathe of empty seats doesn't greet the players after half-time of every home game like it does at the national stadium.

You can go ahead with those seats or literally look around on the virtual software at any other available spaces in your band around the stadium and see what the view is like from sitting level in that seat. Crucially, and what some fans don't realise, you cannot downgrade to a lower band at this stage.

A vital tip here is to focus on the goalposts as a guide to how far back or forwards the seat is in reality. Ignore the pitch and things like the lawnmower stripes as they were very misleading. I was reassured the goalposts were the correct scale.

Don't be afraid to ask questions, or to run over your hour-long slot, I did both.

Should you be happy to proceed you will be required to pay a 25% deposit for the ticket which will then guarantee it. To put that into perspective it would mean a deposit of £225 for a band one season ticket holder.

The balance will not need to be paid until June 2016 ahead of the big move. Oh ... and you get a pin badge thrown in as well for your trouble.

For those who want more than just a regular season ticket there are other, more expensive, options including The Boleyn, The Academy and the 1966 club seats.

For £200 on top of the £899 you would pay for a band one ticket you can sit in the 1966 seats which are padded, wider, will have your name on and come with a "free" programme each game.

In the Stadium’s West Stand, Club London – a new suite of West Ham-themed lounges, restaurants, private boxes and bars – will host 3,600 members but will likely come with an equally exclusive price tag.

The main controversy over the migration, though, is the fact that anyone - whether you even support West Ham or not - can jump the queue and get a season ticket before someone that has had a season ticket all their life, simply by association.

That means for example a band one season ticket holder will get their appointment and as part of what the club has dubbed its 'Founder' scheme, can invite two people to take out season tickets with them.

It is an initiative that has angered many fans, of all bands, who feel it is underhanded, unfair and opportunistic of the club. Those fans feel it is a short-sighted scheme which will backfire in the long run when initial interest drops off.

The club would undoubtedly argue that football is a business as well and they must use the move to maximise their new revenue streams.


- The wrap around the stadium will actually be a digital wrap, so it is like one giant screen going all the way around the huge ground.

- West Ham will have the single biggest cantilevered transparent roof in the world which will cover all seats.

- Inside the ground will also be two of the biggest screens around, measuring in at more than 26m each and placed at either end.

- The stadium is obviously a top UEFA Category 4 ground which means it can host all major sports events including World Cup, European Championship and UEFA Champions League and Europa League finals.

- The sightlines have been designed by the same architects responsible for Wembley Stadium and The Emirates, offering unobstructed views of the action from every seat in the stadium.

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