West Ham should knock down London stadium and start again – expert
West Ham should knock down the London Stadium and start again, according to stadium expert Paul Fletcher.
The Hammers’ move from their 112-year Upton Park home to the 2012 Olympic stadium last summer has seen its share of problems, with fan violence against Chelsea in the EFL Cup last month the latest and complaints about how far fans are sat from the pitch.
And Fletcher, who has built or advised on more than 30 new grounds including Bolton, Huddersfield and Coventry, says that it may be time to start afresh.
“Either we go on as we are for the next 30 or 40 years or we knock it down and start again,” Fletcher told the BBC. “Something has to give. If you want to satisfy spectators the only way to get those spectators near that pitch is to knock it down and start again.”
Fletcher, who played for Bolton, Burnley and Blackpool during his career and was commercial director for Wembley Stadium, insists that having an athletics stadium hosting football games is not the way forward and that he gave such guidance when asked about the development of an Olympic stadium back in 2000.
“I said what you must do is design a football stadium that converts to an athletics stadium for two weeks of its lifetime,” he added. “When I build my football stadiums, my No. 1 concern is the spectator.
“What they’ve done is tried to convert an athletics stadium into a football pitch and, in my opinion, it doesn’t work. The building was almost built when they started to talk to West Ham.”