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Old August 6th, 2019, 01:54 AM   #18361
JimB
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Football shouldn't have got involved...I still maintain that. Birmingham is going to sustain a 25k seat athletics stadium after its Commonwealth Games in 2022. The idea a city like London couldn't do similar still seems ridiculous to me. Instead we converted the temporary bit to permanence, and got rid of the permanent bit to replace it with scaffold seating.

Even this could've worked with an unrushed plan and contracts which covered costs, but neither of these things happened. And you can't blame West Ham for either of those things.

But West Ham went into this stadium agreeing to share it with UKA, talking about how important that Olympic legacy was. They wouldn't have won it if they'd excluded athletics. That's their end of the bargain.

We are where we are. I've no idea if or how things will change from a £££ perspective.
Indeed.

Scarily, the moronic buffoon most responsible for this mess of a solution that has cost and is costing us all so much money is now..........our Prime Minister.
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Old August 6th, 2019, 08:00 AM   #18362
Jorge Maximiliano
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Water table.
The stadium is built on an island.
They can't dig down to build sub-levels for stands and seating to retract into without expensive tanking to keep the water out.
At the moment the seating is parked in a brownfield site down the road when not in use.
I understand about the water table situation, but aren’t there retractable seating options available that wouldn’t require digging down while at the same time giving the stadium an option that makes more sense economically in the long run while also dramatically cutting down the changeover time? This thread is too long and cumbersome to find it, but ages ago I recall posts stating that the current retractable seating plan was based on the acceptance of a bid that was grossly overly optimistic about the set up and take down time, not to mention the expense of that process, rather than any inability of the stadium to use another method. If this is incorrect, please say so.
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Old August 6th, 2019, 10:00 AM   #18363
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Shame all my pics were lost on Photobucket as I was walking past the site as it developed in the early days.

Here's one posted by Bow99 on flicker.

image hosted on flickr


You can see the central bowl is surrounded by an earth embankment forming sort of crater that the lower tier is built on top of, no space underneath to retract into without digging it all out.
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Old August 6th, 2019, 01:34 PM   #18364
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I stand to be corrected but my recollection is that West Ham's original bid (that won them the right to become the stadium's principle tenant) didn't include a plan for retractable seating at all..
Their plans (that might be too strong a word) were incredibly vague, but they did talk about this. From Brady...

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“We are looking at different ways to configure the stadium inside. The most important thing is that it is truly multi-purpose and works for athletics, football, cricket and concerts. We will work in the stadium and our designers on changes, and it is possible to put retractable seats in the stadium. The most important thing is that it [the stadium] works, and we are committed to make it work.”
What we don't know is how they would've coped when costs escalated (as we know they would've done), which promises they'd have kept, which ones they'd ditch, whether they'd go the whole hog and require big loans etc etc. That alternate timeline would likely have been just as messy as what actually happened.
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Old August 6th, 2019, 06:13 PM   #18365
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I stand to be corrected but my recollection is that West Ham's original bid (that won them the right to become the stadium's principle tenant) didn't include a plan for retractable seating at all. There was £95m allocated to the winning bid to convert the stadium for permanent use - new roof, corporate facilities, toilets etc - and West Ham were to contribute £15m for the stadium's "westhamification" (urgh!). But there was initially no provision made for retractable seating.

So the West Ham owners are very much to blame. They knew what they were getting. They either didn't care about or understand the importance of fans being close to the pitch. Or perhaps they just gambled, and lost, on the public purse continuing to pump money into the stadium conversion to their ultimate satisfaction. Either way, they have sold their fans down the river.
Well that's just not correct is it?

https://www.standard.co.uk/news/lond...k-8545023.html
"The 80,000-seat venue will be reduced in capacity to 54,000, with temporary seats erected over the running track to improve spectators’ views and a new roof."
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Old August 6th, 2019, 06:18 PM   #18366
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A fascinating thread. Really there are several thread weaving in and out and grasping at bits of information as a basis for understanding how we got here. Something like a Faulkner novel.

But I guess life is like that: much easier to experience than to understand.
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Old August 6th, 2019, 06:22 PM   #18367
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Well that's just not correct is it?

https://www.standard.co.uk/news/lond...k-8545023.html
"The 80,000-seat venue will be reduced in capacity to 54,000, with temporary seats erected over the running track to improve spectators’ views and a new roof."
Jim was referring to West Ham's original bid, one where the costs of the seating would be borne by them and Newham as (effectively) stadium owners, with some public money available for other aspects of the stadium.

The link you've provided is about decisions made a couple of years later, once it was decided to keep the stadium in full public ownership and award West Ham the tenancy. It has no relevance to what Jim was talking about.

What Jim was trying to remember was, did West Ham plan for retractable seating in their original bid. And the answer, as you can see from my last post, was that they said they intended to do it, but they never really had any solid plans. Or if they did have solid plans, they were never made public afaik. On top of that, we simply don't know what they would've done in the event of the inevitable budget escalation. Were retractable seats an absolute priority whatever the cost, or were their stated intentions merely a way to keep fans on board?

We'll never know. The awarding of the stadium to West Ham under the terms of their original bid was, of course, withdrawn under the cloud of judicial review.
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Old August 6th, 2019, 08:32 PM   #18368
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If I remember correctly one of the factors in the current retractable/relocatable seating design were the events held in 2015. I believe the seating design was rushed through to ensure something was installed in time for the world cup, and the company that installed/designed them went bust a few weeks before:

Quote:
Speaking about the increase Goldstone explained: “A chunk of it was to do with the very unfortunate failure of the seating contractor who had been hired to install new seating system that happened just before the Rugby world cup last summer. We were left with a partially installed system so we had to step in and make it ready for that event. The (retractable seating) had been a joint venture, one partner did the main design and another installed the system, one partner went bust and the other partner inherited it but wasn’t a suitable long term contractor. They took it forward during 2016 but we had to settle out with them in 2016 because they weren’t a suitable long term”
https://www.westhamtillidie.com/post...ctable-seating

The one thing about the retractable seating I never quite understood is why, even in athletics mode, the new stands weren't set a little closer to the track, especially along the East and West stand where the curve could also have been lessened.
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Old August 7th, 2019, 09:15 AM   #18369
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It would've added a very significant amount to the redevelopment costs - so it's highly debatable whether it could be justified - but I wish they would have reprofiled the upper tier to reduce the curve along the sides before they embarked on the work to change it from being temporary to permanent by adding reinforcements and installing the hospitality fit-out, etc. Obviously, too late now I guess. There's a strong case that it would have been throwing good money after bad and that the compromised stadium should have just been demolished - in order to pursue one of various possible alternatives, including perhaps building a purpose-designed football stadium if that could be justified as the winning proposal. Terrible waste of money, though, to build an 80,000 capacity stadium about the size of the Maracana I think and then demolish it after a month, but I guess it needed so much remedial work to be made more fit for purpose that it wouold have been a Trigger's Broom anyway.

Speaking of throwing good money after bad, my recollection of why the relocatable seating system is so inadequate is because the original design of more bespoke "permanent" (rather than demountable) movable seating banks, which would have required load-bearing pilings to be sunk, was abandoned to save money after the roof costs escallated (perhaps in addition to the time constraints mentioned above). Even at the time that seemed like a false economy to me but the compromised nature of this stadium seems to have doomed it to being a money pit.

Regarding when retractable seating was first mooted for the OS, as a concept I believe that this goes back very early in the stadium's history. If my very hazy memory serves, I seem to recall that when the design of an Olympic stadium was first being considered for the Stratford site that West Ham's Icelandic owners at the time were imploring the government to consider a Stade de France-like legacy involving West Ham taking up residency (or ownership - can't remember which). In addition, I'm not sure how relevant this is, but I believe that David Sullivan, David Gold and Karren Brady also had plans for a stadium with retractable seating when they owned Birmingham City FC.
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Old August 7th, 2019, 02:30 PM   #18370
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It would've added a very significant amount to the redevelopment costs - so it's highly debatable whether it could be justified - but I wish they would have reprofiled the upper tier to reduce the curve along the sides before they embarked on the work to change it from being temporary to permanent by adding reinforcements and installing the hospitality fit-out, etc. Obviously, too late now I guess. There's a strong case that it would have been throwing good money after bad and that the compromised stadium should have just been demolished - in order to pursue one of various possible alternatives, including perhaps building a purpose-designed football stadium if that could be justified as the winning proposal. Terrible waste of money, though, to build an 80,000 capacity stadium about the size of the Maracana I think and then demolish it after a month, but I guess it needed so much remedial work to be made more fit for purpose that it wouold have been a Trigger's Broom anyway.

Speaking of throwing good money after bad, my recollection of why the relocatable seating system is so inadequate is because the original design of more bespoke "permanent" (rather than demountable) movable seating banks, which would have required load-bearing pilings to be sunk, was abandoned to save money after the roof costs escallated (perhaps in addition to the time constraints mentioned above). Even at the time that seemed like a false economy to me but the compromised nature of this stadium seems to have doomed it to being a money pit.

Regarding when retractable seating was first mooted for the OS, as a concept I believe that this goes back very early in the stadium's history. If my very hazy memory serves, I seem to recall that when the design of an Olympic stadium was first being considered for the Stratford site that West Ham's Icelandic owners at the time were imploring the government to consider a Stade de France-like legacy involving West Ham taking up residency (or ownership - can't remember which). In addition, I'm not sure how relevant this is, but I believe that David Sullivan, David Gold and Karren Brady also had plans for a stadium with retractable seating when they owned Birmingham City FC.
As Rob said above, the point is that West Ham bid for the stadium with no proper plan for retractable seating. There was vague mention of it. But there was no detailed proposal as to how it was to be done or, equally importantly, how it was to be paid for. They gambled that their hand was so strong that the stadium owners and the public purse would provide them with everything that they wanted and needed.
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Old August 7th, 2019, 08:20 PM   #18371
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Still, financially they got an awesome good deal with this stadium. But it is not a real typical modern football stadium.
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Old August 9th, 2019, 01:41 PM   #18372
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The owners had no clear plan for retractable seating. The £10 mil mentioned by Brady may have bought something, but you know it would have been dreadful. I recall some senior LLDC people in session at the GLA also saying that the club did not have a serious plan for retractable seating.

As to the issue of the water table, Evertons proposed stadium has reignited interest in this. Orlando City SC's stadium is below the water table with a pretty massive sump and pump style system under the pitch. Doing that at the OS would require tanking out and dropping down the entire pitch plus about 10 metres around it, dropping the pitch about 3 metres, which would allow the lower tier to extend about 10 to 12 metres on all sides. If you maintained athletics, you then need a system that brought pitch level back up to 'ground' level during conversion.

Its within the bounds of the possible, i believe, but fiendishly difficult and expensive.

There would also of course be environmental concerns that would have to be addressed as the Lea Valley is a crucial part of Londons water system.

A rough estimate is that this would increase capacity for football and other pitch sports by 5-7000, which would be about £4-5 miilion positive for revenues per season.

It'd also take at least a seasons worth of work.
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Old August 11th, 2019, 02:57 AM   #18373
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The owners had no clear plan for retractable seating. The £10 mil mentioned by Brady may have bought something, but you know it would have been dreadful. I recall some senior LLDC people in session at the GLA also saying that the club did not have a serious plan for retractable seating.

As to the issue of the water table, Evertons proposed stadium has reignited interest in this. Orlando City SC's stadium is below the water table with a pretty massive sump and pump style system under the pitch. Doing that at the OS would require tanking out and dropping down the entire pitch plus about 10 metres around it, dropping the pitch about 3 metres, which would allow the lower tier to extend about 10 to 12 metres on all sides. If you maintained athletics, you then need a system that brought pitch level back up to 'ground' level during conversion.

Its within the bounds of the possible, i believe, but fiendishly difficult and expensive.

There would also of course be environmental concerns that would have to be addressed as the Lea Valley is a crucial part of Londons water system.

A rough estimate is that this would increase capacity for football and other pitch sports by 5-7000, which would be about £4-5 miilion positive for revenues per season.

It'd also take at least a seasons worth of work.
Not only would it cost a blinking fortune, it would also require a brand new roof as all seats need to be covered in the PL, and the current roof can't be extended any more.

Btw, did West Ham do some changes to the seating in the close season? Or did they bring the advertising hoarding closer to the pitch? Or maybe it's just the new chilled astroturf. Whatever it was, on TV it looked better today on the sides than in previous seasons.
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Old August 11th, 2019, 07:40 PM   #18374
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Its not a PL requirement that all seats are covered, just that 'most' need to be, which woukd remain the case.

Also they could do somerhing similar to what bilbao did, a lightweight inner circle.

The seats havent changed (i think thats due for next season) but the new carpet definitely makes it look better.
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Old August 11th, 2019, 11:51 PM   #18375
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I also think it was just the new carpet that made it look better on TV. Isn't it just the stands behind the goal-line, though, where the lower-tier seating is due to be reconfigured to reduce the curve, rather than along the sides, as Pilip was wondering about?

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Old August 12th, 2019, 12:48 AM   #18376
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Shame all my pics were lost on Photobucket as I was walking past the site as it developed in the early days.

Here's one posted by Bow99 on flicker.

image hosted on flickr


You can see the central bowl is surrounded by an earth embankment forming sort of crater that the lower tier is built on top of, no space underneath to retract into without digging it all out.
It looks more suited to football in that picture...
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Old August 17th, 2019, 09:38 PM   #18377
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Anyone know if the original 2008 planning documents are still knocking around?
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Old August 17th, 2019, 09:57 PM   #18378
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Click link below:

http://planningregister.londonlegacy...3E#tab3Content

Then click on documents.
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Old August 21st, 2019, 09:40 AM   #18379
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LONDON - Olympic Stadium (60,000)

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Old August 22nd, 2019, 02:13 PM   #18380
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Click link below:

http://planningregister.londonlegacy...3E#tab3Content

Then click on documents.

Many thanks.

Need to go over these with a fine tooth comb.
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