West Ham reveals changes to Olympic stadium

The £95m conversion of the Olympic Stadium will include removing floodlighting masts and installing an extended roof

West Ham football club has revealed some of the key design changes proposed for the £527m Olympic stadium after the London 2012 Games.

The £95m conversion will involve the removal of the 14 triangular floodlighting masts that line the stadium’s roof, already a familiar landmark on the east London skyline.

These masts will be replaced by an extended roof that will cover all spectators rather than the present configuration, which only shelters those on the top tier.

With a cricket mode capacity of 71,000, the multi-purpose venue will also be the fourth largest cricket stadium in the world.

Although plans are still at a conceptual stage and no architect has yet been appointed, West Ham has also confirmed that it is exploring various temporary retractable seating options. This is in line with comments made by sports minster Hugh Robertson last month.

Although West Ham’s commitment to retaining the stadium’s athletics track was a major factor in the club being selected as anchor tenants, it remains a highly contentious issue.

West Ham’s plans have attracted criticism from many within the football world who believe retaining the athletics track will distance fans from the action on the pitch.

Ian Tompkins, West Ham project director, was adamant that design measures can provide the “intimacy and sightlines that are essential for the kind of atmosphere you need in a great football stadium”.

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