As most sports fans are aware, there’s nothing quite like seeing your own club in person at its home venue. Catching a match on the road can be enjoyable too, and of course more often than not we’re all keeping track on television or via the internet.
But for a true supporter, or even a curious newcomer, the home stadium experience is like nothing else that sports have to offer. Naturally, the same is true regarding West Ham, and for that reason we’re providing this brief guide, consisting of a few tips for a first experience seeing the Hammers at London Stadium.
Transportation and parking should be among your first considerations for any new stadium experience. And when it comes to London Stadium, the general idea is simple: don’t drive! Built in the Olympic park, the stadium was meant to be something of a public transportation hub, which is another way of saying driving and public parking are discouraged.
Fortunately, there are multiple public transport options, including various rails. Stratford Station, Stratford International, and Hackney Wick Railway Station are all within reasonable walking distance of the stadium, and all make for sensible options, though the cabbies can also get you there.
Plan A Drink In Stratford
While it’s something of a cliché, there’s something to the idea that a day of English football isn’t quite complete without a visit to a club supporting pub. And as you might expect, there are just such venues in the general neighbourhood of London Stadium.
This is not an historic venue nor one the club has occupied long, so unlike some EPL counterparts, West Ham doesn’t have an in-house bar or a legendary pub across the street. However, this list of Stratford pubs specifically for fans of the Hammers is a nice place to start. So long as you’re showing your colours, you can make your way in for a festive pint before and/or after the match.
Wear Home Colours
Nothing much more needs to be said. Not everybody dresses in team kits or like colours, but a majority do, and it’s a nice way to get into the spirit if you’re attending a match for the first time. (For the record, there is an official team store effectively on the grounds, just outside of the stadium, for anyone who is planning to attend but needs fresh club gear.)
Take A Betting Interest
This is by no means mandatory, and it goes without saying that some don’t like to bet, as well as that those who do are risking real money. However, even a minimal wager on a Premier League match (or any sporting contest) can do a great deal to make it more interesting while you watch. This is one reason that betting on the EPL is such a busy activity.
This guide to the various sites and options you have for betting on this particular league gives you an idea both of how much activity there is and how easy it is to place a small wager. It can just be a lot of fun to have some skin in the game.
Know How To Blow Bubbles
Or rather, know the song! The Premier League is full of enthusiastic and original team chants and songs. For our money though, none can top West Ham’s “I’m Forever Blowing Bubbles.” It’s vital to know the lyrics and tune before attending a match, so that you can participate in one of the truly great supporter traditions in England.
Be Patient With The Atmosphere
Avid supporters reading this may be rolling their eyes at the idea of pitching the stadium as a special experience, and those looking into it for the first time may have noticed that London Stadium’s reputation for atmosphere is not the greatest.
This is unfortunate but only natural when a club moves into new grounds and away from an historic venue – as will eventually happen to every team. It’s a bit of a bummer for West Ham, but patience will pay off. The club itself still has history and a strong base of support, and in due time that will produce a special atmosphere at London Stadium as well.