Club: West Ham United FC | Opening: 1904 | Capacity: 35,016 seats
History and description
In the early 20th century, West Ham played its home matches at the Memorial Ground in Canning Town, but after a dispute over the rent was forced to look for a new home. They found a bare field used by a Roman Catholic school, and soon reached an agreement with the Catholic authorities for its use.
West Ham played its first match at Boleyn Ground on the 1st of September 1904. Just over 10,000 spectators saw the home side beat Millwall 3-0.
Boleyn Ground received its name from a house that stood next to the ground, called Boleyn Castle, and which supposedly had been home to Anne Boleyn. These days Boleyn Ground is more commonly referred to as Upton Park.
The ground was initially a basic affair, but got soon expanded, first in 1919 with a new East Stand and later in 1925 with a new West Stand and terracing at the short ends. This lifted capacity to about 40,000.
Boleyn Ground got heavily damaged in the Second World War when it got hit by a V-1 bomb, but was soon rebuilt.
In 1961 a roof was added to the North Bank, which meant that all stands had cover. The ground underwent its last major change before the 1990s when in 1969 a new East Stand was built.
Boleyn Ground recorded its highest attendance of 42,322 during a match with Tottenham Hotspur in 1970.
The stadium underwent a major redevelopment in the mid 1990s when it got converted into an all-seater. The works included the construction of two new stands at the short ends and major refurbishments on the other stands. Boleyn Ground received its current shape in 2001 with the opening of a new West Stand, which raised capacity to its current level.
Despite these renovations, Boleyn Ground remains a limited ground with few options for expansion. West Ham has therefore recently started looking into the option of moving away to a new stadium.
The club is currently hoping to move into the recently built London Olympic Stadium in 2014, after several adjustments will have made it ready for football.
(photos of the present Boleyn Ground below)
Boleyn Ground is located in the east of London, about 6 miles east of the City of London.
If arriving by car from the north circular A406, leave for Barking/East Ham A124. Turn west onto Barking Road, continue for about 1.5 miles, and turn right into Green Street.
From the City take the A13 east to Canning Town, then follow the signs for East Ham A124, and after a little more than 1.5 miles turn left into Green Street. There are few parking possibilities on matchdays though.
The nearest tube station is Upton Park, a few minutes away from the ground. Upton Park is served by both the District and Hammersmith & City lines.
Due to long queuing at Upton Park after the match, one can opt to walk to either Plaistow or East Ham tube station (both on the same line), or north to Forest Gate train station.
Buses that serve the stadium are line 5 (from Romford and Canning Town), 58 (from Walthamstow), 104 (from Stratford), 115 (from Aldgate), and 376 (from Beckton). These buses either pass the stadium on Barking Road or on Green Street.
Address: Green Street, Upton Park, London E13 9AZ
Eat, drink, and sleep
Boleyn Ground is located in the West Ham – Upton Park area, which is not one of London’s best with little around. There are a few pubs and places to eat along Barking Road, though drinking and eating in Central London may be more convenient.
The hotels around Boleyn Ground are all of the basic type. The Central Hotel, Toms Inn, and Newham Hotel all go for around £50.00 a night. Ruskin Hotel falls in the middle range, but is already quite far away.
Alternatively, there are the chain hotels Ibis Barking and Premier Inn in Barking, an approximate 20 to 30-minute walk from the stadium. There are also a few pubs and restaurants in the area. For all hotels near Boleyn Ground click here.
However, if you plan to spend more time in London than just to see the match, then staying in Central London will be much more convenient.
Tickets for West Ham United games can be bought online, by phone +44 (0) 871 222 2700, or in person at the Ticket Office at the stadium.
If tickets remain these can be bought at the stadium’s ticket office from 2 to 3 hours before the match. In their last season in the Premier League, West Ham sold out just under half of their home matches.
West Ham’s home matches fall into two pricing categories. Prices for category B matches, the cheapest, range in price from £39.00 for a seat behind the goal to £55.00 for a central seat at one of the long sides. Tickets for category A matches cost between £49.00 and £67.00.
For more information email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Relevant Internet links
Whufc.com – Official website of West Ham United FC.
Visitlondon.com – Official London city guide.
Tfl.gov.uk – Website of the London Underground and other London public transport.
Journeyplanner.org – London public transport journey planner.