West Ham co-chairman David Gold has moved to calm fans’ fears over their new Olympic Stadium home, by insisting the presence of the athletics running track will NOT ruin the atmosphere at Hammers games.
The London club play their first competitive game at the Olympic Stadium on Thursday night, against Slovenian outfit Domzale in Europa League quaifying.
But their move to London 2012’s showpiece venue meant a long process to transform it from an athletics-only arena to a multi-purpose one.
The main effort went into creating state-of-the-art stands which extend over most of the running track for football games and can be retracted for future athletics events.
There still remains a sizable distance between the fans and the pitch, but Gold insists West Ham fans have nothing to fear about their new ground’s ambiance.
Speaking EXCLUSIVELY to the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast, the Hammers chief said: “It was always disappointing that the stadium was built just for athletics and it’s been a massive, massive job to convert it so that it’s multi-purpose.
“But, having said that, we are delighted. Everybody keeps talking about the atmosphere, but we know and are convinced that 54,000 West Ham fans will bring in that atmosphere to the London Stadium.
“I’ve been there on a number of occasions when they’re nobody there, it’s completely empty, yet even so when you walk into the stadium you just get this feeling that once the fans are in there the atmosphere will follow.
“It’s an amazing stadium. It’s a dream come true for all of us at the club.”
Listen to talkSPORT’s interview with West ham co-chairman David Gold IN FULL above!