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I remember when the Olympic Park was built, a'Legacy for London' it was described as. The day after the Olympics finished and the great and the good left, the place stood in darkness for 2 years. 

The taxpayer, having had to pay for this, then saw their 'legacy' almost given away in an attempt to justify its construction. 

It was a white elephant from day one, a vanity project that you're all going to be paying for, for a generation. 

The 'legacy' thing was always a joke for the locals, I grew up in the East End and know nobody who did equestrian events or canoeing. 

Fencing was done in the back garden, sprinting was for bag snatchers and the only thing that was synchronized was mugging.... oh and shooting would of course be of interest. 

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Well, the last time I went here was to see Oscar Pistorius win his last ever race at the 2012 Paralympics so I was interested how the stadium had been adapted for football.  Basically, not very well - as people have said above, the atmosphere was flat at best and the separation between the upper and lower tier for away fans doesn't help generate any real noise.  Luckily, I had a seat right at the front  of the upper tier so the view was good but the distance from the pitch can only be second worst to Newcastle!  Interested to see comments about coach parking as coaches were parked at Pudding Mill Lane Station, at worst 10 minutes walk from the ground - had no problems after the game but I can imagine (given the exit routes) that getting back to Westfield/Stratford being a bit of a mare.  Pre-match we managed to fiind the trendy enclave close to Hackney Wick Station and indulged at the Crate Brewery.Got to say, the West Ham fans we spoke to  were friendly and divided about the new stadium.  Approaching the ground from the Hackney Wick direction was easy but we could see that from the Stratford side the body and bag search was leading to quite a queue build-up.  Don't know whether I'd bother going back but for the Crate Brewery alone and the nearby Jamaican Burger Van it is probably worth it!

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12 hours ago, splendidrush said:

I remember when the Olympic Park was built, a'Legacy for London' it was described as. The day after the Olympics finished and the great and the good left, the place stood in darkness for 2 years. 

The taxpayer, having had to pay for this, then saw their 'legacy' almost given away in an attempt to justify its construction. 

It was a white elephant from day one, a vanity project that you're all going to be paying for, for a generation. 

The 'legacy' thing was always a joke for the locals, I grew up in the East End and know nobody who did equestrian events or canoeing. 

Fencing was done in the back garden, sprinting was for bag snatchers and the only thing that was synchronized was mugging.... oh and shooting would of course be of interest. 

Bit harsh, I think it's a cracking little place. For the past five or so years we've done an at least annual trip to London. The Premier Inn at Stratford does some ridiculous prices for a two night stay if you include a Sunday night in your trip. Each time we go we'll spend at least half a day in the Olympic Park and it's always busy, even when we went in February half term and it was cold, damp and miserable. The pool is very well used, you generally have to book well in advance to get a go at the giant inflatable set up they stick in the Olympic pool. The outdoor cycling track is well used, as is the Velodrome and the various venues throughout the park have hosted a shedload of international and national events.

When you look at the state of the Olympic venues in Athens, Rio, Sarajevo and even Beijing to some extent (though the Winter Olympics will breath life back into that site) we've done exceptionally well by comparison with our Olympic site.

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It wasn't as bad as I expected as a football venue to be honest but then I think the lower tier view is better. Hackney Wick beforehand was also a decent drinking venue and I got straight on a DLR train afterwards. Atmosphere was certainly no worse than some of the other large prem grounds.

Although it clearly has limitations as a football venue in terms of atmosphere, I doubt too many West Ham fans are that fussed now they are seeing their club spend £45m on a striker and their front 4 starting to get going. What that stadium has enabled them to do is grow their club in a way that will sustain it in the future and grow their fanbase in a way that we are currently struggling with due to the constraints of our ground., Whereas I sadly can't get my son into Carrow Road this season unless I borrow a season ticket, West Ham are offering good value access to premier league football and have basically doubled the number of their fans regularly attending home games as a consequence. that will sustain them in the long term and I'd be amazed if even the most grumpy fan who was bemoaning the loss of the Boleyn Ground cannot see that now.

I actually ended up having to get a train in from Witham on Saturday and it was evident that at every station along that line hundreds of West Ham fans were getting on and heading to Stratford. I know West Ham have long held sway in large parts of Essex but you can now be within a 10 minute stroll of that ground in half an hour on the train from stations in outer parts of Essex as well as obviously their traditional east London heartlands. the potential of the club has grown massively as a consequence of their move and actually I think could be quite damaging to the sc*m long term given our current superiority as well. 

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11 hours ago, canarydan23 said:

Bit harsh, I think it's a cracking little place. For the past five or so years we've done an at least annual trip to London. The Premier Inn at Stratford does some ridiculous prices for a two night stay if you include a Sunday night in your trip. Each time we go we'll spend at least half a day in the Olympic Park and it's always busy, even when we went in February half term and it was cold, damp and miserable. The pool is very well used, you generally have to book well in advance to get a go at the giant inflatable set up they stick in the Olympic pool. The outdoor cycling track is well used, as is the Velodrome and the various venues throughout the park have hosted a shedload of international and national events.

When you look at the state of the Olympic venues in Athens, Rio, Sarajevo and even Beijing to some extent (though the Winter Olympics will breath life back into that site) we've done exceptionally well by comparison with our Olympic site.

I'm glad that you enjoyed your time in the East End, like anywhere else it's much nicer to visit knowing that you don't actually have to live there.

As for the facilities, it's interesting that the pool you mentioned is the only one serving the whole of East London apart from an old lido at London Fields, so I hope it would be busy.

The Velodrome is one of only two in a City with north of 7 million people, the other one, built in the 1890s is in Herne Hill.

As a London Cab Driver I remember the day we beat Paris to win the bid, how we were told that we could put on a show for around 8 billion. Today, estimates are running somewhere around 23 billion and we're not finished yet. 

I remember the locals who couldn't get a job constructing the Olympic Park and to add insult to injury were then moved out of their homes to allow it's construction.

I remember when they put in the ZIL lanes, roads that we paid for but weren't allowed to use, so they could ferry members of the Olympic family backwards and forwards in courtesy BMW's. 

Then there was the lottery that was trying to get tickets, I spoke to a lady who wanted to see her daughter compete in the judo, she got four tickets to watch the sailing, in Weymouth, a mile offshore and it was foggy.

Like I say dan, I'm glad you had a good time, you're still paying for it after all, but I won't be going anytime soon. 

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9 hours ago, splendidrush said:

I'm glad that you enjoyed your time in the East End, like anywhere else it's much nicer to visit knowing that you don't actually have to live there.

As for the facilities, it's interesting that the pool you mentioned is the only one serving the whole of East London apart from an old lido at London Fields, so I hope it would be busy.

The Velodrome is one of only two in a City with north of 7 million people, the other one, built in the 1890s is in Herne Hill.

As a London Cab Driver I remember the day we beat Paris to win the bid, how we were told that we could put on a show for around 8 billion. Today, estimates are running somewhere around 23 billion and we're not finished yet. 

I remember the locals who couldn't get a job constructing the Olympic Park and to add insult to injury were then moved out of their homes to allow it's construction.

I remember when they put in the ZIL lanes, roads that we paid for but weren't allowed to use, so they could ferry members of the Olympic family backwards and forwards in courtesy BMW's. 

Then there was the lottery that was trying to get tickets, I spoke to a lady who wanted to see her daughter compete in the judo, she got four tickets to watch the sailing, in Weymouth, a mile offshore and it was foggy.

Like I say dan, I'm glad you had a good time, you're still paying for it after all, but I won't be going anytime soon. 

I'm not debating the fact that there was some pretty substantial negatives, the majority of which were borne by residents of Stratford and the surrounding area, and some things that I don't agree with (the privatisation of it and the prowling security guards certainly give the place a bit of a military feel) but all in all it has been a benefit and the majority of things that come with great benefit have tangible and intangible costs.

Take living in London, being a resident of the nation's capital has plenty of benefits but at the same time, it is the nation's capital. It's my capital city, it's the capital city of John Smith in Cumbria, it's the capital of Fanny Craddock in Cornwall and that comes with responsibilities that residents have to bear. The fact is, the current site was not and could not be built purely with the interests of the locals in mind, though many of them have benefited from the conversion of Stratford from industrial wasteland to the booming site it has become. I know what it was like beforehand, I used to regularly park in residential Stratford on a street that was peculiarly outside of any parking restrictions and walk to the underground whenever I went to London as it was cheaper and more convenient than getting the train. I'm sure there were happy residents there but it was a grim old place.

It's not just benefited sport nationally through the many athletes who'll be lining up in Tokyo next year that will point to London 2012 as an event that has inspired them to success but it's been a significant boon at grassroots level. I used to play a sport caleld Korfball, not even an Olympic sport, and they now hold their national finals at the Cooper Box. Previously it would rotate between less glamorous venues like the UEA Sportspark or St Marys in Twickenham. As a result of this, they wound up having the event filmed by the BBC and streamed live on iPlayer. a hell of a boon for a minority, largely unheard of sport. Furthermore, they host the national schools finals between the senior matches, giving school children an opportunity to compete in an Olympic venue in front of several hundred spectators.

As for your judo lady, that's peculiar as I know for a fact that each athlete was allocated tickets for events they were competing in, so unless Judo Mum wasn't too high on her daughter's priority list or there was some sort of administrative failing, tickets were there for relatives of featured athletes.

And at the end of the day, you can gnash your teeth about the Olympics and the legacy until the cows come home, the fact of the matter is the area was going to be regenerated anyway. All the Olympics did was ensure that several world class sports venues were included in the development. The Stratford City project was mooted long before the bid for the Olympics was even an idea so the compulsory purchase orders, demolition and gentrification would have come along regardless. The Olympics actually put the national spotlight on it which has made it more difficult for nefarious developers to have their wicked way on the area. It's unbelievable now in the wake of Grenfell, but when they were converting and developing East Village, they enlisted the London Fire Brigade to sort out the sprinkler and fire defence system. They were not going to put sprinklers in the affordable housing, but someone I know who works in PR for the London Fire Brigade said that it would be a PR disaster if this got out, which it inevitably would given the focus on it. The sprinklers were put in. 

By having the London 2012 project instead of the Stratford City project we got to put on the best of the greatest shows on earth and have managed to successfully avoid the site becoming the white elephant it is in many of the previous host countries. For all its justified criticisms, overall it's been a success.

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13 hours ago, canarydan23 said:

I'm not debating the fact that there was some pretty substantial negatives, the majority of which were borne by residents of Stratford and the surrounding area, and some things that I don't agree with (the privatisation of it and the prowling security guards certainly give the place a bit of a military feel) but all in all it has been a benefit and the majority of things that come with great benefit have tangible and intangible costs.

Take living in London, being a resident of the nation's capital has plenty of benefits but at the same time, it is the nation's capital. It's my capital city, it's the capital city of John Smith in Cumbria, it's the capital of Fanny Craddock in Cornwall and that comes with responsibilities that residents have to bear. The fact is, the current site was not and could not be built purely with the interests of the locals in mind, though many of them have benefited from the conversion of Stratford from industrial wasteland to the booming site it has become. I know what it was like beforehand, I used to regularly park in residential Stratford on a street that was peculiarly outside of any parking restrictions and walk to the underground whenever I went to London as it was cheaper and more convenient than getting the train. I'm sure there were happy residents there but it was a grim old place.

It's not just benefited sport nationally through the many athletes who'll be lining up in Tokyo next year that will point to London 2012 as an event that has inspired them to success but it's been a significant boon at grassroots level. I used to play a sport caleld Korfball, not even an Olympic sport, and they now hold their national finals at the Cooper Box. Previously it would rotate between less glamorous venues like the UEA Sportspark or St Marys in Twickenham. As a result of this, they wound up having the event filmed by the BBC and streamed live on iPlayer. a hell of a boon for a minority, largely unheard of sport. Furthermore, they host the national schools finals between the senior matches, giving school children an opportunity to compete in an Olympic venue in front of several hundred spectators.

As for your judo lady, that's peculiar as I know for a fact that each athlete was allocated tickets for events they were competing in, so unless Judo Mum wasn't too high on her daughter's priority list or there was some sort of administrative failing, tickets were there for relatives of featured athletes.

And at the end of the day, you can gnash your teeth about the Olympics and the legacy until the cows come home, the fact of the matter is the area was going to be regenerated anyway. All the Olympics did was ensure that several world class sports venues were included in the development. The Stratford City project was mooted long before the bid for the Olympics was even an idea so the compulsory purchase orders, demolition and gentrification would have come along regardless. The Olympics actually put the national spotlight on it which has made it more difficult for nefarious developers to have their wicked way on the area. It's unbelievable now in the wake of Grenfell, but when they were converting and developing East Village, they enlisted the London Fire Brigade to sort out the sprinkler and fire defence system. They were not going to put sprinklers in the affordable housing, but someone I know who works in PR for the London Fire Brigade said that it would be a PR disaster if this got out, which it inevitably would given the focus on it. The sprinklers were put in. 

By having the London 2012 project instead of the Stratford City project we got to put on the best of the greatest shows on earth and have managed to successfully avoid the site becoming the white elephant it is in many of the previous host countries. For all its justified criticisms, overall it's been a success.

This could go on a while, and tbh I can't really be bothered, let's agree to disagree. 👌

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