My decision to commit to watching West Ham for a whole season came about from a perfect storm. I'd previously played amateur football on Saturdays and this made going to Upton Park on a regular basis tricky. By the Summer of 2016 I'd pretty much lost interest in travelling around London, cramming into tiny changing rooms to run up and down and muddy, uneven pitches and be in pain for the next few days. As well as this West Ham were moving to their brand new stadium and I fancied being part of this historic transition. The new stadium promised to be easy to get to and it looked as though the ticket prices would be slightly cheaper. Finally I was getting married at the end of the 2016-17 season and it would have been hard work justifying travelling around the continent to watch games whilst we were on a budget. That will come once the knot is tied.
I was too late for a season ticket, so had to take my chances with the £40 membership. I’ve been a member before and personally think £40 isn’t too bad for the advanced ticket sales (you also get some retail offers and a wallet to carry tour card in). The pre-season advice was that I would need to enter a ticket ballot for each Premier League match. I then researched the best ticket re-sale websites in case I’d need them as a back-up option.
As it turned out I haven't needed any of the other ticketing sites or their vastly inflated prices. This is largely down to me applying for just one single ticket each time. As a result I’ve been to every game that I’ve applied for, only missing the league games against Watford (holiday), Stoke (Mum’s 70th) and Hull (Cousin’s wedding).
Getting my tickets through the ballot has also meant I’ve ended up sitting all over the new stadium and have seen some of its best and worst aspects. It’s all too much to sum-up in one article, so I’ve created a whole section dedicated to a season of firsts for me and my local club.