West Ham hopes for massive showing of Europa League final sabotaged by Major League Baseball
The Hammers are preparing for their first major European final in 47 years, but while David Moyes’ side travel to Prague to meet Fiorentina on June 7, their home ground will be transformed ahead of a double game between the Chicago Cubs and the St. Louis Cardinals. .
West Ham have explored alternative options but it is understood a large-scale event in London is now unlikely, although the club are considering setting up a fan park for ticketless supporters to watch the match in Prague, with personnel in the field this week. for recognitions.
West Ham have been given an allocation of just 4,890 tickets for the game at the 19,370-seat Eden Arena, and while many times that number are expected to travel to the Czech capital, tens of thousands more will watch the match at London.
It is typical for English clubs to hold home ground screenings of such matches, with Manchester City set to welcome fans to the Etihad Stadium for their Champions League final against Inter Milan next month, having done so for the loss to Chelsea two years ago. .
West Ham’s situation is complicated, however, by the fact that they do not own the land, instead paying annual rental fees to the London Legacy Development Corporation.
Following Sunday’s 3-1 win over Leeds, the Irons’ final home game of the season, the stadium has already been refurbished ahead of a concert by Grammy-winning entertainer Burna Boy in early June, ahead of MLB’s return to London for the first time in four years.
Two of baseball’s biggest names, the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox, met in the inaugural game in London in 2019, but the planned visit the following year was canceled due to the Covid pandemic -19 and it was only last May that a new partnership running until 2026 was announced.
This year’s series will see the Cardinals and Cubs meet on June 24-25, but the scale of the transformation needed to turn the stadium into a ballpark means work will have to begin before the Conference League Finals.
The process, which in 2019 included laying 141,900 square feet of artificial turf and building temporary “clubhouses” to accommodate larger baseball teams, is expected to take about three weeks.