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Official Review by Ryan MacArthur, Stadium Journey Special Correspondent
In the summer of 2016 Boleyn Ground will be turned into apartment blocks, so it is currently a must see for any English football fan. Home to West Ham FC for 110 years, Upton Park seats 36,016 fans, and is located on the famous (or infamous, depending on who you ask) Green Street. Though its capacity is half of some of the bigger Premier League clubs, the atmosphere and passion you’ll find is a magnificent experience.
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Each area is rated from 0 to 5 stars with 5 being the best. The overall composite score is the "FANFARE Score".
Do not enter the Boleyn Ground hungry unless you're willing to eat cheap mediocrity or expensive decency. Crisps and candy are available for London prices (i.e., bring your own) as are soda, hot chocolate, and tea. The bratwurst kiosks serve quality food, but so do the vendors outside, and at cheaper rates.
In terms of beer, Carlsberg, Magners Cider, and Guinness are available, but must be consumed on the concourse. There aren't many options in terms of "sit down" restaurants near the stadium, but there are plenty of take away shops nearby, though they're not the most salubrious.
You're in for a treat once the bubbles start floating towards the London sky and the supporters begin to sing. Die hard Hammers fans will want to visit the Trevor Brooking stand, the area adjacent to the away supporters section, but be prepared to learn several new combinations of insults aimed at the visitors. Though vilified in the film, "Green Street Hooligans," West Ham fans are friendly and accommodating, especially if you're wearing claret and blue.
The stadium is intimate enough where there aren't many bad seats in terms of view. There are two television screens facing diagonally towards the field. They're used for replays, club trivia and halftime highlights, though the club officials will sometimes refrain from replaying any close calls or disallowed goals.
It may not the prettiest area you'll find in London, but the Boleyn Ground is the most imposing and attractive structure around. There are lots of open markets, street vendors, and litter on the street. The Upton Park tube station crawls with scalpers during match day, but they're harmless unless you engage them. If you're looking for a pub, the Boleyn and Greengate are quality, but DO NOT enter if you're an away fan. Generally, it's a safe area as long as you're not looking for trouble.
Every club says their fans are the best, but West Ham has a legitimate claim. The sound of tens of thousands of voices singing "Forever Blowing Bubbles," is an emotional experience. With the team pushing for European competition qualification, enthusiasm and expectations have never been higher. The days of outright hooliganism are in the past, and West Ham supporters are generally friendly and accommodating (unless you're an away supporter).
The tube or buses are your best bet for arrival at the match. There are no parking lots near the grounds, but you can gamble with on-street parking in the surrounding neighborhoods. The Upton Park tube station lets you out just a few blocks from the grounds, but be prepared for a MASSIVE queue after the game. You're better off walking to the Plaistow station and beating the crowds.
English Premier League tickets are a hot commodity. Be ready to fork over between $150-$300 if you're forced to go through a third party vendor. The club sells tickets in a three tiered system; A+ (£55 and up), A (£50), and B (£42), but aim to book your tickets as early as possible. The club shop has a vast array of West Ham kits, collectables, and throwback apparel. Prices are fair in terms of what you'd find in a sporting goods or clothing store.
There isn't much else to do in the area besides watching the football, but do not let that fact deter you from visiting this storied stadium with truly amazing fans. The statue of Bobby Moore, captain of the 1966 World Cup winning team is only a block from the grounds and is a must see. If you want the genuine English football experience, have a pint at one of the supporters' pubs and chat with the fans.
The stadium staff generally has good customer service skills. You won't find any bells and whistles in terms of pregame entertainment or tailgating activities. West Ham occasionally offers stadium tours, but check the website before making any plans. In August 2016 the team will move to the London Olympic stadium where the expected capacity is 54,000.
Member Review by akulyk
Now how many sports venues can you find that are named after one of the wives of King Henry VIII who he offed during his reign as the King of England? The Boleyn Ground stands on the once Green Street home of Anne Boleyn, who visited here back in the day and whose home affectionately became known as "Boleyn's Castle". Today a 35,000-seat soccer venue stands on this site, and the stadium is actually more commonly known as "Upton Park" in deference to this neighborhood in northeast London.
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