22nd August 2012
I have been asked by The Club to make recommendations on special ticketing for potential members of a proposed International Supporters Club. At this stage such a body does not exist although of course it should! I have attempted this many times and have provided various levels of advice FOR YEARS and that advice continues to fall on deaf ears.
However, once again to assist the process, here is what I have recommended:
1. Set aside no more than 10 tickets to each Home match;
2. Permit these 10 tickets to be accessed by International Hammers Fans;
3. As a condition precedent to the right to purchase a ticket, each NAMED ticket purchaser must become a member of The Academy, International Supporter Club or other similar programme. This condition precedent ensures that West Ham United can build its database of committed international fans and also ensures that WHU retains contact details of attendees, one of the key a requirements of both the Football League and the Premier League. Membership of the programme is by way of subscription for an annual fee;
4. As international visitors by definition will plan their potential visit to Upton Park well in advance, booking and payments for these tickets must be made not less than 21 days before the relevant match. Therefore, any unsold 'international' tickets could be made available to WHU season ticket holders in the usual manner. This ensures that season ticket holders are not disadvantaged.
5. Further, the publication of such availability can have the effect of INCREASING sales of general admission tickets so as to ensure that Upton Park is always completely filled. For other than the Tier One matches against clubs such as Manchester Utd, Manchester City, Chelsea, Arsenal, Tottenham and Liverpool, this offering could be expanded to fill the stadium for every match.
International visitors can plan in advance in the comfort of the knowledge that they have access to a ticket to see their beloved team. Additional promotion to these high value fans is beneficial to WHU and the club should, with appropriate marketing, deliver financial benefits to the club on a regular basis that are significant given the limited opportunity of these fans to enjoy even an annual Upton Park experience.
I ask ALL International Fans to copy my recommendations and email these to <firstname.lastname@example.org
> requesting that my system be adopted as we will all benefit!
Access to Tickets 2012
The best current advice is to contact friends and family who are season ticket holders in the UK and ask them to either use or upgrade their family season tickets for your use or ask them to purchase tickets on your behalf. Season Ticket (and Bond) holders get preferential access to Upton Park tickets AND precious Away allocations.
Given our return to the Premier League access to tickets this season will be far harder than in 2011-12 and Away tickets will be very rare indeed.
Tickets to Home matches against Arsenal, Manchester City & United, Chelsea, Tottenham and probably Liverpool will basically be impossible without the help of a local Season Ticket or Bond holder. Of course there are always Corporate tickets but these are at a premium.
Having said that, there were tickets available on the day to our first home game on 18 August 2012 against Aston Villa, a very surprising occurrence. I suggest that there were an unusual high number of "holidaying hammers" absent from Upton Park and therefore reduced demand after the Olympics?
Best of luck and
19th August 2010
I am pleased to advise that WHU have softened its approach to access to Match Tickets for international visitors. I have been advised as follows:
Each member of the OzHammers may now contact the WHU ticket office direct, as WHU now acknowledge that they receive requests from fans travelling from over the globe and whenever they can they always look to accommodate requests and appreciate the effort international visitors put into attending matches.
WHU estimate that they currently allocate around 200 tickets to overseas fans each home match, mainly from groups around Europe but a number from America and Australia. Again, whilst WHU has commitments to UK members, when possible they will always look favourably on OzHammers and other international supporters.
With the above in place, whilst possibly more rigid than I wanted, there is now a mechanism in place for direct dealings with the WHU Ticket Office.
The best email address to forward any ticket requests would be email@example.com this is checked daily and the supporter will always receive a prompt and informative response from a member of the ticket office staff.
Of course, if you don't get an adequate response or actual purchase of tickets, please get back to me and I will do my best to assist!
Forever Blowing Bubbles...
1st August 2008
I receive a substantial number of requests from OzHammers seeking advice on how to purchase tickets to West Ham matches at Upton Park. Therefore, I set out below the 'official' mechanism and process through which OzHammers may book tickets.
As always, if you REALLY get stuck, send me an email and I will see what I can do to assist!
1. Home Fixtures
The majority of West Ham United home fixtures sell out in advance and tickets are rarely available on the day. Upton Park only holds just under 35,000 people and over 26,000 of these seats are held by Season Ticket Holders. These Season Ticket Holders can purchase a limited number of additional tickets in priority after Club Members.
2. Academy Membership
Supporters may join 'The Academy' Club of WHU and get priority booking rights even before Season Ticket Holders. Therefore, it is EFFECTIVELY COMPULSORY that you become an Academy Member of WHU to enable you to purchase tickets. You can join online at the WHU website
- the annual fee is £35 for non-UK residents and you get various other privileges as a Member.
Most of the EPL clubs do this now so they can track and manage ticket sales. Often fixtures DO NOT go on General Sale, that is to the general public, as all available tickets are sold to either Season Ticket Holders, WHU Bond Holders or Academy Members. Do not buy Membership Cards from other persons as there is a scam selling these cards that have no seat for the required game.
3. Ticket Information
All ticket information can be found by visiting the official WHUFS website
If the information for your desired fixture isn't shown, then it has yet to be confirmed. This is a problem as often the fixtures for which tickets are available are no more than two months ahead. In most cases, OzHammers plan travel to the UK several months in advance! However, the Club has made it clear that: "Whilst we appreciate the effort it must take to attend matches from such a distance, we cannot allow these supporters to have priority over our more local supporters."
I have discussed this matter at length with WHU management in an attempt to make some better arrangements for travellers, however, the Club cannot offer special privileges to occasional international fans. They have assured me that where they can assist they will do everything they can. It has been my experience that the Club is VERY HELPFUL in this regard so please ask nicely!
4. Online Sales
Once you are an Academy Member, you can buy tickets online. Generally, only Category B fixtures will have spare tickets available for late purchase. Tickets to see Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool or Manchester United at Upton Park are very difficult to obtain and any extras are sold the same day they are made available. Therefore, you must watch the WHU Box Office Website
or contact the Club well in advance to have any chance.
For season 08/09, WHU have launched an online booking system and you can actually select your seat via an image of the stadium. You must register and then Login before this option is active.
5. Phone Bookings
In addition to online sales, OzHammers can also book tickets over the telephone dialling +44 870 112 2700 or by Faxing a request to +44 208 548 2757. Please ensure that all information WHU would require to process a booking is contained on this fax (Fixture, number of tickets, contact details of each applicant & credit card details). Your Academy Membership number will also be required unless the fixture is on General Sale.
Tickets are usually posted to you in advance. If there is insufficient time for posting, WHU advise you enter the address of where you will be staying during your visit (this can always be amended at a later date).
7. General Sales
If a fixture is on 'General Sale' then all that is required is for a name and an address to be allocated against each ticket you are applying for. Membership would not be required.
8. Change of Dates
Fixtures are regularly switched and both the DAY and TIME of matches is subject to review based on either team's commitments in European or Cup Competitions or due to changed TV requirements. This is one of the reasons why the Club cannot sell tickets months in advance of the game.
Groups consisting of 10 or more will be considered as a group and may be booked together. Please note however that group bookings are restricted to Category B fixtures only. Group bookings should contact the Ticket Office by email
or by fax on +44 208 548 2719. If you have a large group travelling, please send me an email if you REALLY need more assistance.
WHU have a large number of corporate boxes and other Corporate Hospitality options. Contact the Commercial Department by phone on +4420 8548 2777, by fax on +44 208 548 2719 or by email
for prices and more information.
11. Other Alternatives
An alternative source of tickets, if you can't get any from the club, is the secondary market such as the KUMB Website
. I CANNOT recommend this approach, as with all due respect to KUMB and others, it is more of a risk and an absolute last resort. The secondary market is not a legal way to obtain tickets and therefore not a good option for international visitors.
Some of us have family and friends back in the UK with Season Tickets and whilst you may 'borrow' their membership this too is a risk as they may lose their entitlements if you do the wrong thing.
Even worse is buying these tickets from scalpers. If you do need to go to the secondary market make sure its a trusted source!
Forever Blowing Bubbles...