If West Ham United, a soccer club in the English Premier League, is unable to complete its efforts to move to London’s Olympic Stadium, it faces a huge problem in extensive corrosion damage to its current home at Upton Park.
As reported in The Guardian, West Ham’s stadium will require “major work” to repair the rust damage that has permeated the metal throughout the infrastructure. According to documents obtained for a report, the stadium does not pose any immediate danger to fans in attendance. However, if action is not taken soon, safety hazards may emerge.
It is no secret that preventative measures should be taken to ensure that the stadium is safe for players so that games can run smoothly and without injury. Furthermore, it is also important that insurance for sports leagues is in place. Being proactive, and taking out sports insurance protects the players, team, and league from liability in cases of injury.
Workers at the stadium must address “essential works such as the rust in the steelwork which is, at the moment, just surface corrosion but if not treated will get worse,” according to the news source. In addition, David Grant, the principal licensing officer for the safety group looking at the stadium, claims that “if the deal [for the Olympic Stadium] does not go through then extensive work would need doing.”
With the deal that would move the club to Olympic Stadium not set to be decided until at least the 2016-17 season, it’s likely the club will have to perform corrosion maintenance on the stadium, regardless of whether a deal comes to fruition. According to the inspection of the Upton Park stadium, repairs must be underway by 2015.
The main reason that repairs to the structure have been put off was that West Ham wanted to go as far into negotiations for the move to Olympic Stadium before it started into a process that would require a great deal of resources, according to The Guardian.
While West Ham is trying to avoid costly repairs to its stadium by moving to a different location, the easiest way to avoid damage to metal structures is to ensure that companies perform accelerated corrosion tests on all of their products.