Olympic Stadium - The Games Venue Guide
Perhaps to be considered the true ‘home’ of the London 2012 Games, the London Olympic Stadium will host the four (Olympics and Paralympics) opening and closing ceremonies, as well as some of the most important Games events, such as the 100 metres finals.
Venue overview: Construction of the stadium took almost three years, beginning in May 2008 and concluding in April 2011. It cost £486million and organisers claim it is the most sustainable stadium ever built, with less steel and concrete used than for other stadia.
It comprises a lower tier of 25,000 permanent seats and a temporary upper tier of 55,000 which could be removed after the Games. The temporary nature of the upper tier means that certain facilities such as some refreshment stands and toilets have been constructed in temporary facilities outside of the Stadium.
The ‘temporary’ upper ring of the Olympics Stadium was constructed using recycled gas pipes – as part of the London 2012 organisers’ attempts to 'reduce, reuse and recycle' in preparing London for the Games.
Within the Stadium there are extensive changing rooms, medical support facilities and a 60m warm-up track for use by the athletes.
As part of the preparations for the Games, LOCOG undertook 42 test events in 28 venues, with the Olympic Stadium hosting the British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS) Visa Outdoor Athletics Championships – which saw athlete Charlie Purdue set a 5000m BUCS championship record of 15:15.12.
The London Legacy Development Corporation have decided to keep the Stadium under public ownership and it will be the venue for the 2017 IAAF World Championships.
Public facilities: Planners have created party areas outside the stadium inspired by the successful fan zones from other events, where fans can enjoy refreshments and watch the action on big screens.
Spectators can also visit the nearby London 2012 Megastore and the iconic ‘Orbit’ site, home of the tallest art structure in the UK – where they can take in spectacular views over the Olympic Park and the rest of London.
History: Designed and built as the centrepiece for the 2012 Summer Olympics and 2012 Summer Paralympics, the stadium was completed in 2011. Work started on the Olympic Park site in 2007 and the Stadium itself was built by Sir Robert McAlpine, having been designed by the Populous architectural firm.
What's on?: Athletics, 3rd-12th August.
How do you get there?: The Olympic Stadium is situated to the south of the Olympic Park on a small island that can be accessed via five footbridges.
The park can be reached by all modes of transport, but the recommended routes are rail, underground, Docklands Light Railway, bus or coach.
National Rail, London Underground and DLR all serve Stratford station to the east of the park and West Ham station to the south, while Transport for London has bus stops in the area and there will be coach services to the park.
Location – in relation to other venues: The Stadium is situated close to the Water Polo Arena and Aquatics Centre.
Location – in Olympic park: The Stadium is at the Victoria Gate corner of the Olympic Park on an ‘island’ site, surrounded by waterways on three sides. Visitors will arrive at the Stadium via one of five bridges which link the site to the outside area.
Location – on the tube: Closest underground stations are Stratford (Jubilee and Central lines - around 15-minute walk) or West Ham (District and Hammersmith & City lines – around 25-minute walk).
Find it on the map: Here