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Top Facts about London Stadium, The Captivating Modern Venue

Sun 30 January 2022 | 5:30

The recent and brief history of this new stadium as well as the events it has hosted so far and other matters are the topics we will be covering in the top facts about London Stadium.

London Stadium (formerly known as Olympic Stadium and the Stadium at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park) is a multi-purpose outdoor stadium in the Stratford district of London. It lies 6 miles (10 kilometers) east of downtown London, in the Lower Lea Valley.

The stadium was built particularly for the 2012 Summer Olympics and 2012 Summer Paralympics, serving as the track and field venue as well as the opening and closing ceremonies. It was reconstructed for multi-purpose usage after the Games, and it now largely serves as the home of Premier League club West Ham United.

The stadium's land preparation began in mid-2007, with construction beginning on May 22, 2008. The stadium hosted its first public event in March 2012, when it acted as the finish line for the National Lottery's celebrity race.

It reopened in July 2016 with 66,000 seats, however, capacity for football was limited to 60,000 due to lease terms. It formerly held 80,000 for the Olympics and Paralympics. The choice to make West Ham United the main tenants was controversial, and the tenancy procedure had to be redone.

The stadium can also handle concerts for up to 80,000 people and was deemed capable of hosting other sports such as baseball and cricket due to its oval form and relocatable seating. It hosted the first regular-season Major League Baseball game in Europe in June 2019, when the Boston Red Sox faced the New York Yankees in a two-game series.

Bringing You the Top Facts about London Stadium

We start with the design and structure and then move on to the games and events it has held.

London Stadium Structure

After the bowl of the facility had been excavated and the ground cleared, construction of the stadium began three months early in May 2008.

The stadium was allegedly constructed on schedule and on budget in March 2011, with the athletics track being built in October 2011.

The stadium's track-and-field arena is excavated from the site's soft clay, and permanent seating for 25,000 people is created around it using concrete "rakers."

Warm-up and changing areas are built into a semi-basement position at the lower end, taking advantage of the land's natural slope.

Spectators enter the stadium through a podium level that runs parallel to the permanent seating bowl's top.

From this "bowl," a lightweight demountable steel and pre-cast concrete upper deck was built up to accommodate an additional 55,000 spectators.

The stadium is divided into several tiers, with a capacity of 80,000 spectators during the Games, one of the Top Facts about London Stadium.

The base tier, which can hold 25,000 people, is a sunken elliptical bowl made of low-carbon-dioxide concrete, which has 40% less embodied carbon than regular concrete. 

The base level is supported by 5,000 piles that reach depths of up to 20 metres (66 feet). There are a variety of piles, including driven cast in situ piles, continuous flight auger piles, and vibro concrete columns.

The second tier, which is 60 metres (197 feet) high and measures 315 by 256 metres (344 by 280 yards), accommodates 55,000 seats.

The stadium is made up of little under a quarter of the steel used in Beijing's Olympic Stadium for the 2008 Summer Olympics, weighing in at over 10,700 tonnes (10,500 long tons; 11,800 short tons).

Aside from the limited use of steel, which makes it 75% lighter, the stadium also incorporates high-yield big diameter pipes that were surplus on completion of North Sea gas pipeline projects in its compression truss, recycled granite, and many of the building supplies were brought by train and barge rather than truck, another one of the Top Facts about London Stadium.

During the Olympics, a wrap was installed on the exterior, financed by Dow Chemical Company so that they could advertise on it until June 26, 2012. 

The wrap was made of polyester and polyethene, and UV curable inks were used to print it.

The wrap was made out of material components that measured 20 metres (66 feet) tall and 900 metres (1,000 yards) long.

The wrap's final design included 2.5-metre-wide (8 ft 2 in) cloth panels twisted at 90-degree angles to provide access to the stadium at the bottom of the structure, and tensioned cables to keep them in place.

Compression truss and roof column connections were bolted to allow for quick on-site installation; this allowed for easy disassembly of the roof structure following the closing ceremonies, one of the

Top Facts about London Stadium

.

Around two-thirds of the stadium's seating is covered by the cable-supported roof structure. Its roof, which rose 70 metres (230 feet) above the playing field, housed 14 lighting towers with a total of 532 individual 2 kW floodlight lamps.

Prime Minister David Cameron and London Mayor Boris Johnson turned on the lights for the first time in December 2010.

The towers were equipped with additional ceremony lighting during the games, and four of them housed enormous temporary screens.

London Stadium Feedback

One of the Top Facts about London Stadium is that The media initially had mixed feelings about the stadium architecture, with praise ranging from "magnificent" to "bowl of blancmange."

The design was hailed as a model of "sustainable development," although several architectural critics questioned its aesthetic worth and fitness as a national symbol, particularly in comparison to Beijing National Stadium.

For example, Ellis Woodman, Building Design's architecture critic, said of the design, "The principle of it being dismountable is most welcome... it demonstrates an obvious interest in establishing an economy of means and as such is the antithesis of the 2008 Olympic stadium in Beijing.

But while that's an achievement, it's not an architectural achievement. In design terms what we're looking at is pretty underwhelming."

He went on to criticise the procurement and design procedures, claiming that the latter should have been subjected to competition. 

Tom Dyckhoff, The New York Times' architecture critic, agreed, calling the design "tragically underwhelming" and predicting that "the architecture of the 2008 and 2012 Olympics will be seen by historians as a "cunning indicator of the decline of the West and the rise of the East" in years to come, another one of the Top Facts about London Stadium.

Despite the criticism, the Olympic Stadium was nominated for the 2012 Stirling Prize in Architecture but was defeated by the University of Cambridge's Sainsbury Laboratory.

In a piece for Building Design, Amanda Baillieu questioned the designer's assertions that the stadium is environmentally friendly and cost-effective.

Rather, it is predicted that the reality will be the opposite. She claimed, in particular, that due to the difference in size, the temporary roof could not be used to cover the permanent 25,000 seating area;

The removed seating would be unlikely to be wanted for any other event, such as the Glasgow Commonwealth Games;

And the costs of dismantling the stadium and surrounding "pods" have not been factored into the estimated cost. The cost was £537 million, compared to £60,000 (£5.6 million in 2010) for the 1908 Olympic Stadium.

London Stadium Location and Access

The stadium is located in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park's southern section. The closest railway stations to the Olympic Park are Stratford and Stratford International, both of which are about a 20-minute walk away.

Southeastern trains operate four trains per hour from Stratford International to St Pancras International, as well as other services in Kent, while Stratford station has London Overground services to North, West, and South London and is on the Great Eastern Main Line to London Liverpool Street and East Anglia.

The Jubilee and Central lines of the London Underground, as well as the Docklands Light Railway, pass through Stratford.

The DLR provides direct access to London City Airport. In addition, the stadium is served by Hackney Wick (London Overground) and Pudding Mill Lane, but due to capacity constraints, both stations may be closed for larger events. Crossrail will begin service in Stratford in 2022.

The public parking lots of Westfield Stratford City, Stratford International Station, and the Stratford Centre are recommended for car travellers. The Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park also features a number of London Cycle Hire docking stations.

A total of 17 services use Stratford City bus station and Stratford bus station, which provide a network of services throughout East London. In addition, City Thameslink's route 25 serves Central London.

National Express coach services to Stratford bus station offer a direct connection to Stansted Airport as well as a number of additional destinations throughout Essex and East Anglia.

London Stadium Games and Events (1)

Although

West Ham United

is the main tenant, the stadium's operators host a variety of other events.

The London Athletics Grand Prix, a Diamond League event, was confirmed to be moved to the stadium on January 24, 2013.

It was confirmed in February 2013 that it would also host a Paralympic athletics event on July 28. The event was renamed the "Anniversary Games" after Sainsbury's was announced as a sponsor in April. David Weir set a world record for the T54 mile at the event, one of the Top Facts about London Stadium.

In 2016, the London Grand Prix was supposed to be moved permanently to the stadium.

Due to the 2015 Rugby World Cup being held in the stadium with the original seating capacity, the option arose to move the Grand Prix to the stadium a year early, under the banner of the Anniversary Games once more.

Dafne Schippers (100 m), Dina Asher-Smith (100 m), and Shara Proctor (long jump) set national records at the 2015 events, while Georgina Hermitage (400 m T37) and Sophie Hahn (100 m T38) set world records.

On the 22nd and 23rd of July 2016, the Muller Anniversary Games, the stadium's fourth-anniversary event, took place. 

On the second day of the competition, IPC Grand Prix events were combined with Diamond League events. Kendra Harrison broke the women's 100 m hurdles world record, which had lasted for 28 years, at the event.

The Olympic Stadium in London was chosen to host the 2015 World Athletics Championships. It competed against Beijing's Olympic Stadium and Chorzow, Poland.

The stadium, however, had to withdraw its application due to concerns over the timing of the announcement of who will operate it after the Olympics, ultimately handing the championships to Beijing, one of the

Top Facts about London Stadium.

With the stadium's future uncertain, London utilised it to bid for the 2017 World Athletics Championships.

The offer was made official in August, with Lord Coe personally submitting it during the 2011 World Athletic Championships in Daegu, which was endorsed by London Mayor Boris Johnson and the British Government.

The IAAF formally awarded London the 2017 World Championships on November 11, 2011.

The World Para Athletics Championships (previously the IPC Athletics World Championships) were formally confirmed for the stadium in December 2012, a month before the able-bodied event.

For Mo Farah and Usain Bolt, the 2017 able-bodied athletics event was their final track championship.

The World Para Athletics Championships took place from July 14 to July 23, 2017, with 800,000 tickets distributed over 16 sessions.

The IAAF World Championships, which took place from August 4 to 13, 2017, had 700,000 tickets available. 3,300 athletes from 200 countries competed in 245 events for 690 medals.

The venue for the inaugural Athletics World Cup was announced in February 2018: London Stadium. The event took place on the 14th and 15th of July.

West Ham United moved to this stadium in August 2016 after leaving the Boleyn Ground. By May 2016, West Ham had sold out the stadium's 50,000 season ticket allocation for the 2016–17 season.

West Ham's first game was a Europa League encounter against NK Domzale on 4 August 2016, in which the Hammers won 3–0 with the stadium sold out, albeit at a reduced capacity of 54,000 due to conversion work.

The official first encounter was a friendly against

Juventus

on August 7th, which ended in a 2–3 defeat. With a crowd of 56,977, West Ham's first Premier League match at the stadium was against AFC Bournemouth.

Watford became the first

Premier League

team to defeat West Ham at the London Stadium, winning 4–2 after coming back from a two-goal deficit.

London Stadium Games and Events (2)

Essex County Cricket Club announced in May 2014 that they had reached an "in principle" agreement to play their Twenty20 cricket matches at the stadium.

The facility had also been mentioned as a potential host for the 2019 Cricket World Cup. The venue, however, was not included in the final schedule.

It was not picked because the current facilities ran east to west, making the game impossible to view owing to the setting sun, and since the pitch at most cricket stadiums must run north to south.

After further analysis, it was revealed that switching the facilities to a north-south alignment would reduce capacity by 30,000 people, one of the Top Facts about London Stadium.

The International Cricket Council was also concerned about the possibility of major injury to players as a result of the higher sand-based outfield.

Major League Baseball announced a two-year arrangement with London Stadium on May 8, 2018, to host a series of baseball games in 2019 and 2020.

From June 29 to 30, 2019, the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees (a major American League rivalry) played a two-game series at the stadium, dubbed the 2019 MLB London Series. 

It had a capacity of 66,000 in its baseball layout; plans were being prepared to adjust the seating to replicate the "intimate" atmosphere and amenities of American baseball stadiums, as well as to construct larger locker rooms akin to those seen in American parks.

On top of the stadium's existing grass, a new playing surface was installed. Prior to the 2019 games, it was reported that the Chicago Cubs and St. Louis Cardinals would play in London Stadium in 2020; however, due to the COVID-19 epidemic, this series was ultimately canceled, another one of the Top Facts about London Stadium.

The 2015 Motorsport  Race of Champions was held in the stadium in November 2015. It was the first time the tournament had been held in the United Kingdom since 2008 when the competition was held at Wembley Stadium.

Andy Priaulx and Jason Plato of England won the nation's cup, while Sebastian Vettel was crowned Champion of Champions.

On November 7, 2015, England and New Zealand played their first rugby league match at the stadium. It was the second test of a three-test series between the two sides.

The venue also hosted the 2016 Rugby League Four Nations match between England and Australia. The Stadium was revealed in June 2016 as part of England's bid to host the 2021 Rugby League World Cup.

London Stadium Operator

The Evening Standard claimed in October 2014 that Vinci SA, a French company, was the frontrunner for a ten-year contract to operate the stadium.

The company, which already owns and runs many other stadiums, including the Stade de France in Paris, reportedly beat out competitors such as Anschutz Entertainment Group, which owns and operates The O2.

Vinci Stadium, a subsidiary of Vinci Concessions, was hired to administer it beginning in April 2015 for a 25-year contract in February 2015, one of the

Top Facts about London Stadium.

The London Marathon Charitable Trust Community Track and activities on the South Park Lawn would also be managed by the firm. Vinci is operating the stadium for the first time outside of France.

Vinci formed a subsidiary called London Stadium 185 (LS185), with the number 185 representing the number of medals won by British athletes at the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games in London.

After worries over expenditures at the venue, which had reported a £3.5 million loss the previous year, the London Legacy Development Corporation bought LS185 from Vinci and maintained all of the existing personnel in place in January 2019.

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source: SportMob

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