Olympic Stadium Transforms
The focal point of the London 2012 Olympic Games was the main stadium, and since that time, it has been used on occasions for the Rugby World Cup and the athletics Diamond League. In the last few years it has been transformed, ready to be the new home for West Ham football club. But what has been going on?
The stadium was originally designed as an 80,000 athletics arena; to be changed into a 25,000 athletics legacy venue, but a change of direction saw it become the home of a premier league club. Transforming the venue from a single sport use into one that will be the permanent home of a football club and an athletics venue, was a significant undertaking.
Firstly the roof needed to be changed, as the original lightweight roof only covered half of the seats. The new roof has become the largest cable supported roof in Europe, and now covers all the seats, both in its football and athletics mode.
To cater for both sports, the lower tier has been partially removed and a new movable seating system has been installed. This will allow approximately 20,000 seats to be brought forward and nearer to the football pitch, giving supporters a closer look at the action.
On the main public podium, new toilet facilities have been constructed, along with new access turnstiles, and new catering bars and public facilities. Close attention has been taken to ensure all entrances, toilets and viewing positions meet the highest standards for accessibility. Spectators will also be able to watch pre-match entertainment on two of the largest stadium screens in Europe.
Major changes have also been made to the West Stand, which has been extended to provide new hospitality lounges, corporate boxes, and TV camera positions. Inside, new changing rooms have been built to provide state of the art athlete changing and warm-up facilities.
Come the summer 2016, the Olympic Stadium will open its doors yet again and be the new transformed home of West Ham United.
Article by Gordon Roy – London Borough of Newham