Work begins on transforming Olympic Stadium into multi-use venue
PUBLISHED: 16:38 20 November 2013 | UPDATED: 16:38 20 November 2013
Work has begun on began on removing the floodlight paddles on Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park’s Stadium and transform it into a year round multi-use venue.
All 14 of the floodlight paddles which weigh 500 tonnes in total are being removed so a new roof can be built. At 84 metres at its deepest point it will be the longest cantilevered roof in the world and will cover every seat in the Stadium and improve the acoustics and spectator experience for football matches, other sporting events and concerts.
Once the roof is in place new floodlights suitable for a multi-use venue will be installed.
Work will be completed in spring 2015 ahead of the Rugby World Cup matches taking place in the Stadium later that year.
The new roof, along with new retractable seating in the lower bowl, are key to ensuring the Stadium can be used throughout the year to host a range of events.
As part of its multi-use legacy plans the Stadium will host five matches during the 2015 Rugby World Cup and will be the permanent home of West Ham United Football Club from 2016. The Stadium will also become the new national competition stadium for athletics in the UK hosting regional and national age group championships, as well as elite international events including the annual IAAF Diamond League meeting. The Stadium will be used for other sporting, cultural and community events as well as a range of community benefits for local residents.
The Stadium is a key part of wider plans for Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park which will see 6,800 homes built across five neighbourhoods and the creation of over 9,000 jobs.
London Legacy Development Corporation chief executive Dennis Hone said: “We are on track to deliver a fantastic world class venue that can be used year round to host a whole range of sporting, cultural and community events. The Stadium will be a truly remarkable legacy here in east London. The floodlights are much loved following the incredible 2012 Games so it’s great we can retain their iconic triangular style as a backdrop to top sporting action and other events.”
Mayor of Newham Sir Robin Wales said: “This is an important milestone in transforming the Stadium into one of London and the nation’s premier destination venues and a home for sport and entertainment for years to come. Newham is committed to ensuring a lasting legacy for the Stadium that will enable us to support residents into jobs in such an inspirational place, provide tickets to big events as a reward for those who put something back into our community, and fire the ambition of our young people to take up sport.”
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