Transformation of Olympic Stadium given go-ahead after West Ham United football deal
- Credit: PA
Work to transform the former Olympic Stadium into a venue hosting football and concerts, along with athletics, has formally been given the go-ahead.
The London Legacy Development Corporation, overseeing the Olympic Park, last week granted permission for the original structure to be reduced from 80,000 seats to 54,000 for football and 60,000 for other events. For concerts the stadium will have capacity for 80,000 spectators including standing.
The planning application was submitted after Premier League football club West Ham United was confirmed as the anchor tenant of the Olympic Stadium in March.
The multi-purpose venue will also host Rugby World Cup 2015 matches and the 2017 World Athletics Championships.
Members of the Legacy Corporation’s planning decisions committee unanimously approved the planning application, which was made by the Legacy Corporation itself on behalf of E20 Stadium LLP – a special purpose vehicle comprising LLDC and Newham Council.
Legacy Corporation chief executive, Dennis Hone, said: “This is an important milestone that paves the way for the Stadium’s intended legacy use as an all-year-round venue.
“As we prepare for the phased re-opening of Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park this summer, with the long-term future of all eight permanent venues on the Park now secure, we remain firmly on track to deliver a meaningful physical and social legacy for Londoners.”
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Work is set to begin later this year on the proposed alterations.
Retractable seating will be introduced in the lower tier to cover the athletics track during football matches to bring fans closer to the action.
The stadium will also have a new roof —a gravity stressed design enabling it, at 84 metres, to become the largest spanning tensile roof in the world.
The iconic lighting towers will also be kept but details of how they will be reused have not been released.
Newham Mayor, Sir Robin Wales, said: “This is fantastic news and we will work hard to make sure our residents have access to the jobs created by the construction project as well the Stadium itself once it opens.”
The Park will begin to open from July and will be fully open from spring next year.