Work starts on 2012 Olympic Stadium's field of play
By Richard High24 May 2010
Work has begun on the London 2012 Olympic Stadium's "field of play" on the second anniversary of the start of construction on the Stadium.
The centre of the Stadium has now been cleared of cranes and other construction equipment and work has begun on creating the right ground conditions for the running track and field events.
Ducts and a drainage system will be installed and the base layers will be laid ready for laying the turf and track next year.
Manufacture of the black and white seats that will fill the Stadium has also started and they will start to be fitted into the Stadium later this summer.
Commenting on this latest "construction milestone", Olympic Delivery Authority chairman John Armitt said, "Only two years ago, the Stadium site was a flat piece of ground. A huge amount has been achieved since then with the venue now structurally complete and at its full height.
"Work is progressing on covering the roof and the first seats will be fitted this summer. The continuing progress means the Stadium is still on track to be completed a whole year before the 2012 Games."
The Olympic Stadium will be the centrepiece of the Games, hosting the athletics events and the opening and closing ceremonies.
Construction on the Olympic Stadium started in May 2008 and progress to date has included:
- Over 4500 reinforced concrete columns installed as the foundations
- 12000 pre-cast concrete terracing units for the seating installed
- All five bridges and their abutments in place, connecting the Stadium island to the rest of the Park
- Work has begun on the fit-out of the 700 rooms and spaces within the Stadium, including fitting toilets and tiling showers in the changing rooms
- The 450 tonne cable net roof structure has been lifted into place
- 14 lighting towers which sit 60 m above the field of play have been lifted into place and the fitting of the power cables has started
- A quarter of the cable net roof has already been covered with a fabric material, which will provide the correct conditions for athletes on the field of play and cover two-thirds of spectators.
- Landscaping work has begun including trees planted, a green wall installed and the trial sowing of meadows which will flower in this summer
Olympic Stadium facts and figures:
- The Stadium will host the athletics events and the Opening and Closing Ceremonies during the London 2012 Games
- 80000 seats in Games mode and flexible design allows venue to be scaled back to 25000 seats in legacy
- 33 buildings had to be demolished and over 800000 tonnes of soil was taken away to help create the construction platform for the Stadium - enough to fill the Royal Albert Hall nine times over
- The total Stadium site covers an area of 40 acres (16.9 ha)
- The Stadium has a total floor area of 108500 m2 in Games time
- At 53 m above ground level, the Olympic Stadium is taller than Nelson's Column (50 m).
- The Stadium will contain around 10000 tonnes of steel - it will be the lightest Olympic Stadium constructed to date
- There will be around 700 rooms and spaces within the Stadium, including medical rooms, showers, toilets and changing rooms.