Sunday, May 31, 2009

Olympics 2012 venue guide

The stadium is on a peninsula, with waterways on three sides. Construction officially started on 22 May 2008, under the watchful eye of Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

A 20m-high "wrap" will encircle the 900m circumference, decorated with historical sporting champions, participating countries' flags and sponsor logos.

The 80,000-seat stadium is expected to be converted into a 25,000-capacity venue after the Games, although debate still rages as to what it will be used for.

Local football and rugby clubs have said they do not want to play on a venue with a permanent running track in place but Games organisers are so far committed to preserving a legacy for athletics.

March 2009 - How the Olympic pool is being built

Aquatics Centre
Sports: Swimming, diving, synchronised swimming, water polo, modern pentathlon, Capacity: 17,500 (swimming and diving) and 5,000 (water polo), Cost: £303m (2008 figure)

The Aquatics Centre will be the gateway to the Olympic Park. It will include a 50m pool, a 25m diving pool and a 50m training pool.

Water polo will be held next to it in a temporary venue with competition and warm-up pools.

After the Games the temporary seating will be removed, leaving a venue with 2,500 seats to be used by the local community, clubs and schools, although the could still be capacity increased for major competitions.

Athletes' Village
Capacity: approx 17,320 beds, Cost: £600m (2004 bid figure)

Athletes' Village

Around 17,000 athletes and team officials will be able to stay in the heart of the Olympic Park, with some rooms offering views of the main stadium.

The village will boast landscaped squares, fountains, hairdressers, and internet cafe, medical facilities, a disco and a main dining hall big enough for 5,500 people.

After the Games the village will become part of the overall Stratford City regeneration scheme, which will include a shopping centre and up to 3,300 new homes.

Basketball Arena
Sports: Basketball, handball, wheelchair basketball, wheelchair rugby, Capacity: 12,000 (10,000 for wheelchair sports), Cost: £60m (2008 figure)

The temporary venue will have 12,000 seats for basketball preliminary matches and quarter-finals, as well as handball semi-finals and finals, and 10,000 seats for wheelchair basketball and wheelchair rugby.

In the tightening economic climate, officials investigated moving the events to an existing venue but concluded that nowhere else would have sufficient capacity.

The basketball finals take place in the larger 02 Arena to the south-west.

After the Games it is expected that parts of the arena will be taken down and relocated elsewhere in the UK.

Eton Manor
Sports: Paralympic archery, wheelchair tennis, Capacity: 10,500 (tennis) and 2,000 (archery)

An old sports centre in use on this site until 2001 has been demolished to make way for a facility that will be used for training during the Olympic Games and as a competition venue for the Paralympics.

After the Games, the venue will be turned into a hockey stadium, an indoor tennis centre and a five-a-side football venue.

Handball Arena
Sports: Handball, modern pentathlon, Paralympic goalball, Capacity: approx 7,000

Handball arena

The arena will host handball preliminary games and quarter-finals (with semis and finals taking place at the basketball arena) as well as the modern pentathlon disciplines of fencing and shooting.

The concourse level is all glazed, enabling visitors in the Olympic Park to view sport taking place inside, and illuminating the venue when lit at night.

After the Games, it will cater for a wide range of indoor sports including basketball, handball, badminton, netball and volleyball.

Hockey Centre
Sports: Hockey, Paralympic football, Capacity: 15,000 and 5,000, Cost: £19m (2004 bid figure)

Hockey Arena

The temporary facility will have two separate fields, with the aim to ensure a good atmosphere even for smaller matches.

Construction starts in 2010 and the venue will be finished by 2011, in time for test events to take place.

After the Games the centre will have 5,000 permanent seats with the ability to increase to over 10,000 for major events.

Sports: Track cycling, BMX, Capacity: 6,000 (velodrome) and 6,000 (BMX), Cost: £80m (2008 figure)

Velodrome and BMX track

Built on the side of a 100-year-old rubbish tip, the velopark is made up of a velodrome and a BMX circuit.

Each will have 6,000 seats for the Olympics but those in the velodrome will remain afterwards, while the BMX circuit seating will be removed.

After the Games, a road cycle circuit and mountain bike course will be added to create a velopark for the local community, local clubs and elite athletes.


Earls Court Exhibition Centre
Sports: Volleyball, Capacity: 15,000

The West London venue, which first opened in 1937 and hosts hundreds of events each year, will offer a dedicated venue for indoor volleyball at the Games.

Organisers took the decision to relocate volleyball to Earls Court in 2006, with a view to capitalising on the existing venue and its good transport links.

But they will have to deal with the logistical issues of transporting athletes 11 miles across London from the Olympic Village.

Excel Centre
Sports: boxing, fencing, judo, table tennis, taekwondo, weightlifting, wrestling, boccia, Paralympic powerlifting, wheelchair basketball, Capacity: 32,000, Cost: £21m (2004 bid figure)

Excel Centre

Located at the Royal Victoria Dock, Excel covers 65,000 square metres, boasts "the largest column-free hall in Europe" and is currently used for big trade exhibitions and conferences.

It is home to the annual London Triathlon and several major professional boxing bouts have taken place here.

The plan for 2012 is to create four separate arenas, each holding between 6,000 and 10,000 spectators.

More sports have been moved here since the tough economic climate forced a re-think of building at the Olympic Park.

Greenwich Park
Sports: equestrian, modern pentathlon, Capacity: 23,000, Cost: £8.8m (2004 bid figure)

Greenwich Park

Three-day eventing, showjumping and dressage will take place in front of the Royal Observatory and the National Maritime Museum in London's oldest Royal Park, which has been a World Heritage Site since 1997.

And the final two events of the modern pentathlon - showjumping and running - will also be staged there.

A temporary cross country course is being designed, although conservationists have voiced concern about possible long-term damage to the park.

All the temporary structures will be taken down after the Games.

Horse Guards Parade
Sports: beach volleyball, Capacity: 15,000, Cost: £5m (2004 bid figure)

As beach volleyball takes place just a stone's throw from the Prime Minister's official residence in Downing Street, Horse Guards Parade is perhaps London's quirkiest venue.

Dating from 1745, it is famous for the Trooping of the Colour ceremony on the Queen's official birthday in June.

A temporary arena will be built for the Games, with sand imported especially for the competition. The Guards will move back once it is all over.

Hyde Park
Sports: triathlon, swimming (10km open water), Capacity: 3,000, Cost: £6m (2004 bid figure)

Open to the public since 1637, the largest of London's Royal Parks is home to the Serpentine Swimming Club, whose members swim whatever the weather - even on Christmas Day.

The park successfully hosted the prologue time trial before the start of the 2007 Tour de France and cyclists will again be in action there as part of the triathlon.

As well as the 3,000 fans in temporary seats, many more will be able to watch around the park as the triathletes swim, cycle and run.

The park is expected to be home to the music, theatre, film and cultural events that will take place throughout the summer of 2012.

Lord's Cricket Ground
Sports: archery, Capacity: 6,500, Cost: £2.6m (2004 bid figure)

Archery at Lord's

Lord's has been home to cricket since 1814 and hosts more international cricket than any other venue in the UK, with at least two Test matches each year.

An archery range will be created on the outfield of the main ground and on the Nursery ground, to the rear of the main stands.

After the Games, archery equipment from the training, warm up and competition venues will be given to clubs and schools across the country.

Regent's Park
Sports: Road cycling, Capacity: 3,000 seats

Regent's Park had originally been earmarked to host baseball and softball but, when those sports were dropped from the Olympic calendar, found itself transformed into the final section of the road cycling course.

Temporary seats will be built around the finishing straight, while spectators can line the rest of the course, which travels through Hampstead Heath.

The seats will be built in June 2012 and dismantled immediately following the road cycling competition, returning the park to its usual state.

Royal Artillery Barracks
Sports: shooting, Capacity: 7,500, Cost: £18m

The temporary Olympic shooting facility planned for the barracks at Woolwich has proved one of the more controversial venues for 2012.

Shooting enthusiasts, disappointed with the poor legacy offered by a temporary venue, prefer the national shooting centre at Bisley, to the south-west of London, but organisers say improving the centre to an Olympic standard would cost too much.

With a government review under way, a new greenfield site outside central London is now a third option but organisers insist the barracks are likely to remain the 2012 venue.

O2 Arena
Sports: gymnastics, basketball, wheelchair basketball, Capacity: 20,000 (basketball), 16,500 (gymnastics), Cost: £2.5m (2004 bid figure)

02 Arena

The former Millennium Dome has been transformed from a white elephant into a thriving music and entertainment venue.

The arena gets its first taste of Olympic sporting action in 2009, when it will play host to the World Gymnastics Championships.

The International Olympic Committee's rules on sponsorship mean the venue will operate under the catchy moniker North Greenwich Arena 1 for the duration of the Games.

Wembley Stadium
Sports: Football, Capacity: 90,000, Cost: £600,000

Wembley Stadium

The new £757m Wembley Stadium endured delays and a critical press during its construction but, by 2012, London's largest sporting venue will offer one of the highlights of the Games.

The old Wembley hosted the Olympic football finals in 1948 - as will the new stadium - while the famous twin towers watched over England's famous 1966 World Cup-winning campaign.

The new Wembley boasts an arch four times the size of the towers, and the complex may yet boast more Olympic sports come 2012.

Organisers keen to cut costs are looking into abandoning plans for a temporary badminton and rhythmic gymnastics venue in North Greenwich, in favour of hosting the sports at Wembley Arena.

April 2009 - Wimbledon's retractable roof revealed

Sports: Tennis, Capacity: 30,000, Cost: £600,000 (2004 bid figure)


Tennis at Wimbledon, possibly the sport's most famous venue, was one of the jewels of London's bid to host the Games.

Now the race is on to put the finishing touches to the world-renowned grass-court complex ahead of 2012.

Centre Court is already being overhauled, with a new retractable roof now in place for the 2009 Wimbledon tournament.

Wimbledon has hosted Olympic tennis before - in 1908 - but 2012 will mark the first Olympic tennis tournament to take place on grass in 88 years.


Football venues
Hampden Park (Capacity: 52,000), Millennium Stadium (74,600), Old Trafford (76,000), St James' Park (52,000), Villa Park (51,000)

Six of the UK's most famous football grounds will host the 2012 men's and women's Olympic tournaments.

The new Wembley Stadium in London provides the venue for the finals of each competition.

There are plans to increase the capacity at Villa Park, home of Aston Villa in Birmingham, by 8,000 seats in the run-up to 2012.

The flagship stadia of Wales and Scotland are also venues for matches, as are the homes of Premier League teams Manchester United and Newcastle United.

Broxbourne White Water Canoe Centre
Sports: canoe/kayak slalom, Capacity: 12,000, Cost: £14m (2004 bid figure)

On the edge of the 1000-acre Lee Valley Regional Park in Hertfordshire, 19miles north of the Olympic Village, the site is six miles away from the originally-proposed site, which was found to be contaminated.

The development includes a permanent 300m competition course and a 100m warm-up course, entirely artificial, with white water created through a system of pumps.

Temporary seats will be removed but both courses will remain after the Games, for canoeists of all levels and also for whitewater rafting.

Eton Dorney
Sports: rowing and flatwater canoe/kayak, Capacity: 20,000, Cost: £5m (2004 bid figure)

Eton-Dorney lake

Eton College constructed this eight-lane, 2,200m course near Windsor Castle, about 25 miles west of London, in a 400 acre park with a Nature Conservation area.

In 2006 it hosted the Rowing World Championships, with high praise from both competitors and spectators, and only minor work will be needed to upgrade the facilities for the Games.

Rather than being bussed from the Olympic Village on the other side of London, athletes will be housed at the Royal Holloway College, 10 miles away.

Hadleigh Farm
Sports: Mountain biking, Capacity: 3,000 plus standing, Cost: £5m (2004 bid figure)

The Essex venue was a late choice to replace Weald Country Park as the mountain biking venue, following changes to the technical requirements for the Olympic course.

The switch was made in August 2008, reducing the time available for consultation, design work and construction, though the finished venue calls for comparatively little - a course, plus temporary grandstands.

The hilly, open grassland offers the prospect of a challenging course as well as plenty of viewing positions for spectators.

November 2008 tour of the Weymouth & Portland Sailing Academy

Weymouth Bay and Portland Harbour
Sports: Sailing, Cost: Part of £21m project (2004 bid figure - £3.3m)

The harbour at Weymouth and Portland, in Dorset, became the first completed 2012 Games venue on 28 November 2008.

A £21m project to redevelop the area includes a commercial marina, with 250 berths set to be used during the Olympics and Paralympics.

Sailing will be a non-ticketed event - spectators are free to watch from the shore outside the marina, or from any point along the coastline.

No comments:

Post a Comment