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Work starts on Olympic Stadium’s field of play

On the second anniversary of the start of construction on the Olympic stadium, work has begun on the field of play and the first batch of seats is being manufactured.

The centre of the stadium has been cleared of cranes and other equipment so work can begin on creating the correct ground conditions for the running track and the turf for the field events. Over the coming months, ducts and a drainage system will be installed and the base layers will be laid in preparation for laying the turf and track next year.

The manufacture of the black and white seats has also started in a factory in Luton and they will start to be fitted into the Stadium later this summer.

”The Olympic Stadium will be at the heart of the action in 2012 and its image will be beamed to billions of people across the world,” said Olympic Delivery Authority chairman John Armitt.

“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. In 2012, we will see 2000 international athletes in the Stadium competing in some of the most exciting sporting events and we will also watch opening and closing ceremonies that will showcase London and the UK,” said London 2012 Organising Committee chairman Sebastian Coe.  

“The Stadium will leave an inspirational legacy and we hope the whole Games time experience will reach young people throughout the world and encourage them to take up sport.” 

“When people think about the Olympic Park, the first image that comes to mind is the Stadium. It has already become a major symbol of 2012 and an emblem of the UK’s dedication to international sporting excellence. I can’t wait to see the first athletes competing on the track in just over two years time, and inspiring a whole new generation of young people to take up sport,” said Minister for Sport and the Olympics Hugh Robertson.

Construction on the Olympic Stadium started in May 2008 and progress to date has included:

  • Over 4,500 reinforced concrete columns installed as the foundations
  • 12,000 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 metres 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

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