State-of-the-art stadium will be fitting centrepiece of Olympics
London's main Olympic and Paralympic Stadium will have a capacity of 80,000, is expected to cost about £280 million to build and will be the flagship of the 2012 Games, staging the athletics events and the opening and closing ceremonies. It will be located just six miles from Trafalgar Square.
It will be set in a huge new 1,500-acre Olympic Park, the largest created in Europe since the 19 th century, a network of cleaned up and revitalised canals and the River Lea will wind through the Park, providing a magnificent setting for the Games in the East London borough of Newham.
The proposed Stadium will have a muscular appearance designed into its architecture as a tribute to the athletes.
It will feature panoramic views from every section and level of the Stadium. Spectators will be able to see the runners in all eight lanes around the bends and down the home straight from their seats and without having to stand up or move to other viewing locations.
The Stadium will also feature high comfort concourse areas and hospitality services for the public and members of the Olympic family previously unavailable in a main Olympic stadium.
Final warm-up facilities will be located inside the stadium adjacent to the final report area, further enhancing conditions for athletes inside the stadium that will include state-of-the-art track surfaces.
"I would love to have run in a stadium like this in London in front of a home crowd," said Dame Kelly Holmes, winner of the 800 and 1500 metres at the 2004 Athens Olympics.
"The design ideas for the proposed 2012 Olympic stadium are visionary and will not only transform the look and feel of East London, but will also provide an inspiration to the rest of the country that this kind of first-class design can exist in every city," said the sports minister Richard Caborn.
"This will be a showcase to the world of the innovation and talent in design that we have here in the UK, and will leave a legacy for future generations to enjoy."
The Olympic Park will kick-start the regeneration of the Lower Lea Valley in east London, which is a national regeneration priority and one of the biggest regeneration opportunities in Europe.
The Olympic Park will be transformed for local use after the Games. Key sporting venues will be retained and 9,000 new homes built, along with office, commercial and retail space, and community facilities.
Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham United are among leading London football clubs who had expressed an interest in moving into the Stadium after the Games but officials insist it will be turned into a 25,000-seat national athletics stadium, which would also house the London Olympic Institute, a new Olympic centre of excellence for elite and community sport.
"This stadium sends an architectural message to the world that the needs and welfare of the athletes will be at the heart of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games," said Alan Pascoe, the vice-chairman of London 2012 and a 1972 Olympic silver medallist.
"This is a stadium that athletes will want to compete in and spectators will want to visit. Olympic and world records will be set."
The men and women's marathon races will also finish in the Olympic Stadium and encompass a route that will take in venues and locations ranging from Buckingham Palace, Tower Bridge, Westminster Abbey and Trafalgar Square to the London Eye and St. Paul's Cathedral.
The 42.195 Kilometres (26.2 miles) races - regarded as one of the highlights of any Olympic Games - is expected to begin at Tower Bridge and finish in the Stadium
The race will include three laps of the city centre, transforming central London into one of the most spectacular sporting settings of all, with spectators able to line the route free of charge. The three laps will also enable spectators to see the athletes come past three times before they head out to the Olympic Stadium and the finish.