London’s Olympic Stadium construction complete
Chairman of the IOC Athletes’ Commission and Olympian Frank Fredericks, Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) chairman John Armitt, London 2012 chair Seb Coe and 400m hurdles Olympic medallist Tasha Danvers have today laid the last piece of turf on the Olympic Stadium’s field of play, marking the completion of construction on the flagship venue. IOC Coordination Commission Chairman Denis Oswald and IOC Executive Director Gilbert Felli also took part, alongside local schoolchildren from the ODA’s Construction Crew.
Construction started on the Olympic Stadium just under three years ago in May 2008 and has been completed on time, under budget and with an exemplary safety record. Over 240 UK businesses have won contracts for the construction of the Stadium and over 5,250 people have worked on the project over the past 3 years.
The final surface of the running track will be laid later this year by LOCOG. This is to ensure it is protected during the programme of temporary overlay including work for ceremonies which may need cranes in the field of play and could damage the track.
The turf has been grown in Scunthorpe from a special blend of Perennial Rye Grass, Smooth Stalk Meadow Grass and Fescue Grass seeds. A total of 360 rolls of turf were required to cover the 9,000m² infield area.
ODA chairman John Armitt said: “The Olympic Stadium has been finished on time and under budget. To complete a complicated project such as this in less than three years is testament to the skill and professionalism of the UK construction industry. I would like to thank the Team Stadium consortium and all of the workers for their hard work and commitment. It is thanks to them that we can today celebrate this huge milestone for the London 2012 project and be proud of what can be achieved by UK plc.”
LOCOG Chair Sebastian Coe said: “The Olympic Stadium will be the beating heart of the new Olympic Park and it is testament to the fantastic work put in by Team Stadium and the ODA that construction is complete on time and within budget. However there is still much to do. We now come in and do some work in preparation of ceremonies, to dress the stadium to ensure it has a London 2012 feel throughout and of course, the final touch – to lay the track. By summer, the stadium will be a working venue ready to host a test event before it becomes the centre piece of next summer’s Olympic Games and Paralympic Games. The innovative design coupled with fantastic crowds will provide an electric atmosphere at Games-time.”
Chairman of the IOC Athletes’ Commission and Olympian Frank Fredericks said: “Athletes that have spent a lifetime training for their Olympic dream deserve to be able to achieve it in the best possible conditions. I believe that those competing here in 2012 will not be disappointed. I would like to congratulate everyone involved in the construction of London’s Olympic stadium for producing a truly outstanding sporting arena. When filled with fans at Games time, I am certain that the atmosphere will drive many of the competitors to achieve new personal bests and create unique moments of Olympic history.”
Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport Jeremy Hunt said: “The Olympic Stadium is the stunning centrepiece of the Olympic Park. Hundreds of businesses from across the UK have been involved in its creation, and I would like to thank all those who have played their part. This is another landmark day for the London 2012 project and shows that Britain is at the forefront of the construction world.”
IOC Coordination Commission Chairman Denis Oswald said: “What a fantastic stadium. As host of the Opening and Closing Ceremonies, this arena will provide the first and last memories that many people will have of London’s Games and I have no doubt that it will provide the perfect stage. When the athletes see what has been created here, I am sure that they too will be inspired to reach new heights in their sport. Congratulations to all of those involved in creating this unique and spectacular theatre.”
The Mayor of London Boris Johnson said: “This is yet another fantastic milestone in the preparations for London 2012. The faultless construction of the stadium, on time and under budget, is a shining example of how London is primed and ready to host the greatest show on earth. The real joy of being so far ahead is that, unlike any other host city, we are already able to focus on securing the legacy we are so determined to deliver from the Games.”