Stadium roof begins to take shape at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park

• First roof panel has been lifted into place at the former Olympic Stadium • When complete the new roof will be the longest roof of its type in the world • Work will be complete ahead of the Stadium hosting five matches of Rugby World Cup 2015

The first piece of roof panelling has been lifted into place at the iconic Stadium in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park marking another major milestone towards it becoming a year round multi-use venue that will deliver a lasting sporting, cultural and community legacy in east London.

The lifting of the roof panel comes after several weeks of preparation works. Eight kilometres of cable net weighing 930 tonnes was lifted and connected over a four week period before 112 steel roof rafters, the longest of which is 38 metres, were lifted and secured into place. 

The 1 x 4.4 metre roof panel is the first of almost 10,000 panels to be fitted to the Stadium. The roof will be split into two sections, a solid rear section and a translucent forward section. There will be 6,300 rear panels and 3,600 transparent polycarbonate panels at the front. 

When complete the new roof will be twice the size of the original at around 45,000 square metres. At 84 metres at its deepest point it will be the longest cantilevered roof of its type in the world and will cover every seat in the Stadium, improving acoustics and the spectator experience for football matches, other sporting events and concerts. 

Work on the roof, and brand new floodlights that it will support, will be completed ahead of the five Rugby World Cup 2015 matches taking place in the Stadium. The venue will become the permanent home of West Ham United Football Club and the new national competition centre for UK athletics in 2016.

David Goldstone, Chief Executive of the London Legacy Development Corporation said:
“Installing the first roof panel represents another significant milestone in the transformation of the Stadium into a world class multi-use venue.
“The overall spectator experience, whether that’s at a football match, concert or other sporting event, will improve significantly and the Stadium will become a great addition to Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park which is already proving to be a top destination for world-class events of all kinds.”
Mayor of Newham Sir Robin Wales said:
“This is another important step in ensuring the Stadium is ready to offer a lasting legacy of world class and grassroots sport and benefits for the local community.”

Karren Brady West Ham United Vice-Chairman said: 
"This marks another significant milestone on the road to 2016, when the transformation of this magnificent Stadium will be complete and it will be ready to host its first West Ham match. The roof is just one of the superb features that will make our new home one of the greatest stadiums in world football and a fitting legacy for the venue that did Britain so proud in 2012."

Facts about the Stadium roof

  • At 45,000sq metres, the new roof will be twice the size of the original. 
  • At 84 metres at its deepest point it will be the longest cantilevered roof of its type in the world.
  • The new roof will cover every seat in the Stadium.
  • The design is intended to improve the acoustics and spectator experience for football matches, other sporting events and concerts. 
  • New floodlights will be installed that will reuse the light bulbs from the original Stadium lights. 
  • Work will be completed ahead of Rugby World Cup 2015.
  • Eight kilometres of cable net ranging in width from 60 to 105 millimetres was lifted and connected over a four week period. 
  • The cable net weighs around 930 tonnes.
  • There are 5,423 pieces of steel in the roof, weighing 3,900 tonnes. 
  • The longest roof rafters are 38 metres long and it will take 27 weeks to install all the steel.
  • The roof panelling to the rear of the roof is an insulated system using a profiled lower deck with an insulation layer and covering for weather protection.
  • The roof panelling to the front of the roof is formed of transparent polycarbonate corrugated sheeting.
  • It will take 26 weeks to install the roof panelling.

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For more information contact the Press Office at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park on +44 (0) 20 3734 9010 or email [email protected] 

Notes to Editors

The E20 Stadium LLP is a joint venture Limited Liability Partnership between the London Legacy Development Corporation and Newham Council specifically set up to transform and manage the Stadium. The partnership has been given a 102 year lease on the stadium island site by the London Legacy Development Corporation (three years to develop and refurbish and 99 year operation).

In March 2013 the E20 Stadium LLP confirmed West Ham United Football Club as the Stadium’s long term anchor tenant – with their 99 year concession commencing in 2016. The Stadium will also become the new national centre for athletics – with UK Athletics having use of the venue from the last Friday in June to the end of July every year under a 50 year agreement.

Newham residents will benefit from year round access to the 400m Community Track and Clubhouse, ten exclusive mass participation events in the Stadium each year, millions of tickets to West Ham United matches and other events held in the Stadium, a training an education centre in the Stadium and the majority of new jobs created on the site filled by Newham residents.

London’s newest visitor destination, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, is a place unlike any other. Visitors to the Park are able to enjoy beautiful parklands and waterways, world-famous sporting venues, arts and events and spectacular views from the ArcelorMittal Orbit. As a new heart for east London, the Park will also provide new homes, jobs and a cultural and education quarter.

The London Legacy Development Corporation promotes and delivers physical, social, economic and environmental regeneration in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and the surrounding area, in particular by maximising the legacy of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. 

For more information visit QueenElizabethOlympicPark.co.uk, follow us on Twitter @noordinarypark and like us on Facebook facebook.com/QueenElizabethOlympicPark