Stadium transformation cost announced ahead of hosting raft of world class sporting events

• Stadium transformation contracts total £272m • Colossal programme includes world’s largest cantilevered roof and retractable seating • Multi-use venue to be completed by 2016 as part of wider regeneration delivering over £3bn of economic benefit • Stadium to host world class motorsport, athletics and five Rugby World Cup 2015 matches in coming months

The contract costs for the transformation of the former Olympic Stadium at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park have been confirmed today (Friday 19 June) at £272 million by the London Legacy Development Corporation. The Legacy Corporation has a long-standing commitment to release this information once all the contracts had been let; this commitment is being honoured today.

Once fully open next year, the Stadium will be the centrepiece of Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and at the heart of the most successful Games legacy in history. Alongside the other sporting venues, the Park itself and future developments such as ‘Olympicopolis’, the Stadium will help deliver millions of additional visitors to the area every year and will be part of a regeneration programme that will create an additional economic benefit to east London of well over £3 billion.

The costs reflect the huge scale of the works undertaken to transform the former Olympic venue from a temporary athletics stadium into a year-round multi-use arena capable of delivering world class sporting and cultural events. It will be the only stadium in the UK to meet UEFA Category 4 classification and be a fully compliant IAAF Category 1 athletics facility.

The Stadium work included the removal of the original roof and light paddles and installation of a new permanent roof, the largest of its kind in the world. The 45,000sqm cantilevered roof needed significant strengthening of the superstructure to support the 8km of cable net, 112 steel rafters, 9,900 roof panels and 14 light paddles each weighing 45 tonnes. The new roof covers every seat in the venue, improving the acoustics and spectator experience.

An innovative retractable seating system required the removal of the lower seating bowl. The 21,000 movable seats bring the fans close to the pitch for football and rugby ensuring the Stadium has a long-term legacy.  Other works included installing catering facilities, toilets and turnstiles, all of which were only temporary during the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Before the Stadium re-opens permanently in 2016, the transformation works will be paused this summer to allow the venue to host the Great Newham London Run, Sainsbury’s Anniversary Games, a Barbarians v Samoa rugby union fixture, five matches in the Rugby World Cup 2015, an England v New Zealand Rugby League international and the Race of Champions motorsport event. 

David Goldstone, Chief Executive of the London Legacy Development Corporation, said: 

“We have invested in transforming a temporary athletics venue into a permanent world class multi use arena that has a secure and long-term sustainable future. This has required a significant amount of work and innovative engineering solutions.  

“Alongside the transformation work the deals signed with British Athletics and West Ham United and the appointment of a stadium operator ensures the Stadium will pay its way and not require any continuing subsidy from the taxpayer.”

The Stadium will also deliver a lasting legacy for the local community including:

  • Local school clubs will have year round access to the new floodlit 400m London Marathon Charitable Trust Community Track which will also be home to the Newham and Essex Beagles. 
  • There will be ten exclusive mass participation events in the Stadium per year for Newham residents including the Morrison’s Great Newham London Run with over 2,000 free places for Newham residents. 
  • There will be up to 100,000 free tickets every year for Newham residents to West Ham United matches. 
  • There will be a training and education centre in the Stadium.
  • Up to 75 per cent of jobs created at the Stadium will go to Newham residents. 

With a significant amount of work still to do until the Stadium opens in its permanent mode, the Legacy Corporation still holds a contingency fund, which is not included in the costs announced today. Once the transformation of the Stadium is complete it will not require continuous subsidy from the taxpayer and will see a return to the taxpayer through future profits due to the agreements in place with the operator VINCI and concessionaires West Ham United and UK Athletics. The Stadium will contribute to the ongoing and hugely successful regeneration programme already being delivered at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

To download a CGI of the anticipated visualisation of the Stadium, visit

Three time-lapse cameras are positioned around the Stadium to capture the important works taking place. You can see feeds from each of the cameras, as well as time-lapse videos, by heading to

Stadium transformation facts and figures

To transform the Stadium from its Games-time configuration into its future state as a year-round multi-use venue has required significant engineering works. This included:

  • Installing a new 45,000m2 cantilevered roof – twice the size of the original – covering all seats and the largest of its type in the world.
  • Strengthening work to the superstructure to support the weight of the new roof.
  • Installing a cable net formed of 6km of steel cable weighing 930 tonnes to support the roof. 
  • Installing 5,423 pieces of steel weighing 3,900 tonnes. 
  • Fitting 6,300 insulated rear panels to improve acoustics and 3,600 translucent polycarbonate panels at the front of the roof. 
  • Installing 14 new floodlight paddles weighing 45 tonnes and housing more than 540 lamps.
  • Fitting retractable seating for 21,000 spectators to allow the athletics track to be exposed in summer and to create a more flexible field of play.
  • Building 16 executive boxes and 3,600 corporate hospitality seats.
  • Building 995 toilets, 90 new turnstiles and 35 catering outlets. 
  • Installing a new Desso pitch with under soil heating and drainage.
  • Providing up to 428 wheelchair user accessible viewing spaces, making it one the most accessible stadiums in the country.
  • Refitting the interiors including state of the art dressing rooms, medical facilities and kitchens. 
  • Building a new 400m 6-lane (8 on the straights) community athletics track and 500 seat stand.
  • Landscaping works around the Stadium complex. 

Sources of funding

The funding for the Stadium transformation work comes from a number of sources:
£40m: LB Newham
£15m:   West Ham United FC
£38.7m: Games Public Sector Funding Package 
£1m: UK Athletics 
£3.5m: London Marathon Charitable Trust (for the construction of the Stadium Community Track)
£25m: Government
£148.8m: 2010 CSR settlement plus income generated on the Park through land sales and profits from venues. 


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

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, follow us on Twitter @noordinarypark and like us on Facebook