Olympics: Venues for the 2012 London Games

LONDON, July 25, 2011 (AFP) - Here are the main venues for the 2012 London Games, which begin in one year's time on July 27 and will be centred around the Olympic Park at Stratford in east London.

Outside London, football events will be held around Britain at Cardiff, Coventry, Glasgow, Manchester and Newcastle.

Slalom canoeing will take place north of the capital, with rowing and sprint canoeing to the west and mountain biking to the east. The sailing events take place at Weymouth on the southern English coast.



Capacity: 80,000

Sport: Athletics

Venue: New, permanent

Location: Olympic Park

- Unlike Beijing, the showpiece stadium, costing £486 million ($790 million, 550 million euros), has a simpler design, drawn up with a view to scaling it down after the Games. The steel and concrete upper tier can be dismantled, leaving a 25,000-seater sunken bowl. Construction was completed under budget in March 2011. East London football club West Ham is the preferred bidder to take over the venue.


Capacity: 17,500

Sports: Diving, Swimming, Synchronised Swimming, Water Polo, Modern Pentathlon

Venue: New, permanent

Location: Olympic Park

- Designed by the architect Zaha Hadid, the £269 million centre has a 160-metre-long (525-foot-long) long wave-like roof. It contains a 50-metre competition pool, a diving pool, and a warm-up pool. One of the few Olympic-sized pools in Britain, it will be scaled back to 2,500 seats after the Games. It has a temporary, 5,000-capacity water polo venue built on. All three pools completed and filled.


Capacity: 15,000

Sport: Hockey

Venue: New, temporary

Location: Olympic Park

- The main pitch will hold 15,000 fans, with the second pitch having 5,000 seats. Pitches to be installed by September 2011, with the structures built by March 2012. After the Games, the hockey centre will move to a 3,000-seater facility north of the park that can be extended to 15,000 for major events.


Capacity: 12,000

Sports: Basketball, Handball

Venue: New, temporary

Location: Olympic Park

- The fourth-largest venue on the park and one of the largest-ever temporary venues built for any Games. Construction completed within the £43 million budget in June 2011. The frame of 20 steel arches has been wrapped in fabric to form the canvas for an innovative lighting display. After the Olympics, parts of it are expected to be reused or relocated elsewhere in Britain.


Capacity: 6,500

Sports: Handball, Modern Pentathlon (fencing)

Venue: New, permanent

Location: Olympic Park

- The distinctive, £43 million copper-clad arena will host the early handball rounds. The copper will develop a rich colour as it ages. Completed in May 2011. After the Games, it will be converted into a multi-purpose indoor sports centre for community use. It has retractable seating.


Capacity: 6,000

Sports: Track Cycling

Venue: New, permanent

Location: Olympic Park

- Designed by Hopkins Architects, the lower tier has 3,500 seats, with the rest suspended in two upper tiers under the curved roof. In between, a glass wall will allow people to watch the action from outside. Costing £93 million, it was completed in February 2011. Shortlisted for the Stirling Prize, Britain's most prestigious architecture award.



Capacity: 30,000

Sport: Tennis

Venue: Existing, permanent

Location: Southwest London

- The home of the Wimbledon championships will host the entire tennis tournament. Centre Court, dating back to 1922, has a 15,000-seater capacity and a retractable roof, enabling play during rain or bad light. Court One can host 11,500 spectators. The club hosted the 1908 Olympics at its pre-1922 venue.


Capacity: 20,000

Sports: Gymnastics (Artistic, Trampoline), Basketball

Venue: Existing, permanent

Location: Southeast London

- Once known as the Millennium Dome, this arena cost 789 million pounds to build, but lay idle for years after the Year 2000 exhibition. Eventually taken into private hands, it was transformed into a highly successful sports and entertainment arena with shops, restaurants a nightclub and a cinema. The main arena will seat 16,500 for the gymnastics, with the full capacity for the basketball finals. It has hosted sell-out NBA exhibition games and the 2009 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships.


Capacity: Depends on configuration

Sports: Boxing, Fencing, Judo, Table Tennis, Taekwondo, Weightlifting, Wrestling

Venue: Existing, permanent

Location: East London's Docklands

- Five arenas will be created in the Exhibition Centre London, an enormous grey rectangular box on the edge of the semi-derelict Royal Victoria Dock. The venue has two long exhibition halls of 32,250 square metres each. ExCeL is used to rejigging its space to host major events, including a G20 summit in 2009 and the British Motor Show.


Capacity: 12,000

Sport: Canoe slalom

Venue: New, permanent

Location: 30 kilometres north of Olympic Park

- The centre is built upstream on the River Lee, which runs through the Olympic Park. Opened earlier this year. A new, 10,000 square metre lake provides the 300-metre course with 15 cubic metres of water per second. It also has a 160-metre intermediate/training course.


Capacity: 6,000

Sports: Badminton, Rhythmic Gymnastics

Venue: Existing, permanent

Location: Northwest London

- The concert venue, next to Wembley Stadium, was built for the 1934 Empire Games swimming events. It has hosted sports such as boxing, ice hockey, snooker and the Horse of the Year Show. The August 2011 Badminton World Championships will act as a test event.

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