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London Stadium
View of the stadium from the Orbit tower in July 2015
Former names
  • Olympic Stadium (2012)
  • The Stadium at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park (2013–2016)
Location Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, Stratford
London, E20
Public transit London Underground London Overground Crossrail Docklands Light Railway National Rail Stratford
Docklands Light Railway National Rail Stratford International
Owner E20Stadium, LLP
Operator London Stadium 185 Ltd.
  • 60,000 (regulated capacity)
  • 66,000 (seated capacity) (sports)
  • 80,000 (concerts)
Field size 105 by 68 metres (114.8 yd × 74.4 yd)
Surface Grass (Desso GrassMaster)
Track (Mondotrack/WS, 9 Lanes)
Broke ground 22 May 2008; 16 years ago (2008-05-22)
Built 22 May 2008 (2008-05-22) – 29 March 2011 (2011-03-29)
Opened 6 May 2012; 12 years ago (2012-05-06)
Renovated 2013–2016
Construction cost £486 million
(£486 million in 2024 pounds )
£274 million (2013–16 renovations)
Architect Populous (formerly HOK Sport), led by Philip Johnson
Project manager Savills
Structural engineer Buro Happold
Services engineer M-E Engineers
General contractor Balfour Beatty
Main contractors Sir Robert McAlpine
UK Athletics (2015–present)
West Ham United (2016–present)

London Stadium (formerly and also known as Olympic Stadium and the Stadium at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park) is a multi-purpose outdoor stadium at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in the Stratford district of London. It is located in the Lower Lea Valley, 6 miles (10 km) east of central London. The stadium was constructed specifically for the 2012 Summer Olympics and 2012 Summer Paralympics, serving as the track-and-field venue and as the site of their opening and closing ceremonies. Following the Games, it was renovated for multi-purpose use, and it now serves primarily as the home of Premier League club West Ham United.

Land preparation for the stadium began in mid-2007, with the construction officially starting on 22 May 2008. The stadium held its first public event in March 2012, serving as the finish line for a celebrity run organised by the National Lottery. Holding 80,000 for the Olympics and the Paralympics, it re-opened in July 2016 with 66,000 seats, but with capacity for football limited to 60,000 under the terms of the lease. The decision to make West Ham United the main tenants was controversial, with the initial tenancy process having to be rerun.

The stadium hosted the 2017 IAAF World Championships and 2017 World Para Athletics Championships (the first time both events were held in the same location in the same year). It hosts a round of the IAAF Diamond League each year, known as the London Grand Prix, sometimes called the London Anniversary Games. It also hosted several 2015 Rugby World Cup matches.

The stadium can also hold concerts with up to 80,000 spectators and, due to its oval shape and relocatable seating, was deemed to have the potential to host other sports such as baseball and cricket. In June 2019, it hosted the first regular-season U.S. Major League Baseball game in Europe, in which the Boston Red Sox played a two-game series against the New York Yankees.

The nearest station to the Olympic Park is Stratford station, just a 15-minute walk away. There are lots of great public transport links to the park, including train, bus, bike and tube.


Although West Ham United are the primary tenants, the stadium's operators arrange many other events to take place there.


Anniversary Games

David Weir London 2012
David Weir broke the World Record in the men's T54 mile

On 24 January 2013, it was confirmed that the London Athletics Grand Prix, a Diamond League event, would be switched to the stadium. In February 2013, it was announced that it would also hold a Paralympic athletics event on 28 July. In April Sainsbury's were announced as sponsors and the event was renamed the "Anniversary Games". At the event, David Weir set a world record for the T54 mile.

The London Grand Prix was scheduled to move permanently to the stadium in 2016. However, due to the 2015 Rugby World Cup taking place in the stadium, using the original seating configuration, the opportunity came to move the Grand Prix to the stadium a year early, again under the name of the Anniversary Games. During the 2015 events national records were set by Dafne Schippers (100 m), Dina Asher-Smith (100 m), Shara Proctor (long jump), while Georgina Hermitage (400 m T37) and Sophie Hahn (100 m T38) set world records.

The Muller Anniversary Games, the fourth-anniversary event, took place in the stadium on 22–23 July 2016. The IPC Grand Prix events were incorporated alongside Diamond League events on the second day of the meet. At the event, Kendra Harrison broke the women's 100 m hurdles world record, a time which has existed for 28 years.

The 2017 Muller Anniversary Games was shortened to a one-day event on Sunday 9 July 2017. Its move to an earlier time of the month was due to the 2017 World Athletics Championships

The 2018 edition returned to a two-day event on its typical weekend of 21–22 July. Tom Bosworth set a world record in the 3000 metres walk. Kare Adenegan and Sophie Hahn set world record times in the T34 100 m and T38 200 m events. While Sifan Hassan set a Diamond League record in the women's mile.

The 2019 event was held on 20–21 July.

The 2020 event was scheduled to take place earlier on the 4–5 July. However, the event was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The 2021 event, scheduled to be reduced to a single day and take place on 13 July was not held at the stadium.

2017 World Athletics and World Para Athletics Championships

London had bid to host the 2015 World Athletics Championships using the Olympic Stadium. It went up against Beijing's Olympic Stadium and the Polish city of Chorzów. However, the stadium had to withdraw its bid due to uncertainties arising out of the timing of the announcement of who would operate it after the Olympics, thus gifting Beijing the championships. With issues resolved over its future, London again used the stadium to bid for the 2017 World Athletics Championships. The bid was made official in August with Lord Coe personally submitting the bid a few weeks later at the 2011 World Athletic Championships in Daegu which was supported by London's Mayor Boris Johnson and the British Government. On 11 November 2011, the IAAF officially awarded the 2017 World Championships to London. The World Para Athletics Championships (formerly the IPC Athletics World Championships) were planned to take place a month before the able-bodied event and were formally confirmed for the stadium in December 2012. The 2017 able-bodied athletics event was the final track championship for Mo Farah and Usain Bolt.

The World Para Athletics Championships were held between 14 and 23 July 2017, with 800,000 tickets available across 16 sessions. The IAAF World Championships followed between 4–13 August 2017 with 700,000 tickets available. 3,300 athletes from 200 countries competed for 690 medals across 245 events.

2018 Athletics World Cup

In February 2018, London Stadium was announced as the venue for the inaugural Athletics World Cup. The event was held on 14 and 15 July.


West Ham v NK Domzale London Stadium
Players of West Ham United and NK Domžale before the game

West Ham United play at this stadium, having moved from their former Boleyn Ground in August 2016. West Ham sold out the 50,000 season ticket allocation for the stadium by May 2016 for the 2016–17 season.

The opening game for West Ham was a Europa League match against NK Domžale on 4 August 2016, which West Ham won 3–0 with the stadium sold out, albeit with a reduced capacity of 54,000 as conversion works were still being finished. The official opening match was a friendly with Juventus on 7 August with a 2–3 defeat. West Ham's first Premier League match at the stadium was against AFC Bournemouth with an attendance of 56,977. Watford were the first Premier League side to beat West Ham at the London Stadium, overcoming a two-goal deficit to beat West Ham 4–2.

Crowd control

London Stadium crowd control
Stewards (in yellow jackets) within a group of West Ham United supporters
West Ham 2 Chelsea 1
The stadium during the EFL Cup match between West Ham and Chelsea (26 October 2016).

At the beginning of the 2016–17 season, West Ham's games were marred by instances of crowd trouble. In a match against Bournemouth on 21 August, some fans arrived with tickets for seats that did not exist. Fighting also occurred between rival supporters outside the stadium. On 26 August, during a Europa League game against FC Astra Giurgiu, fighting broke out in the stadium with a supporter being arrested on suspicion of causing actual bodily harm. Against Watford, rival fans fought following poor crowd segregation. On 1 October 2016, against Middlesbrough three people were arrested as violent clashes occurred. On 22 October 2016, against Sunderland rival fans confronted each other as Sunderland fans returned to transport taking them home. By 25 October 2016, 23 banning orders had been issued to fans with nine arrests. There was further crowd trouble on 26 October 2016 during West Ham's EFL Cup fourth-round game against London rivals, Chelsea. Seven people were arrested as police introduced a ban on the sale of alcohol. Plastic bottles, seats, and coins were thrown during West Ham's 2–1 victory. Hundreds of supporters clashed and riot police entered the concourse. West Ham vice-chairman Karren Brady said any supporter identified as having taken part in the violence would receive a lifetime ban. MP Mark Field called for West Ham to play behind closed doors should any further violence occur. In October 2016, football stadium design expert, Paul Fletcher said the stadium should be demolished as he thinks the design means football fans are too far from the pitch. In December 2016, a cameraman working for Arsenal TV was punched in the face by a West Ham supporter towards the end of West Ham's 1–5 defeat by Arsenal.

In March 2018, there were protests against West Ham United owner, David Sullivan at the stadium during a 3–0 home defeat to Burnley. There were four pitch invasions and Sullivan was escorted from his seat before the end of the match. Sullivan was also hit on the head by a coin thrown by one of the supporters. Karren Brady called the events "one of the most painful days" in the club's history. Following the crowd trouble, West Ham banned five supporters for life for invading the pitch. Several people who had thrown coins and other objects were also given lifetime bans. Calling the scenes at the stadium a "disgrace", London mayor, Sadiq Khan said that the crowd trouble had been organised and co-ordinated. An investigation had revealed that over a dozen fights had broken out in the ground between West Ham supporters and that 26 people had attempted to invade the pitch with twenty-two being stopped by stewards. There were 150 separate incidents, including 50 public order offences and 40 assaults. CCTV footage shows a co-ordinated move by a known group of individuals towards the directors' box. Measures including increased security presence and preventing fans from approaching the area holding members of the West Ham board were announced in late March. At a cost of £60,000 funded by the UK taxpayer, the provisions were planned for the next game, against Southampton. In June 2018, West Ham were charged by the FA with offences relating to crowd disturbances at the game against Burnley in March. In January 2019, West Ham were fined £100,000 for the disturbances. The Football Association investigation of the incidents was heavily critical of the stadium operators, London Stadium 185 (LS185), and found that they had left sections which were damaging to the company out of their report. As LS185 were in control of the stadium's operations and were blamed for their actions in the disturbances (including cutting the number of stewards, poor training and unsatisfactory response to pitch invasions), West Ham sought to split the fine with the company. On 31 October 2018, during West Ham's EFL Cup game against Tottenham Hotspur, further pitch invasions took place with one invader wearing a Scream mask.

Other sports


In May 2014 it was announced that Essex County Cricket Club had agreed to a deal "in principle" to play their Twenty20 cricket matches at the stadium. The venue was also touted as a possible venue for the 2019 Cricket World Cup. However, the venue was not included in the final fixtures list. It was not chosen due to the existing facilities running east to west which would have made the game difficult to watch, due to the setting sun, as at most cricket venues the pitch necessarily runs north to south. After investigation, it was discovered that capacity would decrease by 30,000 if they turned the facilities to a north–south alignment. The International Cricket Council additionally had concerns over potential serious injuries to players caused by the raised sand-based outfield.


Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees in London
London Stadium in a baseball configuration for the 2019 MLB London Series.

On 8 May 2018, Major League Baseball announced a two-year deal to host a series of baseball games at the London Stadium in 2019 and 2020. The Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees (a major rivalry in the American League) played a two-game series at the stadium from 29 to 30 June 2019, branded as the 2019 MLB London Series. In its baseball configuration, it had a capacity of 66,000; plans were prepared to adjust the seating to emulate the "intimate" experience and amenities of American baseball stadiums, as well as constructing larger locker rooms akin to the clubhouses of U.S. parks. A new playing surface was overlaid on top of the stadium's existing grass.

Prior to the 2019 games, it was announced that the Chicago Cubs and St. Louis Cardinals would play games at London Stadium in 2020; however, this series was ultimately cancelled as the result of the COVID-19 pandemic.


In November 2015 the stadium hosted the 2015 Race of Champions event. It was the first occasion since 2008 that Great Britain hosted the event, with Wembley Stadium last staging the contest in 2008. The English team of Andy Priaulx and Jason Plato won the nations cup whilst Sebastian Vettel took the Champion of Champions crown.

Rugby league

The first rugby league match at the stadium was played between England and New Zealand on 7 November 2015, it was the second test of a three-test series between the sides. The venue also hosted the match between England and Australia as part of the 2016 Rugby League Four Nations. In June 2016, it was announced that the Stadium will form part of England's bid to host the 2021 Rugby League World Cup.

Test# Date Team 1 Score Team 2 Attendance Notes
1 7 November 2015 Flag of England.svg England 2–9 Flag of New Zealand.svg New Zealand 44,393 2015 Baskerville Shield
2 13 November 2016 Flag of England.svg England 18–36 Flag of Australia (converted).svg Australia 35,569 2016 Four Nations

Rugby union

2015 World Cup
2015 Rugby World Cup, France vs. Romania (21048401024)
France playing Romania at the Olympic Stadium during the 2015 Rugby World Cup

In July 2012 the Olympic Park Legacy Company submitted a bid to England Rugby 2015 to host some matches of the 2015 Rugby World Cup. On 2 May 2013, it was officially announced that the Olympic Stadium was due to host four Pool matches during the World Cup and the Bronze final. The first rugby union match at the stadium took place on 29 August 2015 as part of a testing programme ahead of the World Cup. The match featured the first-ever game between the invitational Barbarians side and Samoa. The Barbarians won 27–24, with Samoa having Kane Thompson sent off for punching. The game was delayed when pitch sprinklers came on during the first half.

Date Competition Home team Score Away team Attendance
29 August 2015 2015 Rugby World Cup Warm-up Barbarians 27–24  Samoa 41,039
23 September 2015 2015 Rugby World Cup Pool D  France 38–11  Romania 50,626
24 September 2015 2015 Rugby World Cup Pool C  New Zealand 58–14  Namibia 51,820
4 October 2015 2015 Rugby World Cup Pool D  Ireland 16–9  Italy 53,187
7 October 2015 2015 Rugby World Cup Pool B  South Africa 64–0  United States 54,658
30 October 2015 2015 Rugby World Cup Bronze final  South Africa 24–13  Argentina 55,925
Premiership Rugby

At fixture launch on 7 July 2017, it was announced that Saracens would host their annual Derby Day clash against Harlequins at the London Stadium on 24 March 2018. This was the first time since 2010 that this fixture did not take place at Wembley. The match ended in a 24–11 win for Saracens in front of a crowd of 55,329 and was the first-ever Premiership Rugby match at the stadium. The match was repeated in 2019 which ended as a 27–20 win for Saracens in front of a crowd of 42,717.

Images for kids

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Estadio Olímpico de Londres para niños

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