The London Olympic Stadium is the host Stadium of the 2012 Summer Olympics. Olympic Stadium is located in Stratford in the Lower Lea Valley at Marsh gate Lane. It has capacity for the Games of approximately 80,000 making it temporarily the third largest stadium in Britain behind Wembley Stadium and Twickenham Stadium. Land preparation for the stadium began in mid 2007, with the official construction start date on 22 May 2008, although piling works for the foundation unofficially began four weeks ahead of that date. Construction ended on 29 March 2011.
Olympic Stadium is located on former industrial land between the Old River Lea, the City Mill River, and the Old Pudding Mill River; parts of the Bow Back Rivers. Two hundred meters to the east is the Waterworks River; on the eastern bank will be the Aquatics Centre. Another branch of this system, St Thomas' Creek, 200 meters to the south, completes an "island" surrounded by water.
The stadium design was launched on 7 November 2007. The architect, Populous, is an architectural firm specializing in the design of sports facilities and convention centers, as well as planning of major special events.
As of June 2009, the stadium's track and field arena has been excavated out of the soft clay found on the site, around which permanent seating for 25,000 has been assembled, using concrete rakes. The natural slope of the land is incorporated into the design, with warm-up and changing areas being dug into a semi basement position at the lower end. A demountable lightweight steel and concrete upper tier has been built up from this bowl type design to accommodate a further 55,000 spectators, and is nearing completion.
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