Design unveiled for showcase stadium for 2012 Games

Updated: November 7, 2007, 8:33 AM ET
Associated Press

LONDON -- London organizers unveiled the design Wednesday of the showpiece venue for the 2012 Olympics -- an 80,000-seat, $1 billion stadium for track and field events and the opening and closing ceremonies.

The design includes a sunken bowl featuring permanent seating for 25,000 spectators, with the remaining 55,000 seats in a temporary structure at the top.

After the Olympics, the stadium, surrounded by water on three sides, will be converted to a 25,000-seat arena for track and field.

Food and drink stands will be located in separate "pods'' just outside the main structure. The Olympic flame might not be attached to the stadium itself, but placed just north of the venue, design chief Rod Sheard said.

The stadium will have a roof covering about two thirds of the seating areas.

Construction will begin next year and finish by the summer of 2011.

"The stadium will stand for everything we talked about in the bid: it will be inspiring, innovative and sustainable,'' organizing committee chairman Sebastian Coe said.

Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press