London Stadium is a multipurpose outdoor stadium situated in the Stratford district of London’s Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. Olympic Stadium and the Stadium at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park were its previous names. Located in the Lower Lea Valley, it is six miles (10 km) east of central London.
The stadium was built specifically to host the track and field events as well as the opening and closing ceremonies for the 2012 Summer Olympics and 2012 Summer Paralympics. It underwent renovations for multiple uses after the Games, and nowadays West Ham United primarily calls it home.
Midway through 2007, work on preparing the stadium’s site began. On May 22, 2008, work on the stadium officially began. In March 2012, the stadium hosted its first open-to-the-public event, acting as the finish line for a celebrity run sponsored by the National Lottery. It had a capacity of 80,000 for the Olympics and Paralympics and reopened in July 2016 with 66,000 seats, but the lease only allowed for 60,000 seats to be used for football. The initial tenancy process had to be redone due to the controversy surrounding the choice to make West Ham United the primary tenants.
The 2017 World Para Athletics Championships and the 2017 IAAF World Championships were held in the stadium (the first time both events were held in the same location in the same year). Every year, it hosts the London Grand Prix, also known as the London Anniversary Games, a round of the IAAF Diamond League. Several 2015 Rugby World Cup games were also held there. The stadium can accommodate up to 80,000 people for concerts and was thought to have the potential to host other sports like baseball and cricket due to its oval shape and movable seating. It hosted the Boston Red Sox vs. New York Yankees two-game series in June 2019, marking the first regular-season American Major League Baseball game in Europe.
History on the London Stadium
The National Lottery Olympic Park Run’s finish line served as the Olympic Stadium’s first public event on March 31, 2012. 5,000 participants—celebrities, British athletes, and lucky lottery winners—participated in the 5-mile (8-kilometer) run around Olympic Park. To the theme from Chariots of Fire, competitors entered the Olympic Stadium to run the final 300 meters (330 yd) on its track. As part of the London Prepares series, the stadium hosted two pre-game competitions for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
In May 2012, the location played host to the London Disability Grand Prix and the British Universities Athletics Championships. A gathering called “2012 Hours to Go: An Evening of Athletics and Entertainment” was attended by about 40,000 people on May 5. Vernon Kay and Gabby Logan served as the event’s hosts. Jon Culshaw, Melanie C, Hugh Bonneville, Chipmunk, and Jack Whitehall joined Logan and Kay as special guests. Nine-year-old Niamh Clarke-Willis was selected to formally open the stadium.
Paul Blake (T36, 1500 meters), Hannah Cockroft (T34, 100 meters), Michael McKillop (T37, 1500 meters), and Richard Whitehead (T42, 200 meters) all broke previous world records during the London Disability Grand Prix. The UK School Games’ athletic competitions were also held in the stadium.
The 2012 Olympic Games’ opening and closing ceremonies were held in the stadium. David Rudisha became the first man to complete the 800 meters in under one minute and forty-one seconds during the Olympic Games’ Athletics competitions. The Jamaican team also improved upon its own world record from the 2011 World Championships by two-tenths of a second in the 4 100-meter relay. With a time of 40.82 seconds, the United States women’s 4 100 meter team broke the previous record set by East Germany in 1985.
Other Uses of the Stadium
Although West Ham United are the main users of the stadium, its owners also schedule a wide variety of other events there.
The London Athletics Grand Prix, a Diamond League competition, was officially announced to move to the stadium on January 24, 2013. It was announced in February 2013 that an athletics competition for people with disabilities would take place on July 28. The event was renamed the “Anniversary Games” after Sainsbury’s announced their sponsorship in April. At the competition, David Weir broke the T54 mile world record.
In 2016, the stadium was to become the permanent home of the London Grand Prix. The opportunity to move the Grand Prix to the stadium a year early, once more under the name of the Anniversary Games, came about as a result of the 2015 Rugby World Cup being held there with the original seating arrangement. National records were set during the 2015 competitions by Dafne Schippers (100 m), Dina Asher-Smith (100 m), and Shara Proctor (long jump), while world records were set by Georgina Hermitage (400 m T37) and Sophie Hahn (100 m T38).
On July 22–23, 2016, the stadium hosted the Muller Anniversary Games, a celebration of the fourth anniversary. On the second day of the meet, Diamond League events and IPC Grand Prix competitions were combined. Kendra Harrison, who had held the record for 28 years, broke the women’s 100 m hurdles world record at the competition.
More on Uses of the Stadium
On Sunday, July 9, 2017, the Muller Anniversary Games were condensed to a single day. Due to the 2017 World Athletics Championships, it was moved to an earlier date in the month.
The 2018 edition was held on its usual weekend of July 21 and 22, returning to a two-day format. Tom Bosworth broke the 3000 meter walk world record. In the T34 100 m and T38 200 m competitions, respectively, Kare Adenegan and Sophie Hahn set world records. In the women’s mile, Sifan Hassan established a Diamond League record.
The event for 2020 was originally slated for July 4-5. However, the COVID-19 pandemic forced the cancellation of the event.
The 2021 event, which was supposed to last just one day on July 13th, was not held at the stadium. Due to the Commonwealth Games and the UEFA Women’s Euro 2022, no event was held in 2022 either.
How to Get to London Stadium
Arriving to London Stadium
The simplest and quickest way to get to games at London Stadium, which is located south of Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, is by public transportation.
Arriving to London Stadium with Public Transportation
From Stratford Station, a short walk will get you to the stadium. On game days, West Ham Station will be incredibly crowded, so it is advised that fans find alternate direct routes to Stratford Station.
Stratford Station [SRA]: The station is situated between 15 and 20 minutes’ walk from the ground at Station Street, Stratford, London E15 1AZ.
Stratford International [SFA]: The station is located at Celebration Avenue, Stratford, London E15 1AZ; 10-15 minutes’ walk from the ground.
The stadium is about 1.5 miles away from both the Stratford Bus Station and the Stratford City Bus Station, which are close to Stratford Station. There are the following bus numbers that go to these stations: 25, 86, 97, 104, 108, 158, 241, 257, 262, 276, 308, 425, 473, and D8.
Arriving by Car at London Stadium
Click here to view London Stadium on Google Maps.
It is advised against taking a car to London Stadium.