London Olympics 2012 Guide – The main venues
This year, it will be the third time in history that London hosts the summer Olympics. The main events will take place all around the city including famous places such as Hyde Park, Greenwich Park, Wimbledon and Wembley. It will be a very special occassion for the whole of the United Kingdom and a chance to show the world, that they can stage a spectacular as well as sustainable event.
The stadium is located at the Olympic Park in Stratford in east London. It has been designed especially for the games and will have a capacity of 80,000. This will be reduced after the Olympics to 25,000 and will be the home to one of London’s leading football clubs. West Ham United , Tottenham Hotspur and Leyton Orient have all expressed their interest in playing at the venue.
The Olympic Stadium will host the Athletics and Paralympic Athletics events, as well as the opening and closing ceremonies.
The Aquatics Centre was designed by a world famous architect and Pritzker Prize laureate – Zaha Hadid. It is located in the south-eastern part of the Olympic Park. The construction on it began in 2008 and it features a stunning 160 m long wave like structure that acts as a roof. Most of the spectators will be allocated in two temporary wings, that will be taken down after the event.
The venue will host the diving, swimming, synchronised swimming, paralympic swimming and the modern pentathlon.
Velodrome is the most sustainalbe out of all of the Olympic venues. It is located in the northern part of the Olympic Park. The architects behind this spectacular design are Hopkins Architects from London. It is 100% naturally ventilated and uses certified wood on the external cladding, as well as on the cycling track. It has a capacity of 6,000, with 3,500 seats located around the track and the rest suspended in two upper tiers.
Velodrome will host the track cycling and paralympic track cycling competitions. After the Games, the venue will be accessible to the local community, sports clubs and professional athletes. A new mountain bike course and road-cycle circuit will be added helping it to make London the most cycling-friendly city on Earth.
Wimbledon is probably the most famous tennis venue in the world. Every year it hosts one of the four Grand Slam tennis tournaments and is also the home of the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club. After years of rain delays, Wimbledon’s main arena, the Centre Court, has been improved with the addition of a retractable roof, as well as new stands. The complex is located in near Richmond Park in south-west London and will host the tennis competition.
The other venues that will be used during the 2012 London Olympics are: Basektball Arena, BMX Track, Brands Hatch, City of Coventry Stadium, Copper Box, Earls Court, Eton Dorney, Eton Manor, ExCel, Greenwich Park, Hadleigh Farm, Hampden Park, Hampton Court Palace, Horse Guards Parade, Hyde Park, IBC/MPC, Lee Valley White Water Centre, Lord’s Cricket Ground, The Mall, Millennium Stadium, North Greenwich Arena, Old Trafford, Riverbank Arena, The Royal Artillery Barracks, St James’ Park, Water Polo Arena, Wembley Arena, Wembley Stadium, Weymouth and Portland.
There is a variety of options in terms of accommodation during the London Olympics:
- Hotels (London Town, Late Rooms)
- Hostels (London-Hostels, Hostel Bookers)
- Privately rented rooms (East London Accommodation, Gumtree)
- Luxury vacation rentals (http://www.onefinestay.com, Viveunique, AirBNB)
Some numbers illustrating the demand for accommodation during the 2012 London Olympics, which run from July 27th to August 12th.
— Typical number of tourists visiting London in August: 1.5 million
— Estimated additional 2012 Olympic visitors from abroad: 294,000
— Estimated additional Olympic visitors from elsewhere in the UK: 587,000
— Total London hotel rooms: About 110,000
— Hotel rooms allocated to Olympic staff, affiliates and media: About 40,000
— Average hotel room rate in central London for Olympic period: £213 ($341)