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In a recent interview with Neil Levett, Managing Director of Alad – owners of PanStadia & Arena Management magazine and Stadia & Arena Events – which was first published in the latest edition of BCCJ’s ACUMEN magazine – Levett discusses the importance of sustainable models for sports venues for major events such as the Rugby World Cup 2019 and Tokyo 2020… 

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After months of dispute over the cost of the main stadium for the 2020 Olympics, the central and metropolitan governments reached a deal Tuesday in which Tokyo will shoulder ¥39.5 billion of the estimated ¥158.1 billion construction cost, as reported by The Japan Times.

Following talks between Governor, Yoichi Masuzoe, Olympics Minister, Toshiaki Endo, and Sports and Education Minister, Hiroshi Hase, Endo said the central government will foot half the bill for the new National Stadium and related construction work, and that it had asked Tokyo and the Japan Sport Council (JSC), which is overseeing the project, to cover the rest.

Masuzoe accepted the proposal, saying the figure was a result of marathon discussions between the metropolitan and central governments.

“As the governor of the city to host the Olympic competition in 2020, I would like to accept the budget plan,” Masuzoe said, adding that the stadium will remain a legacy of the event and bring long-term advantages for Tokyo residents.

In May, former Sports and Education Minister, Hakubun Shimomura, asked the metropolitan government to pay about ¥50 billion of the estimated ¥150 billion needed to build the stadium under its original design.

Masuzoe angrily turned down the request and lashed out at the central government for mismanaging the project.

Two months later, the JSC revealed the stadium cost had ballooned to ¥252 billion from the initial ¥130 billion, and blamed difficulties in following the design blueprint proposed by British-Iraqi architect Zaha Hadid.

Amid the public backlash, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe days later pulled the plug on the project and ordered the design process to be restarted.

Shimomura stepped down as Sports Minister to take responsibility for the debacle, with Hase assuming the post in a Cabinet reshuffle in October.

Masuzoe said Tuesday the next step will be to get feedback on the cost from Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly members and residents.


Image: Sports and Education Minister, Hiroshi Hase (left), Tokyo Governor, Yoichi Masuzoe (centre) and Olympics Minister, Toshiaki Endo, demonstrate their solidarity for the cameras Tuesday after striking a cost-sharing deal on the main stadium for the 2020 Olympics. | KYODO

Piece by The Japan Time’s Staff Writer,

Read the full story online at:

On the eve of the first Rugby World Cup match to be held at the transformed London Olympic Stadium, Populous released this new video, explaining just what has changed in the stadium and surrounding park since the London 2012 Olympic Games.

Since being designed to host the world’s largest sporting event in 2012, the stadium has been totally transformed, to create a world-class venue for a range of sports and events, including football, rugby, athletics, cricket and concerts, with a new flexible seating system to give all spectators the ultimate experience.

Populous produced this video in collaboration with Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park/London Legacy Development Corporation, BuroHappold Engineering and Balfour Beatty.
For more information, please contact
Main image courtesy: Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park/London Legacy Development Corporation.

Populous is an event sponsor for our ‘live’ event, Stadia & Arena Asia Pacific 2015 taking place at the Singapore Sports Hub next week, September 28-30. The firm’s Paul Shakespeare and Paul Paterson will also be presenting the findings of Populous’ year-long “Tomorrow’s Together: What will shape the venues of the future” project during the conference, which was conducted in conjunction with PanStadia & Arena Management.

If you haven't already registered to attend Stadia & Arena Asia Pacific 2015, then make sure to do so online today at:

If you haven’t already registered to attend Stadia & Arena Asia Pacific 2015, then make sure to do so online today at:

Rendering of how the converted stadium will look

The final bill for the stadium in Queen Elizabeth Park has been confirmed by the London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC) at £272 million. Add that to the original £430 million for the Olympic version to get £702 million, making the stadium the most expensive in Britain and in the same league as some US billion-dollar builds.

The LLDC’s strategy is still on course, with international events scheduled for the venue, a pro-active operator in place and a Premier League tenant that will bring large audiences to the site on a regular basis. It will be the only stadium in the UK to meet UEFA Category 4 classification and be a fully compliant IAAF Category 1 athletics facility. Hemmed in by the commitment to athletics, the LLDC chose to convert rather than rebuild, which was made possible by the latest roof and retractable seating technology. The cost overrun of £118m on its original estimate is put down by the LLDC to:

the huge scale of the works undertaken to transform the former Olympic venue from a temporary athletics stadium into a year-round multi-use arena capable of delivering world class sporting and cultural events.

LLDC predicts:

The Stadium will help deliver millions of additional visitors to the area every year and will be part of a regeneration programme that will create an additional economic benefit to east London of well over £3 billion.

The Stadium work included the removal of the original roof and light paddles and installation of a new permanent roof, the largest of its kind in the world. The 45,000sq. m cantilevered roof needed significant strengthening of the superstructure to support the 8km of cable net, 112 steel rafters, 9,900 roof panels and 14 light paddles each weighing 45 tonnes. The new roof covers every seat in the venue, improving the acoustics and spectator experience.

An innovative retractable seating system required the removal of the lower seating bowl. The 21,000 movable seats bring the fans close to the pitch for football and rugby ensuring the Stadium has a long-term legacy.  Other works included installing catering facilities, toilets and turnstiles, all of which were only temporary during the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Before the Stadium re-opens permanently in 2016, the transformation works will be paused this summer to allow the venue to host the Great Newham London Run, Sainsbury’s Anniversary Games, a Barbarians v Samoa rugby union fixture, five matches in the Rugby World Cup 2015, an England v New Zealand Rugby League international and the Race of Champions motorsport event.

David Goldstone, Chief Executive of the London Legacy Development Corporation, said:

We have invested in transforming a temporary athletics venue into a permanent world class multi use arena that has a secure and long-term sustainable future. This has required a significant amount of work and innovative engineering solutions.

Alongside the transformation work the deals signed with British Athletics and West Ham United and the appointment of a stadium operator ensures the Stadium will pay its way and not require any continuing subsidy from the taxpayer.

With a significant amount of work still to do until the Stadium opens in its permanent mode, the Legacy Corporation still holds a contingency fund, which is not included in the costs already announced. Once the transformation of the Stadium is complete it will not require continuous subsidy from the taxpayer and will see a return to the taxpayer through future profits due to the agreements in place with the operator VINCI and concessionaires West Ham United and UK Athletics. The Stadium will contribute to the ongoing and hugely successful regeneration programme already being delivered at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.


FIFA confirms football venues for Rio 2016 Olympic Games

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Seven stadiums in six cities – Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Salvador, Manaus, Brasília and Belo Horizonte – will stage the matches.

The Rio 2016 Olympic Games men’s and women’s football tournaments will take place in six cities: Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Salvador, Manaus, Brasília and Belo Horizonte. The football co-host cities were confirmed after a meeting of FIFA’s Organising Committee for the Olympic Football Tournaments on Monday (16 March) in Zurich, Switzerland, where it was decided that the 58 matches will be staged at: Corinthians Arena (São Paulo), the Maracanã and Olympic Stadium (Rio de Janiero), Arena Fonte Nova (Salvador), Mané Garrincha Stadium (Brasília), Amazônia Arena (Manaus) and the Mineirão (Belo Horizonte).

Rio 2016 President, Carlos Nuzman, said:

The inclusion of Manaus in the Rio 2016 Olympic schedule will enrich the tournament with a visit of the football players to one of the most iconic locations in the world. I am certain that the Amazon will welcome the Olympic world with a memorable celebration.

Football is the only sport that will be hosted outside of Rio de Janeiro, with the tournament taking the Rio 2016 Games to the rest of Brazil. There will be 16 teams in the men’s competition and 12 in the women’s tournament. Further details about the Rio 2016 football tournaments will be confirmed by FIFA and the Rio 2016 Organising Committee for the Olympic Games in the coming days.

Marco Polo Del Nero, chairman of the FIFA Organising Committee for the Olympic Football Tournaments, said:

The Olympic football tournaments will be a fantastic opportunity to revive the great atmosphere seen during the 2014 FIFA World Cup, not only in Rio de Janeiro, but also in the other five cities. They did an excellent job in 2014, and now they can use the World Cup stadiums and infrastructure already in place to unite the country for a major event once more. I am confident that the participating teams will have an unforgettable Olympic experience.

Two South American teams are already confirmed in the Rio 2016 men’s football competition: Brazil, as host country, and Argentina, as the winners of the South American Under-20 championship. In the women’s tournament, Colombia confirmed their place, along with hosts Brazil, by finishing runners-up in last year’s Copa America. All the remaining places will be decided by April 2016.

The men’s Olympic football competition features players up to the age of 23 (born after 31 December 1992), with the exception of three ‘over-age’ players per nation. The 16 teams will be divided into four groups of four and the competition will begin on 4 August, one day before the Olympic Games opening ceremony. The two best-performing members of each group will qualify for the quarter-finals. The final will be played on 20 August, a day before the closing ceremony, at the Maracanã Stadium.

In the women’s competition there are no age restrictions. The 12 teams will be split into three groups of four, and matches will start on 3 August. The top two teams in each group and the two best third-placed teams will progress to the quarter-finals. The final will be played on 19 August, also at the Maracanã Stadium.


Image: The Amazônia Arena will host Olympic football in one of the world’s most iconic locations. (Photo: Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

Queen Elizabeth Park stadium begins transformation

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Work began this week on the conversion of the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park’s Stadium into a year round multi-use venue. All 14 of the floodlight paddles, which weigh 500 tonnes in total, are being removed so a new roof – twice the size of the original at around 45,000sq metres – can be built. At 84 metres at its deepest point it will be the longest cantilevered roof in the world and will cover every seat in the stadium and improve the acoustics and spectator experience for football matches, other sporting events and concerts.

Once the roof is in place new floodlights suitable for a multi-use venue will be installed. These will be a fully integrated part of the new roof and will incorporate the existing lighting system. Work will be completed in spring 2015 ahead of the Rugby World Cup matches taking place in the stadium later that year.

Retractable seating in the lower bowl will allow close pitch-side views for football, rugby and other pitch sports while retaining an international class running track for use every summer. As part of its multi-use legacy plans the stadium will host five matches during the 2015 Rugby World Cup and will be the permanent home of West Ham United Football Club from 2016. The stadium will also become the new national competition stadium for athletics in the UK, hosting regional and national age group championships, as well as elite international events including the annual IAAF Diamond League meeting. London Legacy Development Corporation Chief Executive, Dennis Hone, said:

We are on track to deliver a fantastic world class venue that can be used year round to host a whole range of sporting, cultural and community events. The stadium will be a truly remarkable legacy here in east London. The floodlights are much loved following the incredible 2012 Games so it’s great we can retain their iconic triangular style as a backdrop to top sporting action and other events.

West Ham United Vice-Chairman, Karren Brady, said:

This marks a key milestone in the stunning transformation of the Olympic Stadium, to a spectacular UEFA Category four football stadium, capable of hosting football’s most elite competitions. The roof is a truly phenomenal design that will enhance the iconic status of this sporting arena. Most significantly for us at West Ham, it will help to lock in the world-famous atmosphere that our supporters create when we play at home. There will also be an innovative seating solution that will bring fans closer to the pitch, new hospitality areas and a bespoke ticket office and club shop.

Key facts:

  • The 14 floodlight towers weigh 34 tonnes and contain an average of 35 lamps.
  • Before the towers are removed temporary cables are strung across the field of play linking opposite towers to form a spider’s web of cables to maintain the stability of the towers once the circumferential cables are disconnected.
  • Once this cable net is installed the floodlights can be removed in pairs. Each pair of lighting towers is lifted and lowered to the ground using crawler cranes with 600 tonnes lifting capacity. The lamps are then removed and the towers dismantled.
  • Balfour Beatty is carrying out the work using specialist company Pfeifer (see article in the Winter issue of PanStadia & Arena Management). A team of around twenty abseilers will be erecting all the temporary cables and removing the floodlights.
  • Work to construct the new 45,000 sq metres roof begins in the spring. It will be completed by spring 2015 when final preparations for the Rugby World Cup will take place including installing concessions, toilets, turnstiles and hospitality areas.
  • While building work is taking place the running track is protected by a 750mm deep ‘mat’ of recycled concrete which is designed to support all the lifting activities. Once work on the new roof is complete a new pitch will be laid for the five Rugby World Cup matches taking place in the Stadium between September and October 2015.
  • Following the Rugby World Cup, final work will be carried out to prepare the Stadium for its long term tenants West Ham United FC and UK Athletics.
  • New retractable seating will be installed so the lower bowl can be protracted and retracted depending on the type of event taking place allowing closer pitch side football views while retaining an international class running track. These will be in place ahead of the football season, domestic athletics championships and Diamond League events taking place in the summer of 2016.
  • The Stadium will host the 2017 IAAF World Athletics Championships and IPC Athletics World Championships – the first time these prestigious global events have been staged in the same venue in the same year.

London Olympic Stadium to host athletics in football’s close season

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The Stadium in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park will annually host a wide spectrum of key athletics events, from regional and national age group championships through to elite international events, including Diamond League.

Under an agreement between the E20 Stadium LLP (the Partnership set up between London Legacy Development Corporation and the London Borough of Newham to manage the Stadium) and UK Athletics, the Stadium will become the new national centre for athletics. UK Athletics will have use of the Stadium from the last Friday in June to the end of July each year under a 50 year agreement, starting from 2016 when the stadium will be fully operational following its legacy transformation.

The agreement will also provide year-round training facilities for local athletes and clubs at an adjacent permanent community track delivering a lasting athletics legacy in east London.

In 2017 the stadium will host the IAAF World Athletics Championships and IPC Athletics World Championships – the first time these prestigious global events have been staged in the same venue in the same year.

As part of its multi-use legacy the Stadium will also host five matches during the 2015 Rugby World Cup and will be the home of West Ham United Football Club from 2016; the club will take residency as the Stadium’s long term anchor tenant with UK Athletics. The Stadium will also be used for other sporting, cultural (including concerts) and community events. The agreement may restrict the chances of cricket club using the stadium for Twenty20 games, which usually take place at the beginning of July.

London Legacy Development Corporation Chief Executive Dennis Hone said:

Tens of thousands will enjoy watching top class athletics each year here in east London. But crucially the deal means that the stars of tomorrow can train and compete in this iconic Stadium and help inspire the youngsters of the East End of London to reach their full potential.