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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.


Broadcast and event production – EMC aspects of low voltage installations in stadia

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Karl A. Knappe and Christian Hirschmüller of UEFA Technical Services in Nyon discuss the EMC aspects of low voltage installations in stadia in this special online article.

Continuous development, a keyword especially in the broadcast industry on major sport events, is on-going. Production standards like HD, 4K, 5.1 audio among many others increase the complexity in setup and operation to a new maximum. The complete changeover to digital production workflow, new media technology and extended coverage of an event leads to highest data rates and requires bandwidth on the ‘lifelines’ inside and outside of a stadium. On the other side, these systems are highly sensitive to disturbances from their respective electrical environment.

UEFA Technical Services observes and analyses this coexistence and the influence of electrical systems on broadcast and event production in stadia since a longer period. It is evaluating best practises to guarantee a state-of-the-art TV production without any instability and ensuring electrical safety.

What is the problem?

Large broadcast configurations are influenced by transients caused from low voltage networks especially under unsymmetrical and rich harmonic load conditions – which is the normal realistic standard in every modern day-to-day operation.

The consequences on the broadcast side:

Loss of audio and video signals, instability in data signals caused by jitter and re-sync effects. In fact we are confronted with a well-known issue called EMC: electromagnetic compatibility. Even though it is taken into account for sensitive areas like data centres or hospitals since years, it is not established for stadia with broadcast and event production – this regardless of broadcast systems being supplied by the stadium or independent generators.

Further analysis in many venues brought to light that mostly low voltage systems based on TN-C and TN-C-S causally create a noise floor of rich high frequency distortion that is distributed by multi bonding of neutral conductors to earth in the whole building.

Of course, for safety reasons, it is mandatory in electrical networks like TN and TT to earth the neutral. Even strict equipotential measures are necessary. But stray currents caused by multi bonding or use of TN-C networks have dramatic effects on the stability of broadcast and event technology, building control systems and other networks. Increased corrosion of metal elements like tubes or reinforcing bars is a further side effect.

What is the solution?

After years of testing and analysing different technical solutions under live conditions as galvanic isolation of certain broadcast areas or using harmonic filters solely, the use of TN-S networks from the sources to the last end distribution under consideration of all details mentioned in the worldwide regulation of IEC 60364-4-44:2007-08 finally solves the problem completely.

Modern stadia are in fact a ‘data house’ considering the dimension of digital equipment that is used for sports, concerts or other events this especially in view of the additional installation of temporary equipment to run the production. Technology moves on but some standards for electrical systems are not on eye level with the technical developments.

Experience from recent tournaments:

UEFA EURO 2008™ in Austria and Switzerland was affected by several problems caused from TN-C and TN-C-S circuits, e.g. loss of audio signals on the media tribune due to the use of an elevator at the back of the tribune.

For UEFA EURO 2012™ Poland and Ukraine UEFA Technical Services took a clear decision for the implementation of an IEC 60364-4-44:2007-08 conform system in all eight stadia and was fully put into practice. All temporary supply systems were even designed in the same way.

The result and the feedback UEFA received from several broadcasters were outstanding: “The first time in the history of major sport events there were absolutely no problems with signals and power”.


High-class and state-of-the-art production of events at modern stadia demands a distinct attention to the special requirements of the equipment.       Contemporary design of electrical networks for these buildings must also follow the rules of EMC.

As safety in electrical operation is the most important rule for the design it is not easy to find the ‘right’ way to combine these two worlds: Safety and EMC. IEC 60364-4-44:2007-08 formulated a safe and reasonable way which is also proven by practise.

Based on our experience and keeping in mind that broadcast technology developments will continue an installation following EMC rules at stadia hosting state-of-the-art broadcast and event production will be mandatory in the future. This technical solution is now a UEFA requirement for UEFA EURO 2020™ stadia. Other sports organisations also comply with EMC conformity for their upcoming major events. Therefore we see a new standard in electrical low voltage installations to ensure a future failure free broadcast and event production.

For further information please contact Christian Hirschmüller, UEFA Technical Services & Overlay Manager,

© 2007 IEC Geneva, Switzerland.

IEC 60364-4-44 ed.2.0: Single bonding of N and PE in a TN-S multiple feeder arrangement to avoid a stray current loop.

The authors thank the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) for permission to reproduce Information from its International Standard IEC 60364-4-44 ed.2.0 (2007). All such extracts are copyright of IEC, Geneva, Switzerland. All rights reserved. Further information on the IEC is available from IEC has no responsibility for the placement and context in which the extracts and contents are reproduced by
the author, nor is IEC in any way responsible for the other content or accuracy therein.

BREAKING NEWS: London to host the semi-finals and final of the ‘EURO for Europe’ championships in 2020

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London’s Wembley Stadium will host the final and semi-finals of UEFA’s EURO 2020 championships, while Baku, Munich, Rome, Saint Petersburg, Copenhagen, Bucharest, Amsterdam, Dublin, Bilbao, Budapest, Brussels and Glasgow will host the events group matches.

The staging of UEFA’s EURO 2020 across Europe promises to provide a memorable football festival throughout the continent – and provides some countries and cities with the opportunity to be part of a tournament they may otherwise not be able to host.

UEFA’s Executive Committee decided in Lausanne, Switzerland, on 6 December 2012 to stage a “EURO for Europe” in 2020, rather than a tournament in one or two host countries. The move followed an initial idea revealed by UEFA President Michel Platini at the end of UEFA EURO 2012. The Executive Committee also took its decision in the wake of positive feedback from its member national associations as part of a consultation process that took place in recent months.

Back in January 2013, the Executive Committee decided that the UEFA EURO 2020 final round would be staged in 13 cities around Europe, and approved the key event and football principles for the “EURO for Europe”, which include:

• The matches will be split into 13 different packages, with 12 ordinary packages including three group matches and one knockout round game (round of 16 or quarter-final) apiece, and one package for the semi-finals and the final
• There will be a maximum of one venue per country, meaning one stadium for each of the available 13 packages. Both semi-finals and the final will be played in one stadium

Following today’s decision by UEFA’s Executive Committee, the UEFA EURO 2020 hosts have been confirmed as folows:

England/London – semi-finals and final

Azerbaijan/Baku – three group games, one quarter-final
Belgium/Brussels – three group games, one round of 16 game
Denmark/Copenhagen – three group games, one round of 16 game
Germany/Munich – three group games, one quarter-final
Hungary/Budapest – three group games, one round of 16 game
Italy/Rome – three group games, one quarter-final
Netherlands/Amsterdam – three group games, one round of 16 game
Republic of Ireland/Dublin – three group games, one round of 16 game
Romania/Bucharest – three group games, one round of 16 game
Russia/Saint Petersburg – three group games, one quarter-final
Scotland/Glasgow – three group games, one round of 16 game
Spain/Bilbao – three group games, one round of 16 game

England previously staged EURO ’96, with Germany beating the Czech Republic 2-1 in the final at Wembley. Of the other host cities announced in Geneva today, Munich (1988), Rome (1968, 1980) and Brussels (1972) have all held UEFA European Championship final matches in the past.

UEFA General Secretary, Gianni Infantino, pointed to the fact that a number of reflections had led to the Executive Committee’s decision, as he explained:

Let me say it is a decision only about 2020. 2020 is the 60th anniversary of the European Football Championship. Obviously the fact that the EURO will feature 24 teams instead of 16 puts an additional burden on countries hosting such an event. It becomes much more difficult for many countries – the requirements are becoming bigger and bigger.

An opportunity like this, to give many cities and many countries the possibility to host even just one part of a EURO, is certainly an excellent thing, especially in times when you have an economic situation where you cannot expect countries to invest in the facilities such an event requires. Certainly one of the purposes of this decision is to help countries who are perhaps not sure today whether they should build a national stadium – giving them the impetus to build such a stadium. Instead of having a party in one country, we will have a party all over Europe in 2020.

At the XXXVII Ordinary UEFA Congress in London last year, UEFA President Michel Platini, the initiator of the idea, expressed great anticipation for UEFA EURO 2020:

In 2020, the EURO will never have better lived up to its name. It will be decidedly continental and profoundly European. It will be a EURO of unity and shared experiences. It will, of course, be a new challenge – a challenge of a new kind … [and with] one single language: football.



Image credits & caption: The Henri Delaunay Cup at today’s UEFA EURO 2020 hosts announcement in Geneva. ©

Venue operations manager for EURO 2016 required

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UEFA is advertising for a Deputy Country Manager to manage venue operations for EURO 2016, starting 1 October.

The post will be responsible for successful implementation and running of the facilities and services necessary to deliver in four venues, Marseille, Nice, Toulouse and Bordeaux (pictured).

Full job specifications available from UEFA.


02 france 2016 report uefa

Jacques Lambert, Chairman of the UEFA EURO 2016 steering group told the latest meeting of the group in Lille:

We examined the state of progress of the ten stadiums … and globally, we are advancing very well. We also discussed details about various issues, such as the search for team bases. We are working to maximise the social and economic consequences of this EURO tournament in France. Everything is moving forward in the best way.

FFF president Noël Le Graët added:

France was considerably behind as far as stadiums were concerned. I think that in the next two years, we will have partly made up for lost time. This EURO is a wonderful opportunity for France.

UEFA, which holds all the competition rights, and the FFF, which in particular is responsible for the safety and security of the event, have set up a joint venture, EURO 2016 SAS, to which they have delegated responsibility for the operational organisation of the finals. EURO 2016 SAS is a company under French law, with the legal form of a simplified joint stock company, owned 95% by UEFA and 5% by the FFF. Its registered head office is in Paris. Its expenses will be financed entirely by UEFA.

The steering group, which had its inaugural meeting in April 2011, comprises the key stakeholders in the organisation of the event: UEFA, the French Football Federation (FFF), the French government and the host cities.

Michel Platini is also on the steering group, together with UEFA General Secretary Gianni Infantino, deputy UEFA General Secretary Theodore Theodoridis, UEFA Executive Committee members Borislav Mihaylov (Bulgaria) and Peter Gilliéron (Switzerland), FFF president Noël Le Graët, France’s sports minister Valérie Fourneyron and host city representative Maurice Vincent.

Valérie Fourneyron assured the organisers of full government support, and added: “We have been able to discover this fine stadium [in Lille] – the first new stadium to be built afresh. I would also like to take this opportunity to remind you of France’s great pride in hosting this competition, and the mobilisation taking place at the highest state levels to ensure that we deliver the quality that our country is known for in staging major sports events.”

The mayor of Lille, Martine Aubry, welcomed the steering group’s meeting in the city and described UEFA EURO 2016 as “an extraordinary adventure”. “EURO 2016 is a great opportunity for our country,” she said. “France, and especially the French people, will derive benefit.”

UEFA proposes partial closure of stadiums

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UEFA General Secretary Gianni Infantino has previewed plans to act more decisively on racist behaviour in stadiums. Speaking at the Soccerex European Forum in Manchester, Infantino proposed the partial closure of stadiums because “supporters of a club are also guilty”.

They are clear, harsh, known to everyone and it’s what we want to implement,

said Infantino of the new sanctions.

I think the idea of threatening to shut small areas, and by that I mean blocks and not entire stands, does provide some extra force behind self-policing,

said Dr Geoff Pearson from the Liverpool University Management School Football Industry Group, who was at Soccerex.

If fans can turn round to someone shouting racist abuse and say ‘if you keep doing that, this block will be closed’, it does empower fans.

European consumer law will require clubs to refund season ticket holders. “There are legal problems,” advised Pearson. “If you can’t go to a match because someone else has breached the ground regulations then you’ll want a refund. You are looking at refunds for everyone with season tickets in the closed section, that’s EU consumer law. A club couldn’t use the ticketing conditions because it would be an unfair contract term. So the club would be hit in the pocket, not only on matchday sales but also refunds to season ticket holders.

The issue of racism was also raised during the session on the Future of Scottish Football, when Scottish FA Chief Executive Stuart Regan firmly asserted the SFA’s policies and explained the work of its team of equity development officers. The SFA has recently issued a notice of complaint against Rangers Chief Executive Charles Green over alleged racist comments.

“Self-policing is the way forward in dealing with racism and homophobic behaviour,” said Pearson. “You make it unacceptable to engage in that behaviour in that context.” His study of English fans (available in his book published by Manchester University Press) has found that people who are racist in their behaviour outside of the stadium, do not express racism in the stadium because of peer pressure.

UEFA General Secretary Gianni Infantino previewed plans to punish racist behaviour by partially closing stadiums.

UEFA General Secretary Gianni Infantino previewed plans to punish racist behaviour by partially closing stadiums.