Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
Aerial view of the park in October 2022
Aerial view of the park in October 2022
Map of the park in 2012
Map of the park in 2012
Coordinates: 51°32′46″N 0°00′46″W / 51.54615°N 0.01269°W / 51.54615; -0.01269
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
RegionGreater London
DistrictsNewham, Tower Hamlets, Waltham Forest, Hackney
City districtsStratford, Old Ford, Leyton, Hackney Wick
Time zoneUTC0 (UTC)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+1 (BST)
Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
Full nameQueen Elizabeth Olympic Park
Former namesOlympic Park
(2012 Summer Olympics)
Main venueLondon Stadium
  • 62,500 (regulated capacity) [1]
  • 66,000 (seated capacity) (sports)[2]
  • 80,000 (concerts)[3]
Other sports facilitiesAquatics Centre
Copper Box Arena
Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre
Lee Valley VeloPark
OperatorLondon Legacy Development Corporation

Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park is a sporting complex and public park in Stratford, Hackney Wick, Leyton and Bow, in east London. It was purpose-built for the 2012 Summer Olympics and Paralympics, situated adjacent to the Stratford City development. It contains the Olympic stadium, now known as the London Stadium, and the Olympic swimming pool together with the athletes' Olympic Village and several other Olympic sporting venues and the London Olympics Media Centre. The park is overlooked by the ArcelorMittal Orbit, an observation tower and Britain's largest piece of public art.

It was simply called The Olympic Park during the Games but was later renamed to commemorate the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II[4] (though it is not an official Royal Park of London).[5] The park occupies an area straddling four east London boroughs; Newham, Tower Hamlets, Hackney and Waltham Forest. Part of the park reopened in July 2013,[6] while a large majority of the rest (including the Aquatics Centre, Velopark and Orbit observation tower) reopened in April 2014.[7]


The site covers parts of Stratford, Bow, Leyton, and Hackney Wick in east London, overlooking the A12 road. The site was previously a mixture of greenfield and brownfield land, including parts of Hackney Marshes.[8]

The Royal Mail gave the park and Stratford City the postcode E20, which had previously only appeared in the television soap opera EastEnders for the fictional suburb of Walford.[9]

On 2 August 2011, it was announced the five neighbourhoods of housing and amenities (anti-clockwise from north-east) are:

These names have relevant history in the area.[10] All four of the East London boroughs covering the park as such have a neighbourhood except for Waltham Forest.



The park was designed by the EDAW Consortium (including EDAW, Allies and Morrison and Buro Happold), working with Arup and WS Atkins. Detailed landscape architecture was by LDA Design in conjunction with Hargreaves Associates. LDA design contracted Wallace Whittle to carry out various aspects of the M+E Building services design. The NHBC carried out the Sustainability assessments. The park was illuminated with a lighting scheme[11] designed by Speirs + Major.[12]

London's Olympic and Paralympic bid proposed that there would be four indoor arenas in the park in addition to the main venues, but the revised master plan published in 2006 reduced this to three, with the volleyball events moved to the Earls Court Exhibition Centre.[13] The fencing arena was also cancelled, with the fencing events taking place at ExCeL London. The remaining indoor arenas are the Basketball Arena and the Copper Box, in addition to the Water Polo Arena, the Aquatics Centre, and the Velopark. The final design of the park was approved by the Olympic Delivery Authority and its planning-decisions committee.

Legacy List charity

The Legacy List is the independent charity for Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, set up in 2011 to support the legacy of the Games. Their mission is to make creative connections between people and the Park by developing, commissioning and supporting high quality art, education and skill building initiatives, to engage, educate and inspire current and future generations.[14]


During its construction over 80,000 workers were engaged on the project.[15] The construction of the Olympic Park was managed by CLM Delivery Partner, comprising CH2M Hill ,Laing O'Rourke and Mace. CLM specifically managed the "white" space between the venue construction zones, including managing the internal road network. To enable the major phase of construction to begin, the 52 electricity pylons, up to 65 metres (213 feet) high, that dominated the landscape in and around the park were removed and the power transferred through the new Lower Lea Valley Cable Tunnels constructed by Murphy. Also there was a roman village underground when they were digging it up [16] Following site clearance, the soil across the Park site was cleaned down to a human health layer, by soil washing.[citation needed]

Constituent sections of the park

In addition, at the time of the Olympic and Paralympic games:


Further information: London 2012 Olympic Legacy

The ArcelorMittal Orbit.

The park has been given over to a number of current and planned uses after the London 2012 Summer Olympics finished, such as:[17][18]

East Bank

Shells of two buildings under construction by cranes. One is composed of rectangular blocks, the other is more angular
V&A East and UAL building construction in April 2023

As of January 2021, several arts and creativity institutions are constructing outposts at the park as part of a £1.1billion[26][27] development,[28][29] including:

International Quarter London

International Quarter London is a new commercial district in Stratford, East London, which hosted the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.[33] It will be a mixed-use development,[34] with a total investment of in excess of £1.3 billion, and will be delivered by Lend Lease and London and Continental Railways in a 50/50 joint venture.[35]

International Quarter London will include 4 million sq ft of commercial office space,[36] 330 homes known as Glasshouse Gardens and a new hotel.[37] The area is accessible via Stratford station.

Subsequent international sporting events

Although the sporting venues in the park were reduced in scale after the conclusion of London 2012, part of the legacy is to ensure the continued use of those facilities that are permanent, as local and community resources and for major international sporting events that make use of the world class facilities constructed for the Olympics and Paralympics:

Resident sports clubs

In addition to the use of the venues for international events, some of them are intended for use on a regular basis by amateur and professional sports teams in various sports.

On 11 February 2011, West Ham United were selected as preferred bidders, ahead of Tottenham Hotspur, to take over the Olympic Stadium as a football venue after the end of the games. However, five days later Leyton Orient chairman Barry Hearn announced that he would be challenging the decision to allow West Ham to relocate to the stadium, as he believed that having West Ham playing within one mile (1.6 kilometres) of their Brisbane Road stadium could cost Orient support and even their existence.[47] Incidentally, Hearn had expressed interest some years earlier in moving Orient to Olympic Park and reducing its capacity to 25,000 seats,[48] while West Ham would cut the capacity to 60,000 if their relocation went ahead.[49] Tottenham Hotspur also pursued legal action over the decision and eventually the deal with West Ham collapsed due to legal pressure on 11 October 2011. West Ham did go on to win the later tenancy bid and began using the stadium from the start of the 2016–17 football season as the main tenant.[50]

The Copper Box was the only permanent indoor arena remaining after the end of London 2012. Built primarily for use in the handball and goalball competitions, it was converted to a multi-use venue that will include use for basketball. As a result of the owners of the Prestige Homes Arena in Milton Keynes terminating their lease, the London Lions basketball club, after a season at the National Sports Centre, Selhurst, relocated to the Copper Box for the 2013-14 BBL season.[51]

The Lee Valley Hockey Centre was born from a revamp of the Olympic Legacy Hockey Facility. The facility is the current ground of Wapping Hockey Club.[52] The centre includes 2 state-of-the-art hockey pitches and is operated by the Lee Valley Regional Park Authority.

Following the demolition of the original warm-up track after the end of the Olympics, a new six-lane facility, the London Marathon Community Track, was constructed on the south side of the Olympic Stadium, for use both as a community venue and as a new home for Newham and Essex Beagles Athletic Club following the 2017 World Championships.[53] Football side Altis FC, members of the Amateur Football Combination, are based at the stadium.[54]


In January 2013, music concert promoter Live Nation won the right to stage shows at the stadium and in the surrounding park. The park hosted the music events in July 2013, but the stadium was not used.[55] The former site of the Riverbank Arena was used to stage the Hard Rock Calling, Wireless and Electric Daisy Carnival festivals .[56][57]

The stadium has since hosted various concerts, including Guns N' Roses, AC/DC and Robbie Williams.

In 2021, ABBA began construction of a purpose-built arena in the Olympic Park, called the ABBA Arena, for a motion-capture hologram concert residency which would take place from May 2022. The announcement of the arena's construction and purpose took place during a YouTube livestream to announce the release of their album Voyage.[58]


Railway stations

London Buses

Bus stations

Stratford City bus station

See also


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