2012 Olympic Venue Previews: Olympic Stadium

LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 21: General view of the Olympic Stadium at the Olympic Park on July 20, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

The centerpiece of the 2012 Summer Olympics, the Olympic Stadium, will begin the Games with the Opening Ceremony, host the track and field events and then welcome back all the athletes with the Closing Ceremony.

Location: Olympic Park in London's Stratford district

Events: Athletics and both the Opening and Closing Ceremony

Construction: Ground was broken in 2007 and work was completed in 2011 at a cost of approximately $758 million

Tons of Steel: ~10,000

The centerpiece of the 2012 Summer Olympics, the Olympic Stadium, will begin the Games with the Opening Ceremony, host the track and field events and then welcome back all the athletes with the Closing Ceremony.

Like many current facilities built for Olympic Games, the architectural firm Populous designed the Olympic Stadium to be sustainable and easily disassembled. While it currently seats 80,000 fans, only 25,000 of those seats are permanent -- the entire upper tier (some 55,000 seats) can be removed after the Games. That unique forward thinking will likely create some problems during the next few weeks, however. Because of the temporary nature, restrooms and concessions, instead of being located in the stadium, have been moved to facilities around the outside. Hang on to those tickets!

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Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-US PRESSWIRE

Many of the facilities built for the London was done with the future in mind -- both the futures of the venues, and that of Earth itself. The Olympic Stadium is considered to be the "most sustainable" ever built for the Games.

Around 10,000 tonnes of steel were used to build the venue - significantly less than in other Olympic stadiums, making its construction more sustainable. The top ring of the Stadium was built using surplus gas pipes - a visual testament to London 2012's efforts to 'reduce, reuse and recycle'.

After the Olympics, the arena will be used when London hosts the 2017 World Championships in Athletics, as well as other sporting, cultural and community events.

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