Select Committee on Culture, Media and Sport Minutes of Evidence

Annex B

Wembley Stadium Feasibility Study (extract)


  Danco were approached by Foster and Partners to look at the feasibility of providing a raised temporary platform for the Wembley Stadium Project which would create an arena for athletics use to International competition level whilst maintaining a suitable playing surface for football and other sports. A confidentiality agreement was signed, plans for the proposed stadium were exchanged and the following requirements and information was disclosed.

    1.  The platform must be lightweight yet heavy duty.

    2.  The platform would be around 20,000 sqm and approximately six metres tall.

    3.  The platform should be re-useable and where possible environmentally friendly.

    4.  It must be cost effective.

    5.  It must provide three areas: (a) an inner grass surface; (b) an oval track; and (c) a perimeter road. Area (a) would be used for football, field athletics and other sports.

    6.  Floor loadings for area (a) and (b) to be 6kn sqm and area (c) 10kn sqm.

    7.  The outer perimeter road should be capable of bearing heavy lorries.

    8.  The platform must be capable of installation within a three month period.

    9.  Speed of erection and dismantling was paramount.

  10.  Assume that the ground is capable bearing the load.

  11.  A smaller, lower platform may also be required externally as a warm up track. Which would be on land adjacent to the new stadium. (Exact location to be advised).

  12.  The project is highly confidential.


  The design of the Wembley platform would be based on the standard re-useable Multifloor modules which incorporate provision for precise adjustment to compensate for any level imperfections.

  The pre-assembled steel sub-frame would be on two levels for ease of transportation and erection. Bracing would be specific to local areas with obviously the vehicle access perimeter area requiring the most attention. A loading of 10kn sqm has been proposed for this perimeter area which although easily obtainable must be carefully monitored and designated to ensure that no overload is achieved with heavy vehicles. A simple one way system on a fenced roadway with a good margin of safety and a temporary vehicle weighting system at the entrance to the platform should ensure compliance.

  The central grassed area could be incorporated into the Multifloor panels off site, this will further speed up the conversion process at each end as well as reducing unnecessary traffic on the platform once built.

  Although not a requirement in the original briefing it was apparent that the proposed design of the platform enables the use of the mid-deck and lower ground floor areas for additional uses. We are already in discussions with a national modular cabin building on another project to build cassette pre-formed temporary buildings to fit beneath the Multifloor platform with access by built-in staircases and ramps, this could also have major benefits to this project as temporary sub-floor administration offices changing rooms or general storage facilities.

  One of the major concerns with the project was the time scale required to convert the Stadium, assuming there is unrestricted access, we have no doubt that the Multifloor platform envisaged could be completely erected within a six week period and removed within four weeks, this time scale could be reduced further if 24 hours, seven days a week working was permitted and is based on our experience of similar platforms but obviously subject to final specifications.

  It is anticipated in the region of 3,500 tonnes of re-useable steel structure would be required to fulfil the project in its present format and that the cost of manufacture, transportation, erection and dismantling would be in the region of £4.5 to £5 million.

  A few assumptions have been made in accessing this feasibility, the major one being the load bearing capacity of the ground involved. We have assumed that as with most sites the lower pitch/arena would be suitably compact and that the use of appropriate spreading bearer plates would avoid the need for foundations. Another consideration would be water on the platform we have assumed that adequate drainage facilities would be incorporated sub-floor level and that this would be capable of dispersing any untoward build up on the platform. It is not envisaged that any concrete products would be used during construction, above or below ground.


  A second platform may also be required on land outside of the main stadium (exact location to be identified) as a warm up track for athletics. As it is envisaged that this platform will only need to be level and not have a six metre height requirement a standard Multifloor configuration could be used with additional deck stiffness to avoid any dynamic response problems for athletes. Erection of this second structure would only take approximately two to three weeks and could be dismantled in less than two weeks. Cost of this second smaller platform would be in the region of 60 per cent of the larger one, subject to final specification.

  Given that the Multifloor has precise adjustments on all pillars and legs the platform could be installed and laser levelled on any undulating surface without the need of additional, costly and permanent ground foundations.

  Again as with the main platform the deck surface treatments allows for applications of specialist sports surfaces as required. Although initial contact has been made with these suppliers precise details of the final surface has yet to be agreed.

  If required we can also rent a structure to cover the platform and completely enclose the area from the elements, this could be 40-50 metres wide clearspan, or 60-100 metre wide with centre pillars, as modular units they can both be of any length in five metre sections these would be aluminium temporary structures direct from our hire stock.


  Following extensive research and investigation into the requirements of Wembley Stadium, there is no doubt that the Multifloor product can fulfil the requirements of the project. Its proven lightweight design, speed of deployment, and reusable cost effective features, make it an ideal solution for the temporary athletics platform. The following summary concludes our study:

    1.  Its lightweight heavy duty design can fulfil all the loading requirements including that of heavy traffic without the need of reinforced concrete.

    2.  Installation of the basic platform can be fully achieved within a six week period.

    3.  Removal would take approximately four weeks.

    4.  The platform can be re-used within the event industry and re-installed at a later date if necessary into the stadium or other similar venues.

    5.  The inner grassed area could be pre-laid into the floor off site to further speed up installation and removal times.

    6.  The modular split level design, enables potential mid-deck and ground floor utilisation with pre-built cabin blocks and staircases to the upper level for storage, administration, changing and other facilities.

    7.  The unique advantages of the Multifloor product makes it politically and publicly very user friendly.

    8.  The cost of the basic platform would be in the region of £4.5 to £5 million subject to the final bracing requirements of the structural engineers.

    9.  A warm up track of similar size can be installed on land adjacent to the stadium and would be approximately 60 per cent of the cost of the main platform. A temporary roof cover could also be supplied if necessary.

  10.  A demonstration platform of two modules (24 panels) can be supplied for evaluation purposes at a cost of £65,000.

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Prepared 20 November 2001