Preparation time for hosting athletics
at the New Wembley Stadium
The evidence given to the committee which referred
to a six month preparation time for athletics was based on the
proposal to use a concrete construction for the athletics deck
which had been considered up to that time. Since the last Select
Committee meeting, the concrete platform proposal has been superseded
by a proposal to use a steel-based modular system with a lay-in
concrete tray. This is significantly faster to install.
It is important to understand that for a major
athletics event, such as a World Athletics Championships, any
stadium would be expected to be handed over to the athletics event
owner who would carry out a specific event overlay. In addition
to the preparation of the athletics arena the stadium has to be
adapted to accommodate the specific technical requirements of
the event owner. This includes accommodation and facilities for
athletes, officials, media and VIP guests.
The time taken to install an athletics platform
should be considered as only a part of the overall stadium preparation
works required before a major athletics event. Typically a period
of some three months is required for the event owner to carry
out necessary overlay works within a stadium which is already
in athletics configuration. The time required to install an athletics
platform would therefore be additional to this time.
Danco Plc, a company specialising in event related
temporary structures, was asked to carry out a feasibility study
on the installation of the athletics platform based on a prefabricated
modular steel system. Danco have recently been responsible for
the installation of heavy duty platforms at major events. They
were recently responsible for decking over Trafalgar Square for
a concert within three days. Based on the Wembley design, Danco
concluded that the installation of the base platform for athletics
could be carried out within six weeks including a two week contingency.
They further estimated that the removal of the platform would
take four weeks.
Based on Danco's feasibility study it is estimated
that the total time required to convert Wembley for a major athletics
event is now four and a half months. This compares to the previous
six months estimate for the concrete deck, and three months for
a conventional athletics stadium. Clearly, were the new Wembley
to open in its athletics configuration the stadium the platform
would already be installed and therefore no conversion time needed.
The estimated add-on cost for installing the
base platform is £6 million. A platform for warm up track
outside the stadium would cost an estimated £4 million. (Costs
Whilst World Stadium Team has not been in a
position to report the idea of the faster steel based platform
construction directly to the Secretary of State, the proposal
has been in the public domain since June 2001 as part of the Foster
and Partners exhibition at the British Museum (seen by over 1,000,000
WST have been advised by Danco that the cost
of constructing a prefabricated platform capable of hosting athletics
within the new Wembley would be approximately £5 million.
A platform for a warm up track in the existing car park would
cost £3 million. It would be prudent to add £1 million
contingency to each platform in their first use.
This is only the cost of the platform structure.
Additional costs would include laying the track sub-base and track
surface on each of these platforms and installing timing equipment.
We estimate these as being £2.5 million for the stadium track
and £2 million for warm-up platform in Wembley. These costs
are not however necessarily unique to Wembley. For any stadium
venue hosting a major athletics championship it is regular practice
to install a new track and, particularly, new timing equipment.
It is likely therefore that these costs would have to be factored
into the preparation of any stadium which was not built specifically
for a major event.
The preparation of the track is only one of
the event specific costs associated with staging major events.
In total we envisage the costs of staging a major athletics championship
at Wembley as circa £20 million of which £10 million
is directly associated to the installation of two platforms (assuming
the warm up track was also constructed on a platform outside the
|£5m (+£1m initial contingency)
|Warm-up track platform outside stadium
|£3m (+£1m contingency)
|£10m platform costs
|Stadium track sub-base
|Stadium track surface
|Stadium timing equipment
|Warm-up track surface
|(athletes, officials, media etc)
|£20m total event costs
"C" VALUES FOR
The scheme currently drawn for the athletics deck has been
designed to achieve the minimum required capacity of 65,000 without
the need to construct any temporary tiers over the lower seating
tier. This is considered to provide the most cost effective way
of achieving the required capacity.
Should any athletics event organiser wish to achieve even
better sightlines for athletics spectators, this could be achieved
by raising the level of the athletics deck up closer to the level
of the lower concourse. This would have the effect of improving
"C"values for all spectators. By raising the
level of the deck, however, the minimum capacity of 65,000 may
only be achieved by using temporary seating tiers over the lower
bowl and will, therefore be less cost effective than the base
65,000 scheme as drawn.
For capacity requirements significantly above 65,000 it is
necessary in any case to use temporary seating over the lower
bowl. Therefore there would be no cost penalty in raising the
level of the athletics deck to achieve improved "C"-values.
There would, however be a reduction in the maximum potential capacity
of the stadium for athletics. For example, by raising the level
of the athletics deck by approximately 750 mm, "C"-values
for athletics can be increased for all spectators although the
maximum potential athletics capacity would reduce to approximately
75,000 with temporary tiers over the lower bowl.
The choice of athletics deck level does not change in any
way the design geometry of the permanent seating bowl and so it
can be made on a per event basis depending on the event organiser's
(It is worth noting that the IOC state that they have a preferred
minimum capacity of 75,000 for the opening and closing ceremonies
whilst they have no stated minimum requirement for athletics.)