London 2012 Olympics: Venues

Olympic Venues

The Olympics were held across dozens of different venues throughout London and the rest of the UK. There was a mixture of older stadiums and buildings, and brand new purpose built venues. Below you can see a selection of the venues and find out which sports were held where.

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Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park

The Olympic Park was the hub of the whole games. It housed a number of the brand new stadiums, as well as athlete accommodation, public watching areas and everything else you would expect from a world class sporting village. Set in Stratford, East London, developers transformed what was an industrial waste land just a few years ago. It was named after the current Queen- Elizabeth II, who celebrated her Jubilee in 2012 as well.

A festival atmosphere was created within the 2.5sq km Park, with gardens, markets, cafes and bars throughout the area. There was also a number of areas with large video screens so spectators could watch the Olympic action live in large crowds.

The main Olympic Park is surrounded by 250 acres of park land that focused on creating new habitats for animals and plant life. Indeed, it contains 4,000 semi-mature trees, over 300,000 wetland plants and ten football pitches worth of meadows.

Quick Links:

Olympic Stadium  |  Aquatic Centre  |  Velodrome  |  BMX Track  |  Basketball Arena

Copper Box  |  Riverbank Arena  | Water Polo Arena

Olympic Stadium


The Olympic Stadium

Location: South part of the Olympic Park
Number of Events: 208

The main stadium for the Games. The Olympic stadium is where the opening and closing ceremonies took place, as well as most of the athletics events. It was built in just three years especially for the Olympics (unsurprisingly given the name) and is the most environmentally sustainable stadium ever built.

After the Games finished, there is still a debate as to what the stadium will be used for. Both Tottenham and West Ham football clubs bid for the right to use it, but ultimately neither were successful. Whatever, the outcome, the Olympic Committee are adamant that it will leave an athletics legacy.

Aquatics centre




Aquatic Centre

Location: South-east part of the Olympic Park
Number of Events:192
Capacity: 17,500

The Aquatic Centre was the home to swimming and diving during the Olympics. Built specifically for the Olympics, most spectators entering the Olympic Park walked across a bridge that actually runs over the top of the venue. The spectacular roof is a massive 160m long, and inside the venue holds two 50m pools and one 25m diving pool. After the Games, the Centre became a facility for both the local community and world class swimming events.






Location: North part of the Olympic Park 
Number of Events: 28 

Built specifically for the Olympics, the velodrome held all the track cycling events during the Games. It is the most environmentally sustainable venue in the Olympic Park, with hundreds of tiny details being thought about. Even the ventilation system is 100% natural, creating the perfect temperature for track cycling without the need for air conditioning. What's more, in between the two tiers of seating, there is a glass wall, which allows spectators who are inside to get a view of the Olympic Park, and those outside to see the action within.

After 2012, the venue became the main hub of a brand new VeloPark for everyone from the local community, to international cyclists.

BMX Track





BMX Track

Location: North part of the Olympic Park
Number of Events: 2
Capacity: 6,000

Located next to the velodrome, this new 400-metre track held the BMX competitions at the Games. Finished in Spring 2011, it was used as part of the BMX World Cup, as a test event for 2012. It was built with the intention of pushing the limits of the sport, but some riders felt it had gone too far, and was dangerous.

After the Olympics, the seating was taken down, and the track formed part of the new VeloPark along with a new mountain bike track and road-cycle circuit.

Basketball Arena






Basketball Arena

Location: North part of the Olympic Park
Number of Events: 7
Capacity: 12,000

This arena played host to the Basketball and Handball competitions during the Games, and the Wheelchair Rugby and Wheelchair Basketball during the Paralympics. After being built solely for the Olympics, the arena will be dismantled after the Games, with parts of it being reused elsewhere in the UK. It is one of the largest temporary Olympic venues ever built.


Copper Box




Copper Box

Location: West part of the Olympic Park
Number of Events: 6
Capacity: 7,000

The Copper Box hosted preliminary rounds of Handball, as well as the Fencing part of the Modern Pentathlon, during the Games. Its name comes from its distinctive looks, with more than 3000sq m of copper covering the outside of the building. Though it currently has a reddy-brown shine to it, it has been designed to change and develop over the years as the weather takes its toll on the copper, gradually turning it green.

After the Olympics, the venue is being adapted to become a multi-use sports centre for the community to use. Retractable seating will also allow the venue to be used for events, ranging from international competition to community sports.

Riverbank Arena




Riverbank Arena

Location: Olympic Park
Number of Events: 4
Capacity: 15,000

Built specifically for 2012, the Riverbank Arena played host to the Olympic Hockey competition, as well as the 5 and 7-a-side Paralympic Football tournaments. What is interesting about the venue, is that for the first time in Olympic history, the hockey pitch is a blue colour (supposedly ‘London Blue') rather than the traditional green.

After the Games the whole Arena will be moved to the north of the Olympic Park to join other facilities in creating Eton Manor. A wide mix of sporting facilities will be available to both the local community and star athletes, all in a small area.

Water Polo Arena





Water Polo Arena

Location: South-east part of the Olympic Park
Number of Events: 2
Capacity: 15,000

Next to the Aquatics Centre is the Water Polo Arena, which, amazingly, held the men's and women's Water Polo competitions during the Games. It contains both a special water polo pool and a warm up pool, and much of the back-of-house facilities was shared with the Aquatics Centre. The Arena is a temporary venue, constructed purely for 2012, and is therefore being dismantled at the end of the Games. However, parts of it will be reused elsewhere in the UK.


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