London Olympic Stadium will be the centrepiece of the 2012 Summer Olympics and Paralympics, and the venue of the athletic events as well as the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the games. The stadium is located at Marshgate Lane in Stratford in the Lower Lea Valley and has capacity for the games of approximately 80,000 making it temporarily the third largest stadium in Britain behind Wembley Stadium and Twickenham Stadium. Land preparation for the stadium began in mid 2007, with the official construction start date on 22 May 2008, although piling works for the foundation unofficially began four weeks ahead of that date. The stadium will host the 2017 World Championships in Athletics.
Plastic, or perhaps an environmentally sustainable fabric, such as hemp, was initially expected to be wrapped around the stadium exterior and imprinted with a mural type design. The wrap would have been 20 metres (66 ft) high and would have encircled the 900-metre (1,000 yd) circumference of the stadium. Both hemp and the continuous wrapping were ruled out. The latest designs submitted for approval to the Olympic Delivery Authority suggest that rather than a continuous strip, the wrap will consist of 2.5 m wide fabric panels, twisted at 90 degree angles to allow entry to the stadium at the bottom of the structure, and held in place with tensioned cables. It has since been reported in the Guardian newspaper that a member of the stadium design team, Rod Sheard, would prefer the wrap to take the form of a continuous video screen, although no costing for this has been given. On 4 August 2011 it was announced that Dow Chemical Company would fund a wrap for the stadium, in return for being able to advertise on the wrap until 26 June 2012, at which point all advertising and logos would be removed. The wrap will be made from polyester and polyethylene, be printed using UV curable links and would encircle the stadium. Installation of the wrap began on 14th April 2012
There will also be no food outlets inside the 80,000-seat arena, which reduces the need for kitchens and higher levels of fire protection associated with cooking. Instead, architects have planned party concourses outside the stadium inspired by the successful fan zones at the 2006 World Cup in Germany, where spectators gathered to eat and drink and watch the action on big screens. It has also been suggested that toilet areas known as "pods" could be created from recycled shipping containers with the water and sewage management self contained within, reducing the need for costly plumbing and facilitating the dismantling of the structure once in legacy mode.