The Stadium, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, is being transformed ahead of hosting its first ever Rugby match.
The Stadium will host Barbarians v Samoa on Saturday, enabling final operational testing at the venue ahead of Rugby World Cup 2015 matches next month. Rugby posts were this week erected in the Stadium as well as pitch markings being put in place ready to welcome players and fans to the Stadium on August 29.
Along with the installation of the goal posts and flag poles, the Field of Play has been marked out in accordance with Laws of the Game this week, creating the final important update to the Stadium, and completing the transition from an athletics-only stadium to a multi-purpose venue. From September 23, some of the world’s best players and teams, including current Rugby World Cup champions New Zealand, will take to the turf at the iconic venue.
Steve Brown, Managing Director of England Rugby 2015 said: “The Stadium is a tremendous venue and we’re delighted to see its transformation into a Rugby Stadium ahead of its first ever Rugby match on August 29 which will serve as an opportunity for final testing ahead of Rugby World Cup 2015. Many will remember witnessing some thrilling sporting performances at this venue in 2012 and we hope to build on these with world-class Rugby and entertainment to provide spectators with long-lasting memories.”
To deliver a consistent look and feel across all venues during Tournament Time, guidelines have been implemented to ensure aspects such as grass length & the mowing pattern are consistent, and this will be visible at the stadium this Saturday. In addition, England Rugby 2015 has provided pitch equipment to the venue ahead of Rugby World Cup 2015 including; branded post pads, flag poles, branded flag pole pads and moon flags.
David Goldstone, Chief Executive of the London Legacy Development Corporation, said: “It’s tremendously exciting for the first Rugby match to be about to kick off in our fantastic multi-use Stadium. The match will be a wonderful way to welcome the world’s greatest rugby teams and their fans to East London, and we are really looking forward to Rugby World Cup matches that will follow soon after.”
Sir Robin Wales. Mayor of Rugby World Cup 2015 Host City Newham, said: “We showed during the 2012 Games that we can create a festival atmosphere. Newham is looking forward to welcoming great Rugby players from across the world to a transformed Stadium that will offer the best possible experience for competitors and spectators alike.”
Alongside changes to the Stadium’s inner bowl, fans can expect to see a number of updates to the exterior of the Stadium during Rugby World Cup 2015 including a large spectator plaza with live on-stage entertainment and giant LED screens to entertain fans ahead of matches and during half time.
Rugby World Cup 2015 matches at the Stadium, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
Wednesday September 23 – France v Romania, 20:00
Thursday September 24 – New Zealand v Namibia, 20:00
Sunday October 4 – Ireland v Italy, 16:45
Wednesday October 7 – South Africa v USA, 16:45