analysis of the London stadium?


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analysis of the London stadium?

Postby gh » Tue May 08, 2012 9:51 am

I'd be interested to hear what anybody who went over the weekend thinks about the facility.

An English friend who has been to every OG/WC in for the last few decades characterized
it as perhaps the worst track stadium in recent memory.

Only the very back rows under an overhang, so if there's any precip....

Also said the seat pitch is horridly shallow, making for seeing of the backs of a lot of heads rather than the track.

because it's circular, track close to the stands at the ends, but both straightaways apparently far-far removed from the seats.

Probably great for soccer though!
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Re: analysis of the London stadium?

Postby Conor Dary » Tue May 08, 2012 10:19 am

gh wrote:
because it's circular, track close to the stands at the ends, but both straightaways apparently far-far removed from the seats.


Just like Crystal Palace, except worse.
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Re: analysis of the London stadium?

Postby Flumpy » Tue May 08, 2012 10:26 am

If I'm honest, it's not great.

Obviously everything is brand spanking new so it looks lovely but there are LOTS of practical issues would annoy me greatly if I was actually going to be there for the Olympics.

Will elaborate later but first and foremost If your seated downstairs I suggest you take an umbrella.
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Re: analysis of the London stadium?

Postby gh » Tue May 08, 2012 10:30 am

I can't imagine they'll allow umbrellas (even in England!).
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Re: analysis of the London stadium?

Postby kuha » Tue May 08, 2012 10:46 am

It's a cynical plot to make the wretched old Crystal Palace stadium seem "great" by comparison.
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Re: analysis of the London stadium?

Postby tm71 » Tue May 08, 2012 11:54 am

basically dont waste your money, watch it on live streaming and on tv !
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Re: analysis of the London stadium?

Postby JumboElliott » Tue May 08, 2012 2:29 pm

gh, how was the Atlanta Olympic Stadium to watch events live? That was another stadium designed with two purposes in mind so I'm curious to know the distinction.
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Re: analysis of the London stadium?

Postby gh » Tue May 08, 2012 2:35 pm

oh, wrong question! Atlanta is the only OG/WC in the last 40 years where I haven't spent time sitting in the stands with the fans. The announcing booth/security setup were such that I couldn't slip away and test things out. But it was built as a baseball stadium, and I don't recall ever sitting in a baseball park that had low-pitch stands.
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Re: analysis of the London stadium?

Postby kuha » Tue May 08, 2012 5:36 pm

My opinion: I've been in MANY athletics stadiums in the US, Europe, and Australia, and Atlanta was THE WORST I've ever experienced. Simply awful.
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Re: analysis of the London stadium?

Postby 72 » Tue May 08, 2012 11:11 pm

What the F do you need an analysis for.
The athletes don't give a damn about whether the seats and locations and facilities are "right", ideal or whatever, in the opinion of the posters on this Forum.Give em a decent track and good conditions, but sadly they wont get that in August... well maybe a couple of decent days.

Its a very average Stadium at best, rather like Meccano right now, with toilets and facilities outside the Stadium and a crappy roof and those that don,t approve :( will probably still want to be there for the 2017 WC by which time the Stadium will have been improved, if a Soccer club take over..

What horrifies me is the cost of the whole thing ,just under half a billion pounds, I think LOCOG said £487 million . Bloody crazy!!!

Crystal Palace is nowt to get excited about and needs pulling down, but, hells bells, I ve seen some great track and field there.!!!
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Re: analysis of the London stadium?

Postby 72 » Tue May 08, 2012 11:18 pm

Umbrellas will be allowed... "small umbrellas" says the crazy, endless Terms and Conditions of tickets; now that document is the most preposterous load of dudu I ve ever read, dreamed up by megalomaniac lawyers on behalf of LOCOG. Just remember the tickets aint your property, and if you leave your seat and the venue for more than 30 mins they have the right to stick someone else there. :lol: :lol:

If only Paris had won the frigging OG!!!!!
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Re: analysis of the London stadium?

Postby mump boy » Wed May 09, 2012 1:17 am

The 'big' screens are tiny and the sound system is appalling
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Re: analysis of the London stadium?

Postby dunedine » Wed May 09, 2012 1:54 am

From what I've picked up around, the athletes loved it, the track is very fast, bends feel sweet and it's well screened against the winds as attested by wind-readings through the weekend. So I'm going to back their views.

The rest can be swiftly sorted out, that was just a test event particularly intended to get a first feel of how everything is running around the stadium so that procedures can be streamlined until the Olympics. After all, that's what a test event is mainly about.
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Re: analysis of the London stadium?

Postby IanS_Liv » Wed May 09, 2012 5:30 am

I'd go with Dunedine on the verdict on the track itself. Every comment I've seen from the athletes has been positive and the sprinters say it's very fast. There was a slight tailwind for the javelin throwers (I can never remember if that's good or bad).

Can't comment on the seating but August has been pretty wet the past couple of years ... Prob a fortune to be made flogging rain ponchos and Union flag umbrella hats this year.
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Re: analysis of the London stadium?

Postby Flumpy » Wed May 09, 2012 5:52 am

1 - Roof: There are vast swathes of the downstairs seating with no cover at all. It's almost certain that it will rain at some point during August. I can't understand what they were thinking, building a stadium with so little cover. It's England. People will be getting wet.

2 - Seating: Is REALLY shallow and thus seeing an overall view of the track is not really possible. It also means that you are a LONG way away from the track.

3 - Trackside: The distance from the track is not helped by the pointless waste of space between the seats and track on the home straight. It's fine to have the seating away from trackside if this area is being used for the jumps but in this case it's just a good 15m or more that being used for precisely nothing.

4 - Finishing Line: Is halfway through the mixed zone and press area. Basically people who have paid £700 to watch the finals for an eveninbg session will have to see who comes first on the....

5 - Screens: Which are tiny. Really, disgracefully small which is ridiculous in such a huge stadium with such bad sight lines and an inability to see the finish line.

6 - Sound: Maybe all the speakers weren't on or something but couldn't hear a word or what the commentators were saying in some parts of the stadium.

7 - Food: Didn't effect me as I didn't eat but a friend queued for an hour to get a hot chocolate. They didn't have all the food outlets open but they also didn't have a full stadium.

I'm a huge supporter of almost everything to do with the Olympics and don't like to be needlessly critical but to be honest i wasn't impressed at all with the stadium. I understand that there are going to be teething probs but these issues are not something that can be fixed after a test event but unfortunately permanent and I'm guessing something to do with any football club using it afterwards :x
Last edited by Flumpy on Wed May 09, 2012 7:20 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: analysis of the London stadium?

Postby TrackDaddy » Wed May 09, 2012 6:56 am

From the outside it looks like Beijing's Bird's Nest if it were to fall from the tree.
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Re: analysis of the London stadium?

Postby gh » Wed May 09, 2012 7:02 am

72 wrote:What the F do you need an analysis for.
The athletes don't give a damn about whether the seats and locations and facilities are "right", ideal or whatever,...


And at this point I don't give a damn about what the athletes think: this is a fan-oriented question. Those of you who come here tend to purport to be such, so you should have vested interest in this line of thought at every meet ever staged anywhere.

(and, of course, I care, because T&FN has a large number of tourists who will be there this summer)
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Re: analysis of the London stadium?

Postby Flumpy » Wed May 09, 2012 9:26 am

The very word 'Olympics' get's 72 frothing at the mouth.

best to ignore him.
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Re: analysis of the London stadium?

Postby kuha » Wed May 09, 2012 9:36 am

The most obvious lesson here: Watch the OG on TV; spend your money to attend a real (or perhaps "normal") athletics meet.
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Re: analysis of the London stadium?

Postby donley2 » Wed May 09, 2012 9:51 am

I am a slacker for many of the world travelers around these parts, I have been to one Olympics and two World Championships. If I ever go again it will almost certainly be to a World Champs. The ticket buying, security and assorted other hassles of an Olympics simply make it much more attractive to go to a World Champs.
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Re: analysis of the London stadium?

Postby Daisy » Wed May 09, 2012 9:53 am

donley2 wrote:If I ever go again it will almost certainly be to a World Champs.

I've been to my one Olympics and would far rather do world championship from now on too.
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Re: analysis of the London stadium?

Postby kuha » Wed May 09, 2012 10:42 am

I've said it before, but 1996 was the nail in my Olympics coffin--I'd be happy to go as someone's (anyone's!) VIP guest...but as a regular Joe-fan? Never, ever again. The hassle and cost aren't remotely worth it.
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Re: analysis of the London stadium?

Postby gh » Wed May 09, 2012 11:18 am

at this point, for most people the dictum should be what the Japanese say: everybody should climb Fujiyama.... once!

The Games is now just amateur hour all the way (other than once you're in the stadium).
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Re: analysis of the London stadium?

Postby Blues » Wed May 09, 2012 11:22 am

dunedine wrote:From what I've picked up around, the athletes loved it, the track is very fast, bends feel sweet and it's well screened against the winds as attested by wind-readings through the weekend. So I'm going to back their views.

The rest can be swiftly sorted out, that was just a test event particularly intended to get a first feel of how everything is running around the stadium so that procedures can be streamlined until the Olympics. After all, that's what a test event is mainly about.


This may have already been on the front page, but since the wind was mentioned, I posted it anyway. It's from Sunday's UK Guardian:

"Harry Aikines-Aryeetey, the former world junior 100m champion, was there, as was Holly Bleasdale, the British record holder in the pole vault. Jack Green was also running, and won the 400m hurdles in 50sec flat, and Robbie Grabarz took the high jump title with a leap of 2.26m. Neither Aikines-Aryeetey nor Bleasdale shone. He won the 100m in a time of 10.42sec and she came second to Kate Dennison on countback, after finishing with a best height of 4.35m. Both said the track was fast, and both interestingly, complained about the strong wind swirling around the stadium. "Unfortunately there is quite a strong crosswind, and the wind gauge isn't picking it up," Aikines-Aryeetey said."

"There was a bit of a headwind and it was quite swirly," Bleasdale said. "It was good to come and experience that ahead of the Games because I can be confident coming into it."


Aikines-Aryeetey agreed with Sophie Papps, who won the women's 100m in a personal best of 11.61sec, that the track was "very, very fast in comparison to most Mondo surfaces. Someone like Bolt will run fast on it."


http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/2012/ma ... test-event
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Re: analysis of the London stadium?

Postby lonewolf » Wed May 09, 2012 11:39 am

I have only attended one Olympics, Atlanta 1996, and that as a competiton official, which greatly simplified the logistics for me personally. I admired the perseverance and enthusiasm of the crowds who good-naturedly endured the hassle of getting there and the twice daily exodus and re-entry.. Granted, it was an awkward layout superimposed on a baseball field. I cannot speak to sightlines for every event venue from every point in the stadium but the competition facilities were, imo, first-class..
I have mixed emotions about the "sandbonies", the mechanical pit-leveling devices.. slow, space consuming, bothersome pit-side rail.. They did produce a beautiful, uniform pit surface; albeit, so aerated it seemed "hollow" with a tendency to crumble..
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Re: analysis of the London stadium?

Postby 72 » Wed May 09, 2012 12:01 pm

Flumpy, be a good chap and don't talk nonsense about the Olympics and me.You obviously dont understand my views on the whole Olympics shenanigans,, very mixed at best; you certainly are not as far as I know guru of athletics Stadium design and I have no doubt that the designers will recover from the blast of your multi disapproval.For one night I will get over small screens and poor sound, and the other bits of your disapproving post

I have watched the development every day from a bloody awful East London mess that should have been developed 30 years ago at least, to a sorely needed few extra facilities, park walks and some housing additions, medical centre etc..
.
As for the TFN fans, they are sooo lucky to be getting seats for all the sessions and their taxes didn't pay for this jamboree, either.
GH's comments last year about "thats the way it is for the host country" is cold comfort for so many who tried and were never going to get tickets ; if any of your countrymen are disappointed to here about the awful stadium they could always sell their tickets, I suppose .. :)

To me the Olympics is about a damn sight more than athletics; at least 3 other sports excite my equal attention, swimming, cycling,rowing etc.

I have paid a lot of money for my two tickets for the the last night of track and I dont care much about rather pompous comments about "mixed zone" and being able to see the whole track( I remember Athens when we also could not see lots from our back straight)
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Re: analysis of the London stadium?

Postby JumboElliott » Wed May 09, 2012 12:48 pm

72 wrote:What horrifies me is the cost of the whole thing ,just under half a billion pounds, I think LOCOG said £487 million . Bloody crazy!!!

For an American stadium in a major city, that's cheap!
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Re: analysis of the London stadium?

Postby Trackrunner » Wed May 09, 2012 12:59 pm

Was the bird's nest the best stadium ever? From my tv viewing vantage point it was a beautiful thing. The London stadium looks ok from the pics I've seen but there is little wow factor apart from the fact that it looks new and has a modern design.
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Re: analysis of the London stadium?

Postby dunedine » Wed May 09, 2012 3:37 pm

Blues wrote:
dunedine wrote:From what I've picked up around, the athletes loved it, the track is very fast, bends feel sweet and it's well screened against the winds as attested by wind-readings through the weekend. So I'm going to back their views.

The rest can be swiftly sorted out, that was just a test event particularly intended to get a first feel of how everything is running around the stadium so that procedures can be streamlined until the Olympics. After all, that's what a test event is mainly about.


This may have already been on the front page, but since the wind was mentioned, I posted it anyway. It's from Sunday's UK Guardian:

"Harry Aikines-Aryeetey, the former world junior 100m champion, was there, as was Holly Bleasdale, the British record holder in the pole vault. Jack Green was also running, and won the 400m hurdles in 50sec flat, and Robbie Grabarz took the high jump title with a leap of 2.26m. Neither Aikines-Aryeetey nor Bleasdale shone. He won the 100m in a time of 10.42sec and she came second to Kate Dennison on countback, after finishing with a best height of 4.35m. Both said the track was fast, and both interestingly, complained about the strong wind swirling around the stadium. "Unfortunately there is quite a strong crosswind, and the wind gauge isn't picking it up," Aikines-Aryeetey said."

"There was a bit of a headwind and it was quite swirly," Bleasdale said. "It was good to come and experience that ahead of the Games because I can be confident coming into it."


Aikines-Aryeetey agreed with Sophie Papps, who won the women's 100m in a personal best of 11.61sec, that the track was "very, very fast in comparison to most Mondo surfaces. Someone like Bolt will run fast on it."


http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/2012/ma ... test-event


First of all, the person who wrote this article clearly shows very little idea of what is early season competition or competing in temperatures between 5 to 11 - at best - Celsius, thus his overall views over the performances of some athletes.

Jack Green was knocked off his stride pattern due to the track being faster than he expected, let alone the biting 6 C during the race, so was reduced to that 50 secs dead otherwise he would have run around 49 low - according to his own words at that. And I believe him.

Most athletes are still under heavy training and therefore heavy-legged which accounts for the slower times of some like HAA, though he is among very few to have expressed such views about the wind.

Nevertheless, since many times journalists distort athletes statements to their own purposes, with thousands of instances available, I feel tempted to ask HAA himself over that.

If there was such a crosswind, that would have particularly affected athletes over 400/400mh and yet many finalists shattered their PBs even in bitterly cold conditions - so how the journalist in question explains that? - and the likes of Andrew Pozzi, Lawrence Clarke and Sophie Papps ran well beyond anywhere they had been before.
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Re: analysis of the London stadium?

Postby tandfman » Wed May 09, 2012 6:35 pm

gh wrote:Only the very back rows under an overhang, so if there's any precip....

Also said the seat pitch is horridly shallow, making for seeing of the backs of a lot of heads rather than the track.

because it's circular, track close to the stands at the ends, but both straightaways apparently far-far removed from the seats.

Probably great for soccer though!

Seat pitch seems much more shallow in the lower deck than the upper. (See the picture in the photo gallery now posted in the front page headline section.) Upper deck is also better protected from the precip. The front of the upper deck is exposed, but at least half of it is under cover.

Soccer people say that no stadium with a track around the soccer pitch is great for soccer. Especially with the exterior horizontal runways on the backstretch and the podium on the exterior of the track on the homestretch, the infield is much too far from the stands to be considered ideal for soccer.
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Re: analysis of the London stadium?

Postby Jnathletics » Wed May 09, 2012 8:25 pm

Sorry, I can't say I've been to an Olympics. Been in a few Olympic stadiums, including the originals 1896 and BC. I went to Atlanta for the trials, so I guess my opinion wouldn't be that good since you could move around and see everything. (Didn't need to stay in your assigned seat.) Plus, I'm a backstraight person born and raised. So, Atlanta was pretty good from those points as you could get right up close to the track if you wanted too. Had front row seats to the start of the 200m finals. :D Atlanta fixed some seating issues after their test and IOC prez criticizing the baseball layout. My biggest complaint is I don't think the Olympic flame should be a temporary structure apart from the stadium and taken down after the games. Makes it feel like a cheap circus, rather then an inspirational global attraction.

As for future stadium designs, I'm hoping to get more involved in them. So, keep posting issues. As I can use it for research. 8-)
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Re: analysis of the London stadium?

Postby tm71 » Wed May 09, 2012 9:49 pm

"There was a bit of a headwind and it was quite swirly," Bleasdale said. "It was good to come and experience that ahead of the Games because I can be confident coming into it."

so much for bolt and blake running 9.4 and 19 flat as some have predicted here!

btw i went to the olympic stadium in atlanta for the grand prix test meet in may and other than the hot and humid weather i was able to enjoy the meet as much as anyone i have been to in the last 30 yrs. i wanted to go to the trials, but my work conflicted and did not make it for the final weekend as i wanted to. i did not go to the olympics and i am glad i did not have to put with the long lines and side shows. my parents went to athens in 2004 and even though they were on the upper deck backstretch they both said they had a good view and enjoyed the experience.
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Re: analysis of the London stadium?

Postby Vault-emort » Wed May 09, 2012 10:45 pm

gh wrote:the dictum should be what the Japanese say: everybody should climb Fujiyama.... once!

Totally agree. I'm glad I restricted myself to just one session of aths in Sydney (fortunately the Cathy & Geb night - the best night of track and field I am likely to see in my life) and was happy to watch most of the rest at home in comfort with cheap beer and snacks. It was a thrill though to go to every day of the test event (the Aussie trials) at the Olympic stadium. Probably the last time I'll see crowds of over 20,000 for a national track meet downunder...

I had reasonably good seats at the Olympics and finish-line seating for the trials but friends who had 'bleeder' seats at the Olympics had no complaints about their viewing - and that was in a 105-110 thousand seater stadium (is that still a record?).
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Re: analysis of the London stadium?

Postby krakatoa » Thu May 10, 2012 3:12 am

I'm pretty much in line with the rest of the critical comments on the stadium. I made a visit during the "test" event and thought It's very badly designed and actually looks cheap (which it wasn't) and temporary (which it is) because they intend tearing down at least the top tier and it will also have to undergo massive alterations to prepare it as a football stadium with only a few days each year allowed for track and field! (on another forum someone thought it looked like it was designed by IKEA as a flat pack assembly!)

I think a lot of people who managed to get tickets (most horrendously priced out of all proportion to previous Olympics) are going to be severely disappointed with their deal, especially the British public who've shelled out around £10billion in taxes to pay for it. Long queues to get in, poor facilities, no own drinks or food allowed in, excessively high prices for on-site food and drink, no rain shelter for 80% of the spectators, small stadium screens, poor sound system and for many a very long way from the action.

I hear that many volunteers are now re-thinking taking on the job and will walk away. Apparently, shifts are up to 12 hours long some ending at 2am. No arrangement has been made to accommodate any of these ("can't you stay with relatives living nearby" has been quoted from LOCOG) and of course they're all expected to do it for the love of the Olympics, never mind that the people who put it on, including the 'illustrious' Lord Coe, are raking in hundreds of thousands of £pounds in salaries, consultancies, fees and bonuses while 78.0000 poor sods do it all for nothing and without whom it couldn't happen!

Then there's the massive security. Ground to air missiles are being put in place to apparently deter or defend against any possible aircraft high-jack endangering the Olympic Stadium. So what are they going to do if a plane comes in? Shoot it down over London? Keep the VIP's safe in the stadium but presumably those in London are expendable as huge flaming ball of wreckage rains down somewhere else? How totally ridiculous!
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Re: analysis of the London stadium?

Postby krakatoa » Thu May 10, 2012 3:31 am

And I should add, not only are all funded British athletes contractually bound to only be positive about the sport, including the Olympic Games and their own governing body, UK Athletics under threat of losing their funding, but the press are also wary of being critical because their accreditation to be at the Games is subject to LOCOG's approval. The Daily Mail has already been banned from any UK Athletics press conferences and events for daring to ask pertinent questions of one of the conveniently imported Brits (usually referred to as "plastic Brits") Big Brother reigns in our new Eastern Block!
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Re: analysis of the London stadium?

Postby chuku69 » Thu May 10, 2012 11:53 am

I thought the wrap around the stadium was supposed to be completed already.
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Re: analysis of the London stadium?

Postby John G » Fri May 11, 2012 4:17 am

I went to Atlanta (appalling transport, long queues, terrible food, ignorant spectators and horrible temporary seating) and Sydney (long journeys to and from stadium and seats a mile from the action). None of that mattered one little bit. I was actually watching the friggin Olympics. With my own eyes. As it happened. I was pinching myself during every session - hardly able to believe my good fortune.

I've got tickets this time again courtesy of TFN Tours. I'm like a kid waiting for the ultimate Christmas and dont care how long the queues are or how hard the seats are or what crap fast food I need to eat or how far away I am from the action. I'll be there and I'll cherish every moment.

My Dad's also going (he got tickets through the BASC). He's just the sort of cynical old git who, in the past would have been writing all the stuff in the previous posts. He would have certainly been telling anyone who'd listen that the tickets were overpriced, the view was going to be crap and he'd rather watch at home without all those annoying people around him who didn't know anything about athletics. However, he's got terminal cancer and that focusses the mind on what's really important. Sadly he won't be around for very much longer but on his death bed we'll be able to talk about the atmosphere when Mo did his victory lap. The fact he saw the finish from 100m away and it was raining won't matter one little bit.
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Re: analysis of the London stadium?

Postby Daisy » Fri May 11, 2012 7:20 am

John G wrote:I've got tickets this time again courtesy of TFN Tours.

Did you have to buy the whole package for them? I was thinking of going that route but didn't need the hotel or the plane.
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Re: analysis of the London stadium?

Postby gh » Fri May 11, 2012 10:18 am

analysis from an American friend who was there:

<<Lower deck seating is shallow and far away from the track on the straights, with lousy perspective for athletics. I’m told these are A and AA category tickets [which means that once again, they've had a moron in charge of figuring where the best track views are; the good news is that if you you didn't splurge on the high-end tix you were probably better off].

Most surprising was the number of seats not covered by the stadium roof. In the lower deck, the first 20 of about 24 rows are not under cover. In the upper deck, the first 5-6 rows will also get wet in the rain. Upper deck seats have better sightlines, but are far away as well.

The stadium looked to be about 70% full for the test event. Security lines were a breeze. I walked right through, no waiting. Queues for concessions, though, were extremely long.

On the plus side, access is easy and there is a huge Westfield shopping mall attached to the Stratford tube station, with tons of shopping, restaurants, fast food outlets, coffee shops, etc. The restaurants and food court were open past 10:30 pm on the night of the test event, so I’d assume they’ll have late hours during the Games as well. It’s an easy 10-minute walk from the tube station to the Olympic Park entrance and another 10 minutes to the Olympic stadium (assuming no waiting in security). >>
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Re: analysis of the London stadium?

Postby Conor Dary » Fri May 11, 2012 11:00 am

Amazing analysis. Sounds like a spectator disaster. Did Coe even get involved in the planning? Does he care?

No wonder Ovett moved to Australia.
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