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- 16 January 2014 00:00
- in Olympics
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The Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in Stratford is set to fully open on April 5th, 2014 in a move that will allow the public to view the south of the Park for the first time since the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Parts of the Park began from July 2013 and more than a million visitors have already enjoyed it since then at events that include the concerts and the Sainsbury’s Anniversary Games at the Olympic Stadium.
The Copper Box Arena was the first venue to fully open on the Park last year and has it has already had more than 100,000 visitors to events such as basketball matches featuring the London Lions.
The April 5th date will signal the full opening of the Park where visitors will be able to enjoy beautiful parklands, fountains and waterways, world-class sporting venues, arts and events and children’s play areas.
The Park will also feature four walking trails where visitors can explore the key sights of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, enjoy the Park’s biodiversity and landscaping, take part in educational walks and discover art installations across the Park.
"Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park has delivered an astonishing legacy and reopening the south part of the park will delight thousands of Londoners and visitors to our city,” said Mayor of London Boris Johnson.
"No other Olympic city has come close to London’s success in delivering a lasting legacy of sporting venues, jobs, homes and simply wonderful park lands.”
Visitors to the Park can experience views from the ArcelorMittal Orbit – the UK’s tallest sculpture at 114.5 metres that offers a totally new perspective of London.
From March 1, the Aquatics Centre will open its doors for the first time since the Games, hosting a series of events, galas and public swimming and diving sessions.
The Aquatics Centre has two 50 metre pools, a diving pool and a newly installed gym while it will host the 2014 FINA/NVC Diving World Series in April and the 2016 European Swimming Championships.
The Lee Valley VeloPark will also open in March where it will be home to road, track, BMX and mountain biking: the first time these four disciplines of cycling have ever met in one venue anywhere in the world.
It will feature everything from learn to ride programmes to major championships such as the grande finale of the Revolution Track Cycling Series on 14 and 15 March.
Meanwhile the Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre will open in May 2014 and boast four indoor and six outdoor tennis courts as well as two of the best hockey pitches in the country that can be used by both the local community and elite players in international tournaments such as the Investec London Cup 2014, the NEC Wheelchair Tennis Masters 2014-2016 and the European Hockey Championships 2015.
Work is also underway to transform the Olympic Stadium in to a multi-use venue.
It will be the permanent home of West Ham United Football Club from 2016 and the new national competition stadium for athletics in the UK.
The venue will host five matches as part of the Rugby World Cup 2015 and the 2017 IAAF World Championships and 2017 IPC World Athletics Championships.
"The opening of the south Park is a huge moment in our vision to create a new heart of east London,” said London Legacy Development Corporation CEO Dennis Hone.
"With beautiful parklands and waterways, and world-class sporting facilities the Park will become a must-visit destination for everyone – local people and visitors alike. We would encourage everyone to come and explore more from 5 April.”