London, UK
label olympic rings

80 000

White City Stadium

Many years White City Stadium was one of the largest stadiums in Britain. It was built for the 1908 Olympic Games and is often seen as the precursor to the modern seated stadium, being the first of all Olympic stadia to be purpose-built for the Games.

This stadium was built after the city of Rome, where the 1908 Olympics had initially been awarded, but because of some financial problems, the Games were moved to London.

Designed by the engineer J.J. Webster and then completed by George Wimpey, the stadium was opened by King Edward VII on 27 April 1908. It was built from steel frames filled with fireproof concrete and plaster slabs and was filled with examples of Far Eastern, Arabic, Gothic, Greek, British and European architecture, canals, lagoons, gardens, a fairground and a diverse variety of exhibitions.

The stadium boasted a capacity of 150,000; 68,000 of which was seated and 17,000 covered, with a swimming and diving pool and platforms for wrestling and gymnastics in the infield. White City Stadium, which went on to become a greyhound racing and speedway track, hosted various sports, such as: swimming and diving, cycling, fencing, gymnastics, wrestling and archery, the tug of war and water polo and the two weeks of Games concluded with the marathon.

It fell into disuse after the Olympic Games, but was taken over in 1927 by the Greyhound Racing Association. This stadium was also the centre of British athletics from 1932 to 1971, when a new base for the sport was established in Crystal Palace.

By the 1980s the stadium was almost solely used for dog races and it was demolished in 1984 to make way for additional buildings, but remained and nowadays an important page in the world of sport history.