Design unveiled for showcase stadium for 2012 Games

LONDON -- London organizers unveiled the design Wednesday of
the showpiece venue for the 2012 Olympics -- an 80,000-seat, $1
billion stadium for track and field events and the opening and
closing ceremonies.

The design includes a sunken bowl featuring permanent seating
for 25,000 spectators, with the remaining 55,000 seats in a
temporary structure at the top.

After the Olympics, the stadium, surrounded by water on three
sides, will be converted to a 25,000-seat arena for track and

Food and drink stands will be located in separate "pods'' just
outside the main structure. The Olympic flame might not be attached
to the stadium itself, but placed just north of the venue, design
chief Rod Sheard said.

The stadium will have a roof covering about two thirds of the
seating areas.

Construction will begin next year and finish by the summer of

"The stadium will stand for everything we talked about in the
bid: it will be inspiring, innovative and sustainable,'' organizing
committee chairman Sebastian Coe said.