London Stadium Seating Relocation

Project Data


QEOP / London Stadium

Access Value



Seating Relocation



Construction Value



Specialist Scaffolding

Main Contractor

PHD Access



The careful dismantling and re-erection of the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park (QEOP) stadium structure using a number of different plant, trades, and skills. PHD Access have an established track record of undertaking complex dismantling operations, following our involvement with this seating transition since 2015.


PHD were responsible for reconfiguring the lower bowl seating into the various venue modes (Pitch, concert, athletics etc). This allowed the venue to facilitate a wide range of events from football through to concerts and athletics with cricket and baseball suggested as possible events in the future.

A typical single reconfiguration is undertaken in 10 days, with upwards of 100 operatives working 3 shifts, 24 hours a day including weekends and public holidays. We have a fleet of 4 cabs and 12 trailers transporting the various components to and from a 2-acre local storage facility we hold under license. We mobilise 3 x 100 tonne cranes, 9 Manitou’s and forklifts and 50 MEWPS.

The seating transition at the London Stadium consisted of the reconfiguration of 20,000 seats, that required the co-ordination of a number of specialist “air-skating” and lifting operations. These systems utilise compressed air under high pressure to lift the stand on cushions and allow it to be carefully guided into position with a mechanical assistance. This has not only reduced the overall duration of the seating move but has also reduced the amount of high risk activities, such as craneage and work at height.

High-risk Programme, Short Time Scales

The works at the London stadium were formed of 3 phases, that were all inter-linked. The project firstly developed a cost loaded master programme allowing the client to forecast and track project costs. This master programme was further supplemented with a detailed hour-by-hour programme for each phase accompanied with time slice graphics, providing both the client and site team a clear working programme.

Due to the intensity of the works, PHD Access provided the client with a daily dashboard report and programme update during the transition phase, thereby allowing the project team a clear and up to date status report.

Impeccable Safety Record

PHD Access’s recent works at the London stadium had a workforce of over 400 operatives during peak period, working on 24-hour basis. This was combined with multiple plant movements and up to five mobile cranes operating within the stadium bowl, whilst allowing the stadium to maintain its daily business with around 200 staff on site per day.

The project team successfully completed the project without any health and safety incidents, clocking up over 330,000 man-hours.


Logistics were a significant challenge during the transitions as the venue remains operational throughout. As such there is a requirement for significant public interface and engagement. In addition, the requirements of various other venue stakeholders had to be co-ordinated. These included but
were not limited to the venue operator, concert promoters and UK Athletics.

We worked collaboratively alongside the various groups to avoid a scenario where conflicting requirements would detract from the venue experience.
With the programme of works being over a 5-year duration a robust ‘lessons learnt’ procedures were implemented to drive efficiency throughout the contract life cycle.

Following each transition, a full ‘lessons learnt’ work shop is undertaken; this has in the past highlighted items in relation to sequencing, distribution of labour and even the colour of hard hats for various operatives. Ultimately this will lead to a more cost and time effective project each year, generating a saving for the client.