This year’s British Athletics London Grand Prix will take place at the Olympic Stadium on July 27 to mark the first anniversary of the opening of London 2012, it has been confirmed January 24.
As reported by insidethegames last week, the high profile event, part of the prestigious International Association of Athletics Federation’s (IAAF) Diamond League circuit, will move from its originally scheduled location of Crystal Palace in South London to the Olympic Stadium in Stratford.
The meeting was due to be a two-day competition on July 26 and 27, but that plan has now been scrapped in favor of the one-day event at the Olympic Stadium after it was officially confirmed by the London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC) and British Athletics..
The move is made possible because Mayor of London Boris Johnson, the Legacy Company chairman, has responsibility for both venues.
“What better way to mark the anniversary of the tremendous London 2012 Opening Ceremony than to see this Stadium packed again as the world’s top athletes compete in this unique series,” he said. “After last summer’s amazing Games we can now see the Stadium’s legacy emerging as a top venue for both international sport and entertainment. I am ever confident that in the coming years we can look forward to seeing Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park staging a wide range of major events with their organizers and audiences drawn by its perfect location and unrivaled facilities.”
Earlier this week the Legacy Company announced a deal with Live Nation to stage major concerts at the Olympic Park this summer.
The news to hold the Diamond League at the Olympics has been backed by some of Britain’s most high-profile athletes, including London 2012 Olympic 5,000 and 10,000 meters champion Mo Farah, who believes it will be the perfect preparation for the World Athletics Championships in Moscow, which are due to start on August 10.
“It’s fantastic that the British Athletics London Grand Prix is going to be held at the Olympic Stadium in July,” Farah said. “The atmosphere was electric during the Games, I’ll never forget it, so it’s great that the British fans, and athletes, will get to experience that again so soon after the Games. It’ll be perfect preparation for the World Championships in August.”
London 2012 Olympic heptathlon champion Jessica Ennis has also expressed her delight.
“It is brilliant to hear that the British Athletics London GP is going to be held at the Olympic Stadium a year after the Games,” she said. “It will give athletes and fans who did not get to experience the amazing venue the chance to go there, and for those of us who had the most incredible experiences on the track and field, an opportunity to re-live a few memories. Hopefully I will be there and using the competition as part of my preparation for the World Championships.”
UK Athletics has revealed that people who have purchased tickets for the originally planned Crystal Palace event will receive a full refund as the tickets cannot be transferred to the Olympic Stadium. But, they will be given first opportunity to purchase seats for the newly rescheduled event when they go on sale.
“Those holding tickets for the event originally planned for Crystal Palace will begin receiving a refund from Ticketmaster with immediate effect from today,” said a UK Athletics statement. “This is because it is not possible to transfer the tickets that have been already purchased for Crystal Palace across to the new venue. However, those ticketholders will receive the first opportunity to purchase seats at the Olympic Stadium when the tickets go on sale, with a special priority booking period ring-fenced ahead of general sale.”
To register for tickets for the British Athletics London Grand Prix click here.
Contact the writer of this story at firstname.lastname@example.org. Inside the Games is a blog of the London Organizing Committee that oversaw the recent Summer Olympics. Its writers continue to report on issues affecting the Olympic movement. This article is reprinted here with permission from the editors.