Open for business

Monday 19 Mar 2007

Wembley Stadium finally opens its doors......

Finally the whistle has blown on the construction work and this week saw London’s new Wembley Stadium open for business. Amongst much fanfare and hoo-ha the UK’s icon of international football has at last hosted its first game. The stadium was however, delivered over a year late at twice the estimated budget and has been immersed in bitter controversy since its concept. Do we just have to accept that we are not capable of accurately budgeting for large projects? The painful birth of this large venue, set against the backdrop of the huge 2012 Games budget row, does not bode well for the reputation of the UK construction industry. So why do we get it so wrong? Stadiums have been built before… should we have not been able to forecast the cost within the accepted limits? Of course as any London taxi driver will tell you, and rest assured they do, it can be done, the Emirates football stadium, also in London and even by the same designers and builders, HOK Sport and McAlpine was delivered on time and on budget. But let’s not underestimate the achievement of Wembley. This project by any standards is huge. Catering for 90,000 spectators it (importantly) has no less than 60 bars and (even more importantly) has 2,618 toilets which apparently had to be flushed simultaneously as part of the testing. So litigious was this project that most of the companies full article

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Sport in architecture
United Kingdom

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