West Ham United are celebrating another landmark step en route to the Olympic Stadium, with preparations now underway to facilitate the venue's magnificent new roof.

With the stunning conversion of the iconic arena moving on apace, the first of 14 floodlight panels are to be removed later this week, such that construction of the new roof, twice the size of the original, can begin in earnest next spring.

This is but one of a series of fundamental changes that are to be implemented prior to 2016, transforming a world-class athletics arena into a state-of-the-art, UEFA Category four football Stadium.

West Ham United Vice-Chairman Karren Brady explained: "This marks a key milestone in the stunning, multi-million pound transformation of the Olympic Stadium - one that will culminate in an iconic new home for our Club.

"My team and I fought exceptionally hard on behalf of our supporters to ensure these modifications, which we knew were of paramount importance to our supporters, took effect.

"The roof is a truly phenomenal design that will enhance the iconic status of this sporting arena and help to lock in the world-famous atmosphere that our supporters create when we play at home.

"There will also be an innovative seating solution that will bring fans closer to the pitch, new hospitality areas and a bespoke Ticket Office and Club Store.

"It was vital for us that this Stadium offers an incredible viewing experience for West Ham United fans and I think that will become ever clearer as the conversion progresses.

"We're wholly committed to delivering a state-of-the-art home for West Ham United by 2016 that will honour the Olympic legacy pledge. Today represents another significant step toward that hugely exciting goal."

Olympic Stadium Transformation

Measuring 84 metres at its deepest point, the world's longest cantilevered roof will cover every single seat, thereby locking in the world-famous atmosphere that West Ham have long been known to create.

Additionally, floodlights suitable for a football stadium will become a fully integrated feature of the new roof, incorporating the existing lighting system. The new floodlights will retain the look of the iconic triangular design made famous during the 2012 Olympic Games.

While the roof will augment the acoustics and protect spectators from the elements, the innovative seating solution allows intimate pitch-side views, as well as the retention of a running track to honour the nation's Olympic legacy pledge.

Work to construct the 45,000sq metres roof is set to be completed by spring 2015, prior to the fit-out of concessions, toilets, turnstiles and hospitality areas.

The Olympic Stadium will firstly play host to five 2015 Rugby World Cup matches, before becoming the Hammers' permanent home the following summer.

In the interim, a bespoke Ticket Office and Club Store are to be constructed, while the most important items from our current home will make the short journey with us to help fans, players and staff to settle in as quickly as possible.