Lights go up at the new Stadium

Installation of the first of 14 brand new floodlight towers to the former Olympic Stadium has begun. The famous floodlights of the 2012 Games are soon to illuminate the Stratford skyline once more, as they are secured into place at West Ham United's stunning new home. 

They will retain their iconic triangular design but hang inverted below the Stadium's new roof, providing tremendous illumination to the field of play and ensuring the unmistakable atmosphere of watching the Hammers under the lights will continue. The new floodlight paddles will each house between eight and 41 lamps, many of which are original lamps that shone over the Stadium during London 2012.

Each floodlight measures 18 metres in length and weighs 45 tonnes - that's twice the length of an old London Routemaster and almost six times as heavy. Unsurprisingly therefore, lifting each floodlight into place is a huge mechanical feat, taking up to 12 hours in total for each light.

Club Ambassador and West Ham stalwart Tony Carr MBE visited the Stadium to see the first light going up and was stunned at the project's scale. 

"We've all seen the light panels as they were during the Olympics, they were such a big part of the iconic look of the Stadium, so it's quite something to see them up close," he said. 

"It's an exciting moment, just being here you can see how striking the lights will look when they are all in place and switched on, sitting under the new roof. 

"I have not been to the Stadium for nearly two years and it's really changed since then, it's quite incredible to see the transformation so far. The roof makes such a difference and you can see the halo building, where the turnstiles, catering and other facilities will be, is nearly finished.

"This is the first time I have been in the Stadium when the running track has been covered over too and that really does change everything. Being there in the stand, looking out I could honestly picture it, with a match in full swing and fans singing away.

"It's going to be sad to leave the Boleyn Ground, I personally have so many special memories of the place but I know what this move will do for the Club and I'm genuinely excited about seeing the Stadium fully transformed. I think we are going to have a ground that we can be really proud to call home."

As work began on the floodlight towers, the steel frame for the halo that surrounds the base of the Stadium has been completed. This structure will contain 96 turnstiles, 33 catering outlets and close to 1,000 toilets. Time lapse cameras have captured footage of the work undertaken to complete the halo's steel frame as well as many other elements of the Stadium's transformation you can view all the progress here.