White City Stadium
White City Stadium (originally The Great Stadium) was built in White City, London, for the 1908 Summer Olympics, often seen as the precursor to the modern seater stadium and noted for hosting the finish of the first modern distance marathon. It also hosted speedway and a match at the 1966 World Cup, before the stadium was demolished in 1985,sx it is the only Olympic stadium to be demolished however Wembley Stadium was rebuilt.

Completed in 10 months by George Wimpey, it was opened by King Edward VII on 27 April 1908. The cost of construction was £60,000. Upon completion, the stadium had a running track 24 ft wide (7.3 m) and three laps to the mile (536 m); outside it was a 35-foot-wide (11 m), 660-yard (600 m) cycle track. The infield included a swimming and diving pool. The original running track continued until 1914. There were attempts to sell the stadium in 1922, but several athletes in the team for the 1924 Summer Olympics used it for training. Many events of the 1908 Olympics were at the stadium itself (except for several football games hosted at Shepherds Bush Green), whereas nowadays there are many arenas. The Olympic rugby union final between Australia and Great Britain ( Cornwall) was held in the stadium on 26 October 1908 and events such as archery and gymnastics took place at White City, while some others took place at Queens Club. The stadium was constructed to seat 68,000, built for the Franco-British Exhibition and was considered a technological marvel. It is viewed as the first modern-seater stadium but could hold more than 130,000 standing with large swathes of terracing. From 1927, the track was grassed over for greyhound racing and speedway, while in 1931, a 440yd running track was installed for the Amateur Athletic Association Championships, held there from 1932 to 1970. Also in 1931, Queens Park Rangers F.C. began the first of two spells playing at the stadium, until 1933 (the second spell was from 1962”“63). QPR eventually decided against a permanent move to White City and stayed at Loftus Road. The 1934 British Empire Games were held at the venue. The position of the finish line is commemorated by a marker in the plaza that now stands there " part of the reason the Marathon is 26 miles 385 yards. The medal table for the 1908 Summer Olympics is also listed on a nearby wall. Photographing either is not allowed without prior permission. Between 1932 and 1958 the stadium hosted major British boxing events, with attendances peaking as high as 90,000 for the second meeting between Len Harvey and Jack Petersen in 1934. The first major fight at the stadium was Len Harvey’s unsuccessful challenge for the NBA Middleweight Championship versus Marcel Thil of France. Future heavyweight champion Primo Carnera suffered his only defeat on British soil here when he lost to Canadian Larry Gains in May 1932. Other important fighters to appear at White City include Jock McAvoy, Don Cockell, Nino Valdez, Henry Cooper and Terry Downes. In 1933, Wigan Highfield, a rugby league side, nearly became bankrupt. White City Company, owners of the stadium, decided to move the club to White City. Previously, only rugby union had been popular in southern England, professional rugby league being the preserve of northern towns and cities. Wigan Highfield became London Highfield with their debts paid. Their first try was scored by George "Porky" Davies, who went on to play for Liverpool Stanley and then St. Helens from 1938 to 1947. The White City Company lost money on the venture and decided not to continue with rugby league. London Highfield was the precursor to Harlequins Rugby League, the current rugby league club in London. The stadium features in the climax to the 1950 film The Blue Lamp . It also appears in an episode, named "Man From the Dead", of 1960s television spy series Man in a Suitcase , and was used in the 1973 film Steptoe and Son Ride Again . In 1966, Wembley's owner's refusal to cancel regular greyhound racing meant the match between Uruguay and France in the 1966 FIFA World Cup was played at White City. Some sections of the video for The Human League single " Life On Your Own" were shot in the stadium in 1984 just a few months before its demolition. The stadium was the location of a famous public outburst by Ray Davies of The Kinks during a July 1973 performance. Davies swore onstage, and at the show's conclusion, as pretaped music played on the sound system, declared his retirement from the group. He subsequently collapsed after a drug overdose and was rushed to hospital. He would eventually recover and return to recording with The Kinks. From 1976 until 1978, the stadium was home to White City Rebels speedway team. The stadium was demolished in 1985 for BBC White City. The Pogues made a song about the stadium and its demolition, called "White City". It can be found on their 1989 album Peace and Love .

Possible new stadium
In the first years of the 21st century there were rumours that a 42,000-seat stadium might be built, possibly for Fulham alone or to share with QPR. This would have been near White City tube station. By 2005 this was not expected to proceed.


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