Work to transform the former Maze prison site is set to get under way next month, the DUP has said.
How the Maze site could look under the new proposals
Party assembly member Edwin Poots, chairman of the Maze Panel, said demolition work would begin within weeks.
The government's proposals for the 360 acre site near Lisburn include a multi-sports stadium and "centre for conflict transformation".
A competition has been launched to build the 42,000-seater stadium.
As well as the outdoor stadium, the plan also features an indoor stadium, a hotel, equestrian arena and land for housing and industry.
Mr Poots said the first stage of work would leave 180 acres of the site completely cleared and the demolition of the infamous H-Blocks and prison wall would begin next year.
"If Northern Ireland is to succeed in hosting any aspect of the 2012 Olympics by having a national stadium and sporting centre of excellence in place there is an imperative for the ground work to start now," said Mr Poots.
"The Maze Panel recognises there is an historic opportunity to leave a lasting legacy to the people of Northern Ireland that everyone can support and, as work commences, it is vital that momentum is not lost and those involved in this project remain focused and committed to achieving the 2012 target date."