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Last Updated: Friday, 16 January, 2004, 13:12 GMT
London 2012 venue: Wembley
An artist's impression of the new Wembley
Football finals

The new Wembley has been a long time in coming.

Like the Picketts Lock fiasco, the delays that beset the project were a major blow to Britain's standing on the international sporting stage.

But London's 2012 bid team hope that will be forgotten when the International Olympic Committee casts its final vote, with the new 757m Wembley set to open next year.

The 90,000-seater stadium - complete with sliding roof - would be used to stage the Olympic football finals after a competition with matches around the UK.

British Olympic chiefs have even been looking into the possibility of entering a British football team on a one-off basis for 2012.

The new Wembley is on the site of the old stadium, which hosted the Olympics in 1948 and the 1966 World Cup final.

It will have 500 catering outlets - including the four biggest restaurants in London - and 2,000 toilets.

Its surface area will be double that of Sydney's Stadium Australia, the 1km concourse will be the width of a four-lane motorway and every seat will have more legroom than the old Royal Box.

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