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London Olympics turf protection

London 2012 Olympics


Track and Stadium Turf Protection for the World’s Largest Sporting Event

In July 2020 amid a global pandemic and a pause in global sports action, the BBC featured “Britain’s Greatest Olympic Moments” from Beijing 2008, London 2012, and Rio 2016. Rewind highlights included reliving the excitement and national pride from the London 2012 Opening Ceremony, directed by Danny Boyle.

Signature Systems’ EU & EMEA Director Tony Booth remembers the day with pride after months of preparation to provide ground protection for 27 venues across London, including deploying stadium turf protection inside the entire Olympic Stadium in less than 24 hours for the Opening Ceremony.

“The incredible scale of the contract and the tight deadlines all took a monumental effort from the entire team,” Booth says. “Under a huge amount of pressure, we delivered what would turn out to be the largest overlay contract in history as it related to the trackway. Relationships were forged that will never diminish, and it was a truly challenging but very rewarding experience.”

Signature re-created the M25, the motorway that encircles Greater London, within the stadium for the brilliant pageantry of the opening show, which received rave reviews from spectators and organizers alike.

“The whole of the UK and the wider world were universal in praising our productions. Making these events happen took an extraordinary amount of hard work, dedication, patience, and flexibility. Signature Systems played a key role for us and was instrumental in delivering the fantastic result. You should be very proud of your contribution — thank you.


“[Signature] delivered a flexible and robust system which completely protected the Mondo running track from cranes, trucks, forklifts ... horses and geese.”

— Piers Shepperd, London 2012 Ceremonies, Limited Technical Director



The Project: Olympic and Paralympic Games

The Location: London, England

The Challenge: Ground protection, pedestrian, and vehicle trackway systems for 27 sports venues across London

The Need:

  • World-class playing surface protection for running track, natural and synthetic turf, farmland, historic parks
  • Safe access for athletes, vendors, coaches, hundreds of thousands of spectators
  • Drivable surface for massive cranes, fully-loaded lorries, forklifts , and other vehicles for setup and removal
  • Rapid setup and removal to stay on a precise schedule
  • Guaranteed source of supply for ever-changing and evolving planning
  • Multipurpose event applications
  • Reusable protection amid tight security

The Solution: MegaDeck®, ArmorDeck®, EventDeck® Ultra and DuraDeck®

The Stats:

  • 196,951 pieces of trackway issued
  • 1,866,505 square feet of trackway installed
  • If the total quantity of DuraDeck used was laid lengthwise, it would equal 26.2 miles (42.195 km), or one Olympic marathon
  • The combined length of the quantity used of ArmorDeck was 458 miles (or 737 km)
  • 35,291 total crew hours worked for the equivalent of 4 years, 11 days

Timelapse video of installation, Opening Ceremony celebration and trackway removal


Let us help you execute a spectacular event