The National Sports Centre at Crystal Palace in south London, England is a large sports centre and athletics stadium. It was opened in 1964 in Crystal Palace Park, close to the site of the former Crystal Palace Exhibition building which had been destroyed by fire in 1936, and is on the same site as the former FA Cup Final venue which was used here between 1895 and 1914.
It was one of the five National Sports Centres, run on behalf of Sport England, but responsibility was transferred to the London Development Agency (now GLA Land and Property) and is managed by Greenwich Leisure Limited, under their Better brand logo.
The sports centre building was designed by the LCC Architects Department under Sir Leslie Martin between 1953–54 and is a Grade II* listed building. It has a particularly interesting interior: there is a central concourse with a complex and delicate exposed concrete frame supporting the roof, which has a folded teak lining, and to one side a series of pools, including a 50m competition pool, and a diving pool with a dramatic reinforced concrete diving platform, and to the other side a smaller sports arena.
The athletics stadium has a capacity of 15,500, which can be increased to 24,000 with temporary seating. It hosts international athletics meetings.Close