With the arrival of the London 2012 Olympics, the capital has truly been put on the map in terms of a hub for sport and sports venues of all kinds. Many of the venues in and around the capital are well-equipped for private events. Whether you're looking for something super-convenient in the middle of town – we suggest looking at the historic and beautiful cricket gounds available for hire – or something a bit further out, to one of the football or rugby stadiums, you'll find what you're looking for.
With many of the venues on offer being world-famous, the allure to book your event in some of these hallowed grounds is obvious. You'd better make sure you don't book an event in the wrong football club if you group are avid followers of the beautiful game, though!
Due to the sheer size of many of the sports venues on offer, they make an ideal location for bookings made for larger groups, some with space for over a thousand delegates or guests. Many have auditoriums or tiered seating rooms for large-scale presentations or conferences. Don't forget that sporting venues, usually due to their size and facilties, make an excellent location for teambuilding events in London too.
Lee Valley White Water Centre
Max Meeting 450
Max Standing 450
Max Banquet 400
Station Road , Waltham Cross, Hertfordshire, EN9 1AB
Specially built for the London 2012 Olympic Games, this white-water slalom centre is a no-brainer when it comes to orgaising action-packed away days. But the venue is also keen to impress that you can combine paddles with pens by hiring one of its meeting spaces for half of the day. Offering a private terrace and floor-to-ceiling windows with views out over the white-water course, these suites can be combined for theatre-style presentations.
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Lee Valley VeloPark
Max Meeting 1000
Max Standing 0
Max Banquet 0
Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, Abercrombie Road, London, E20 3AB
One of the legacy venues from the London 2012 Olympics, Lee Valley Velopark was where Team GB took seven gold medals to dominate the track cycling. Today, that legacy is instilled in its event spaces, which include Track Centre, a memorable spot for exhibitions and conferences, and the Concourse Pods which overlook the track. Elsewhere, bookers can choose from a string of meeting rooms and suites, most of which look out over the outdoor road cycling circuit.
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Max Meeting 1200
Max Standing 1200
Max Banquet 900
Rugby House, 200 Whitton Road, Twickenham, Middlesex, TW2 7BA
When it’s not flooded with rugby fans, the England national stadium operates as a venue for corporate and private events. Spaces include the 1,200-capacity Rose Suite and the Live Room auditorium that has retractable tiered seating operated at the touch of a button. The South Stand conference centre got a £300k AV upgrade in 2016, and more recently had a refurbishment of its carpets and a reduction of its pillar sizes. The most unusual space for a sporting venue is the Twickenham Cellar, where 14 guests can feast on seven courses and fine wines. Three VIP areas have floor-to-ceiling windows that maximise views of the pitch, while the England Changing Rooms have been completely modernised. Group tours and guest speakers can also be arranged.
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Chelsea Football Club
Max Meeting 800
Max Standing 1000
Max Banquet 650
Fulham Road, London, SW6 1HS
Stamford Bridge sports a long lineup of contemporary facilities for hosting groups. Look first to the newly refurbished (late 2017) West Stand, with its myriad modern event spaces and teambuilding options. The all-new 1905 Club, which replaces Marco Grill, is already proving popular for meetings and dinners on non-match days. Elsewhere, we’re fans of Under the Bridge, a state-of-the-art music venue used for award ceremonies and dinners.
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American Express Community Stadium
Max Meeting 550
Max Standing 1000
Max Banquet 440
Village Way, Falmer, Brighton, East Sussex, BN1 9BL
Situated in the South Downs, the Amex Stadium is home to Brighton & Hove Albion FC. Its contemporary lounges all have the latest technology, but very different floorplans. The Mayo Wynne Baxter is the biggest, with a striking floor-to-ceiling glass façade and remarkable double-height ‘wave’ ceiling. All the executive boxes are well set up for board meetings, while the various concourses are easily accessed and suit exhibitions.
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Putt in the Park Acton
Max Standing 90
Max Banquet 60
East Churchfield Road, London, W3 7LL
The third of Putt in the Park’s three London venues, this mini-golf course in Acton Park closely follows the group’s successful template. Next to 18 carefully designed holes, there’s a standalone clubhouse serving pizzas from a wood-fired oven and well-turned drinks from a long bar. Hardwood floors make for easy dancing and there’s a heated outdoor area to rest up in. Exclusive-hire packages mean groups get the run of the whole place.
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The Kia Oval
Max Meeting 650
Max Standing 1000
Max Banquet 800
The Kia Oval, London, SE11 5SS
Home to Surrey County Cricket Club and a host to international cricket matches, The Kia Oval is justifiably popular for its excellent event facilities, which include a conference centre and roof terrace. It can take large groups for banqueting and offers plenty of smaller meeting rooms – most offer natural light and have views of the pitch. Hospitality packages on match days are another big draw. We like the roof terrace for a pre-game glass of fizz.
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Max Standing 750
Max Banquet 104
Westfield London, London, W12 7HB
Located at Westfield London, this gigantic venue is brought to us by the people behind ping-pong hangouts Bounce. Puttshack is set to focus on another group sport, though: mini golf. This time they’ve added a new element to the crazy golf experience by making it digital: all balls will use Trackaball technology to keep tabs on each player’s putts, while a computer will keep track of the scores. Exclusive use is an option.
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Yellowave Beach Sports Venue
Max Meeting 60
Max Standing 80
Max Banquet 50
299 Madeira Drive, Brighton, East Sussex, BN2 1EN
Yellowave is a beach-sports venue available to hire for group activities. It celebrates its 10th anniversary in 2017 and has six volleyball courts that can be hired hourly – making it a good choice for teambuilding. A coach, with a speciality in volleyball, is on hand to help school participants and organise competitive tournaments for groups. Indoors, the venue’s bright, wood-clad Clubhouse is available for meetings and parties, and has floor-to-ceiling windows that show off a view of the sea and the town’s famous pier. In-house catering comes in the form of beach-appropriate barbecues and beer.
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Max Meeting 14
Max Standing 0
Max Banquet 14
Rugby House, 200 Whitton Road, Twickenham, Middlesex, TW1 1DZ
Hidden in the stadium’s West Stand, Twickenham Cellar’s vaulted stone ceilings and candle chandeliers provide an atmospheric setting for a private dinner. Event bookers can host groups of 12 to 14 for a seven-course tasting menu with a champagne reception and fine wines throughout the night. Dishes are seasonal and can be tailored to fit the client’s tastes, but we really like the look of pan-fried halibut with roast onion macaroni. It starts from £150pp and comes with complimentary parking.
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Lord's Cricket Ground
Max Meeting 600
Max Standing 900
Max Banquet 600
Marylebone Cricket Club, Lord's Ground, NW8 8QN
Steeped in history, the Home of Cricket has a bevy of characterful event spaces. Starting off in the Victorian Grade II*-listed Pavilion, organisers will find the Long Room, with its high ceilings and historic artwork. Next door, the world’s oldest sports museum is a popular place to host drinks receptions. Perhaps as recognisable as the Pavilion is the JP Morgan Media Centre, a choice spot for entertaining, with arguably the ground’s best views.
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Putt in the Park Battersea
Max Standing 120
Max Banquet 80
Sun Gate, Albert Bridge Road, London, SW11 4NJ
This mini-golf specialist has courses in three London parks. Next door to Go Ape, its Battersea branch is well set up for exclusive-use events. Food comes from a wood-fired pizza oven, drinks from a well-stocked long bar, and there are hardwood floors for dancing. A large outdoor area is heated and the 18-hole, all-weather course itself raises some eye-catching challenges for all levels of player. Watch out, in particular, for some turbulent water hazards.
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Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Max Meeting 800
Max Standing 2000
Max Banquet 500
748 High Road, London, N17 0AP
The Club’s new stadium is so much more than a sports venue, with some of the most impressive stadia hospitality and event space in London. The trio of stand-out spots are the East Quarter (the largest, purpose-built of its kind with flexibility to alter internal layout), The H Club (luxurious and spacious, styled as an exclusive members’ club) and the Beavertown Tottenham Tap Room. Suitable for a variety of events, from pre-match hospitality, conferences and meetings to dinners, award ceremonies and galas here.
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Max Meeting 300
Max Standing 1000
Max Banquet 300
Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, London, E20 2ST
The home of West Ham United and UK Athletics, this impressive 66,000-capacity stadium has a host of modern event spaces to offer, covering business gatherings through to parties and away days. We like the ‘premium’ Arnold Hills room: it’s a good spot for informal meetings or smart receptions with its own bar and a balcony looking out over the pitch. If you need more space, the Great Briton can host flexible, multi-function events.
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