White City Stadium was built for the 1908 Summer Olympics, and hosted the finish of the first modern marathon.
It was designed by J.J. Webster and completed within 10 months by George Wimpey on part of the site of the Franco-British Exhibition
The stadium had a seating capacity of 68,000 was opened by King Edward VII on 27 April 1908. Upon completion, the stadium had a running track 24 ft wide and three laps to the mile. Outside the stadium there was a 660 yard cycle track.
Many events of the 1908 Olympics were held at the stadium. Even swimming was held at White City Stadium, in a 100-yard pool dug into the infield. The distance of the modern marathon was fixed at the 1908 Games and calculated from the start of the race at Windsor Castle to a point in front of the royal box at White City.
The original running track continued in use until 1914. There were attempts to sell the stadium in 1922, but several athletes in the team for the 1924 Summer Olympics used it for training.
From 1927 to 1984, it was a venue for greyhound racing, hosting the English Greyhound Derby.
In 1931, a running track was installed for the Amateur Athletic Association Championships which were held there from 1932 to 1970. In 1934 the second British Empire Games and the fourth Women’s World Games were held at the venue.
Also in 1931, Queens Park Rangers (QPR) began the first of two spells playing at the stadium, until 1933. The second spell was from 1962–63. QPR eventually decided against a permanent move to White City.
Between 1932 and 1958 the stadium hosted major British boxing events, with attendances peaking as high as 90,000 for the second meeting between Len Harvey and Jack Petersen in 1934.
In 1933, Wigan Highfield, a rugby league side, decided to move the club to White City. Wigan Highfield became London Highfield. The White City Company lost money on the venture and decided not to continue with rugby league. London Highfield was the precursor to London Broncos, later a leading rugby league club in London.
In 1966, the Wembley stadium owner’s refusal to cancel regular greyhound racing meant the match between Uruguay and France in the 1966 FIFA World Cup was played at White City.
The stadium was demolished in 1985 and the site went onto be owned by the BBC.