Helsinki Olympic Stadium will re-open on August 22 ©Twitter/stadionhelsinki

The Helsinki Olympic Stadium will be re-opened on Saturday (August 22) following the completion of renovation work at the venue.

The stadium has been closed since 2016 amid renovation work, which was funded by the Finnish Government and the City of Helsinki.

The renovation is claimed to have respected the original architecture of the venue, with sustainable choices made.

City of Helsinki officials say the stadium has been extended by adding a level of underground facilities, which will meet the requirements of national and international events and serve the city's residents and visitors more comprehensively all year round.

Stands will be able to seat 36,200 people, with the capacity rising to 50,000 spectators for concerts.

The new shelter roof is made of three million kilos of steel and received a constructional Steelwork Award for 2019.

The stadium now has 12 bookable meeting and multipurpose facilities, as well as indoor exercise facilities.

It is claimed the renovated stadium is an example of Finnish functionalist style combined with modern functionalities.

"The Olympic Stadium is one of the iconic sites in Helsinki," said Jan Vapaavuori, Mayor of Helsinki.

"The massive renewal is a testimony of the city's great commitment to holding its history and identity in high regard.

"In these difficult times, in particular, the great input and focus on events and experiences is important – not only for the entire events industry but for all of us who live in Helsinki.

"The renewed, modern, function-focused and sustainably refurbished stadium serves Helsinki in many ways and also contributes to our international attractiveness now and long in the future."

The stadium was the main venue for the Helsinki 1952 Olympic Games ©Getty Images
The stadium was the main venue for the Helsinki 1952 Olympic Games ©Getty Images

The original stadium was inaugurated on June 12 in 1938, with construction beginning four years earlier.

Construction took place prior to Helsinki's planned hosting of the 1940 Olympic Games, after they were moved to the Finnish capital from Japan.

The Games were later cancelled due to the outbreak of World War Two.

Helsinki would ultimately host the Summer Olympics in 1952, with the stadium having a maximum capacity of 70,000 at Games-time.

"The Olympic Stadium crystallises a unique part of our past and embodies memorable moments in Finnish history," said Annika Saarikko, Finland's Minister of Science and Culture.

"I find it inspiring that the heart of the Olympics summer of 1952 is now ready to go on as the venue of the unforgettable moments of both sports and culture.

"The stadium is a bold example of functionalist architecture.

"I am convinced that its architects Yrjö Lindegren and Toivo Jäntti would be proud and content to examine the results of the refurbishment work now completed.

"The improvements allow us to make sure that the stadium is not only a monument of the past but also a part of the most heart-stirring Finnish sports and cultural experience in the future."

Nasima Ramyar, the chair of Stadium Foundations, added: "For generations, the stadium has been the arena of moved spectators with beating hearts.

"Besides the sports and entertainment experiences of the audiences, the new stadium makes the Helsinki locals and other Finns move, in the concrete meaning of the word.

"The new and renewed premises of the stadium will open a full world of physical exercise where both clubs and individuals can enjoy physical activities in the facilities of the legendary sports venue."

The stadium will be opened and inaugurated for a second time on Saturday, with a live television broadcast showing the ceremony.

Members of the public will then be able to book tickets for visits to the Stadium Tour, which will be conducted in line with Government COVID-19 guidelines on public gatherings.

The stadium's athletics track will be opened to the public from September 14 to 19.

The first match of the National League Women's Finnish Football Championship Series is the opening fixture scheduled for the re-opened venue.

The stadium is scheduled to host the UEFA Super Cup in 2022.