Wembley Arena

Wembley Arena

Infobox Stadium
stadium_name = Wembley Arena
nickname =

caption = Wembley Arena
fullname =
location = Wembley, London, England
coordinates = coord|51|33|29.10|N|0|16|58.70|W|region:GB_type:landmark
broke_ground =
built =
opened = 1934
renovated = 2005–2006
expanded =
closed =
demolished =
owner = Quintain Estates and Development plc
operator =
surface =
construction_cost =
architect =
project_manager =
main_contractors =
former_names = Empire Pool, Wembley
tenants = LiveNation
seating_capacity = 12,500
dimensions =
Wembley Arena is a famous entertainment venue, located in Wembley, London, UK. The building is opposite Wembley Stadium. It was built for the 1934 Empire Games by Sir Arthur Elvin, and originally housed a swimming pool, as reflected by its former name, the Empire Pool. The pool itself was last used for the 1948 Summer Olympics.

Cliff Richard holds the record for the most headline shows by one artist, and will play his sixtieth concert in the Arena in 2008. Whitney Houston is the female artist with the most shows at Wembley, with 29. Westlife are the best selling pop band, having played 27 headline shows at the venue, and Status Quo will play their 42nd Wembley Arena show in December 2008.

Indoor sporting events such as boxing and ice hockey have long been popular at the Arena, notably the World Championship bout between then champion Alan Minter and challenger Marvin Hagler, which the latter won. The Wembley Lions and Wembley Monarchs were two ice hockey teams that used the venue during the 1940s, 50s and 60s, while the London Lions used the venue for a season in the 1970s. Wembley also hosted the British Hockey League play-off finals weekend at the end of each season up until the league's disbandment in 1996. More recently netball, darts, basketball, five-aside football, snooker and cage fighting have made regular appearances on the calendar.

The Arena also hosts highly successful comedy nights, with comedians such as Eddie Izzard, Bill Bailey and David Baddiel having appeared. Baddiel's appearance alongside Rob Newman in 1993 is widely regarded as being responsible for bringing alternative comedy into the mainstream. Lee Evans has played Wembley eight times, and returns to the Arena in November 2008.

In addition, Wembley Arena is also famous for its ice shows, including Holiday on Ice, Disney on Ice and the ice pantomimes which ran every Christmas at the Empire Pool from the Fifties to 1978.

Wembley Arena was renovated along with Wembley Stadium as part of the regeneration of the Wembley area. The Arena refurbishment cost £35m and the new arena opened to the public on 2 April 2006 with a concert by Depeche Mode.

Artists that have played the "new" venue include Girls Aloud, Shania Twain, Blink 182, Christina Aguilera, Pink, Madonna, Take That, Kylie Minogue, Ozzy Osbourne, Pearl Jam, Cliff Richard, The Eagles, Diana Ross, Céline Dion, Status Quo, Il Divo, Placebo, Meat Loaf, Westlife, Elkie Brooks, McFly, Dave Matthews Band, Santana, Busted, Hard-Fi, Bruce Springsteen, Mariah Carey, My Chemical Romance, Rush, Dream Theater, The Offspring, Gwen Stefani and Muse.

World Wrestling Entertainment taped their TV shows "RAW" and "SmackDown!", with "RAW" on 21 April and "SmackDown!" on 22 April 2006. Both shows were a huge success resulting in a sellout for each. WWE returned to the arena on October 16th 2007 with the "RAW" "Survivor Series 2007" Tour. It is also notable that the Insurrextion event in 2002 was the last Pay-per-view to be produced under the 'World Wrestling Federation' name. Fact|date=July 2008

"TNA Wrestling" is due to hold part of its "UK" tour their in "2009".Fact|date=July 2008

As of 25 January 2006, the venue forms part of Live Nation's UK line-up alongside the Cardiff International Arena, Manchester Apollo, Edinburgh Playhouse, Sheffield Arena and Manchester Opera House.Fact|date=July 2008

Barbra Streisand is perhapsWhat|date=July 2008 the most famous person to have played at the Arena and her record-breaking world shows in 1994 had a staggering ticket price of £350.Fact|date=July 2008

A notable Empire Pool attendance record was set in the early 1970s by the performer David Cassidy, in his first tour of Great Britain in 1973 when he sold out six performances on one weekend. Pearl Jam hold the attendance record for one show, with 12,470 fans at their 2007 gig.Fact|date=July 2008

Pop band Busted sold out shows at the arena a record 11 times in one year, in 2004.Fact|date=July 2008

In early October 2008 it was speculated that the arena could be used as a venue for the preliminary rounds of the 2012 Olympic basketball tournament instead of one of the projected new venues scheduled to be built, thus saving up to 90 million £ [ [http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/othersports/olympics/london2012/3124927/Moving-2012-Olympic-basketball-to-Wembley-Arena-could-save-90m-Olympics.html Moving 2012 Olympic basketball to Wembley Arena could save £90m] ]

quare of Fame

With the reopening of Wembley Arena in 2006, a "Square of Fame" area has been created in front of the arena. Similar to the Hollywood Walk of Fame, notable Wembley Arena performers are invited to have bronze plaques imprinted with their names and handprints. The first star to have a plaque was Madonna on August 1, 2006. [cite web |url=http://www.livenation.co.uk/venues/venue_content.aspx?vrid=1065&wid=678
title=Wembley Arena |publisher= LiveNation |accessdate=2007-04-04

On November 9, 2006 Sir Cliff Richard added his handprints to the Square. Rick Parfitt and Francis Rossi of Status Quo unveiled a plaque with one of each of their handprints on December 16, 2006. On January 9, 2007 Kylie Minogue included her handprints on the final day of the London leg of her Showgirl Homecoming Tour.

Seven times World Snooker Champion Stephen Hendry added his handprints on January 21, 2007. International country superstar Dolly Parton unveiled her plaque on the final night of her UK tour on March 25, 2007.

Canadian music star Bryan Adams unveiled his plaque on May 10, 2007, just before his 25th appearance at the venue. Just three days later, the former Commodores frontman Lionel Richie was presented with his plaque on May 13, 2007, after another sold out performance at the Arena.

Members of the Irish boyband Westlife are the latest to unveil their plaque on March 28, 2008 in the Square of Fame after 27 sell out shows in the space of 10 years. They have sold 250,000 ticket in Wembley Arena. All four members Shane Filan, Nicky Byrne, Kian Egan and Mark Feehily were presented with a cast of their hands which can also be seen in the Square of Fame. Fact|date=July 2008


External links

* [http://www.whatsonwembley.com Wembley Arena website] Events Calendar for Wembley Arena
* [http://www.flickr.com/search/?q=wembley+arena&s=rec Flickr photos tagged Wembley Arena] Photos of Wembley Arena
* [http://www.hospitalitystaff.co.uk/employer_profile.aspx?pid=367 Hospitality Jobs at Wembley Arena] Hospitality Work at Wembley Arena
* [http://www.livenation.co.uk/venue/getVenue/venueId/16889/ Official Wembley Arena website] Official Venue Website

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