- The O2 arena (London)
stadium_name=The O2 arena
location=The O2 arena
London, SE10 0BB
built=Between 2003 and 2007
June 24 2007
operator=Ansco Arena Limited (Anschutz Entertainment Group Europe)
construction_cost=£600 million to develop all of The O2
structural engineer=Buro Happold
services engineer=M-E Engineers
general_contractor=Sir Robert McAlpine
tenants=No Regular Tenants
The O2 arena is a multi-purpose indoor arena located at the centre of The O2, a large entertainment complex on the
Greenwich peninsulain south-east London, England. It is the first American style arena in London. [http://www.theo2.co.uk/web/guest/aboutus] With a capacity of up to 20,000 depending on the event, it is one of the largest indoor arenas in Europe. [ [http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/music/article-23399728-details/Take+a+seat+inside+the+new+Dome/article.do Take a seat inside the new Dome| Music | This is London ] ]
Background to the arena
Construction of the arena started in 2003 and finished in 2007. Due to the impossibility of using cranes inside the dome structure the arena's roof was constructed on the ground within the dome and then lifted. The arena building's structure was then built around the roof. The arena building, which houses the arena and the arena concourse, is independent from all other buildings in The O2 and houses all the arena's facilities. The whole arena building takes up 40% of the total dome structure.
The seating arrangement throughout the whole arena can be modified, similar to the
Manchester Evening News Arena. [ [http://www.audiencesystems.net/admin/presscentre/news/news_item.asp?NewsID=15 Audience Systems - Audience Systems wins contract at O2 Arena ] ] The ground surface can also be changed between ice rink, basketball court, exhibition space, conference venue, private hire venue and concert venue.
The arena was built to reduce echoing which has previously been a problem in many London music venues. [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/6225452.stm BBC NEWS | Technology | Dome's hi-tech refit for The O2 ] ] The sound manager for U2, Joe O'Herlihy, worked with acoustic engineers to introduce measures such as sound absorbing material on the arena roof and the bottom of strategically placed seats to reduce echoing.
Despite the O2 arena being open for only 7 months of the year, the venue sold over 1.2 million tickets in 2007 making it the 3rd most popular venue in the world for concerts and family shows narrowly behind the
Manchester Evening News Arena(1.25 million) and Madison Square Gardenin New York (1.23 million). In 2008 the O2 arena is expected to become the world's busiest venue taking the crown from Manchester's MEN Arenawith sales of more than two million. [ thanks in part to the Spice Girls 17 night stint at the venue attracting over 250,000 concert attendees.
[http://www.telegraph.co.uk/money/main.jhtml?view=DETAILS&grid=&xml=/money/2008/04/15/cndome115.xml The lemon Dome that was transformed into O2's concert crown - Telegraph ] ]
Anschutz opened The O2 arena on
June 23 2007with a free event for all of the building's employees billed as [http://www.flickr.com/photos/route79/sets/72157600462584870/ The O2 Premiere] featuring Peter Kay, Tom Jones, Kaiser Chiefsand Basement Jaxx, with the show hosted by Dermot O'Leary. This was before the official reopening to the public and preceded a programme of events set to launch the venue over summer. Snow Patrolthen played a concert to an audience made up of sponsors, local residents, local business employees and winners of an online competition. Bon Joviplayed the first open-to-all concert at the arena on June 24 2007.
The O2 arena became synonymous with major acts hosting significant residencies at the venue. This precedent was started by Prince's 21 nights at the venue and has since been followed by the
Spice Girlsperforming 17 shows and Kylie Minoguescheduling 7 for July-August 2008. The Arena also played host to Led Zeppelinfor a one-off concert on 10 December 2007. David Campbell, the president and chief executive of Anschutz Entertainment GroupEurope, has confirmed that there will be "two big residencies booked for the fourth quarter of 2008". These are believed to be Michael Jacksonand Whitney Houston[ [http://www.showbizspy.com/2007/12/14/michael-jackson-to-perform-a-residency-at-the-o2-arena/ Michael Jackson to perform a residency at the O2 arena] ] .
August 8, 2008 Tiëstobecame the first DJ to perform at The O2 Arena in London as part of his In Search of Sunrise 7 summer tour, the event was sold out with a capacity of 20,000 people, the event hosted him for 5 hours with 200 metres squared of LED wall, a 200,000 sound system, and 300,000 more watts of lightning Tina Turneris scheduled to perform at the O2 on March 3rd, 4th, 7th, 8th, and 11th 2009. This will be the first time Tina has played the U.K. in nine years. These dates are part of her "". Thrash metalband Metallicais played a special show at The O2 Arena to celebrate the release of their ninth studio album entitled Death Magnetic. This was Metallica's first UK arena show since 2003. Christina Aguilerawill make her debut at the arena during summer 2009. [ [http://www.theo2.co.uk/inside/the-o2-arena.html Xtina at The O2] ] Nickelbackhosted a gig there on the 19th september 2008.
Other notable acts that have performed or are due to perform at the arena include
Pink Floyd's Roger Waters, Metallica, Coldplay, Leonard Cohen, Tiësto, Queen + Paul Rodgers, Celine Dion, Rihanna, The Rolling Stones, Justin Timberlake, Keane, Avril Lavigne, My Chemical Romance, Foo Fighters, Madness, Snow Patrol, Andrea Bocelli, Bon Jovi, Linkin Park, The Eagles, Take That, Bruce Springsteen, Dolly Parton, Scissor Sisters, Kanye West, Smashing Pumpkins, 50 Cent, Boyzone, Alicia Keys, Westlife, Barbra Streisand, Neil Diamond, Tina Turner, Kylie Minogue, Shayne Ward, Carlos Santana, Backstreet Boys, Girls Aloud, Elton John, New Kids on The Blockand Nickelback. The arena also played host to the 2008 NME Big Gig (Including The Cribs, The Klaxons, Bloc Party, Kaiser Chiefsand Manic Street Preachers] ). "Delirium", the musical show of Cirque du Soleilgave its final performance at The O2.
The first sporting event to take place was the Commonwealth Boxing Lightweight Championships featuring Amir Khan on
July 14 2007. The arena has also hosted two National Hockey Leaguecontests, which started the 2007-08 NHL season, on 29 and September 30, both involving the Anschutz-owned Los Angeles Kingsand their regional rivals from Southern California, the Anaheim Ducks. [cite web|url=http://www.nhl.com/nhl/app?articleid=289859&page=NewsPage&service=page|title=NHL Takes Its' Act on the Road — To England|accessdate=2007-03-02]
An NBA exhibition match between the
Boston Celticsand the Minnesota Timberwolvestook place at the arena on October 10, 2007. The game sold out more than three months beforehand. The arena is expected to also host the Miami Heat and New Jersey Nets (NBA) pre-season games for the 2008-09 season. [cite web|url=http://www.nba.com/europelive2007/sold_out_london_070625.html|title=www.nba.com/europelive2007/sold_out_london_070625.html |accessdate=2007-07-04] Just like the previous NBA exhibition game, Tickets for the game sold out three months beforehand. [cite web|url=http://www.nba.com//news/london_080729.html|title=NBA Preseason Game in London Sells Out|accessdate=2008-07-29] From 2009 until 2012 it has been selected as the venue for the Tennis Masters Cup(to be renamed ATP World Tour Finals), [cite web|url=http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2094-2415720,00.html|title=www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2094-2415720,00.html |accessdate=2007-07-04] and will be used for the 2009 World Gymnastics Championships. [cite web|url= http://main.london2012.com/en/news/archive/2005/may/2005-05-27-14-00.htm|title=main.london2012.com/en/news/archive/2005/may/2005-05-27-14-00.htm |accessdate=2007-07-04]
WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment), have also used the o2 Arena to host its television shows Monday Night Raw, Friday Night Smackdown!, and ECW (Extreme Championship Wrestling). With the taping of Monday Night Raw and an episode of the now defunct Heat broadcast on Monday 14th April 2008, with Smackdown! and ECW being taped the following night, Tuesday April 15th.It has been announced that WWE are bringing the TV tapings back to the o2 next April, following a Smackdown! house show at the arena this November. Raw is slated to be taped Monday April 20th 2009, with Smackdown! and ECW the night after, Tuesday April 21st 2009.
2012 Summer Olympic Gamesit is scheduled to be the venue for the artistic gymnastics, for which it will have a spectator capacity of 16,500, and for basketball finals, for which it will have a capacity of 20,000. Due to IOCsponsorship regulations, it will officially be known as North Greenwich Arena 1 during the games. The rest of the basketball competition will take place at one of the arenas in the Olympic Park. [cite web|url =http://main.london2012.com/en/ourvision/venues/venuelist/TheDome.htm|title=main.london2012.com/en/ourvision/venues/venuelist/TheDome.htm |accessdate=2007-07-04] A 6,000 seat temporary venue called North Greenwich Arena 2will be built nearby and will stage the badmintonand rhythmic gymnasticsevents. [cite web|url=http://main.london2012.com/en/ourvision/sport+and+venue+information/list+of+all+venues/Greenwich+Arena.htm|title=main.london2012.com/en/ourvision/sport+and+venue+information/list+of+all+venues/Greenwich+Arena.htm |accessdate=2007-07-04]
The arena has been mooted as a continued sports venue after the Olympics, and may host
London Towersbasketball games. There were also whisperings in 2002 of the London Knights ice hockey team relocating to the O2 following the closure of the Docklands arena. However no firm plans to host a sports team have been announced.
There are other events held inside the arena, which are not either musical or sports events. These include
Disney On Iceand High School Musical On Ice. Other such events include Viva La Diva, Strictly Come Dancinglive tour, the New Years Event, and the Scouts Live '07 event. In August 2008, various newspaper sources stated that the bootcamp stages of the fifth series of X Factor were filmed at the arena, as well as some of the London auditions.
The O2 Arena held the scouting event of the century, Live 07. Live 07 was a celebration of the scouting centenary, 100 years since it began. 3000 scouts took to the stage to celebrate the years events through songs, challenges, dance and adventure along with the audience of 10000. Just about every scouting district took part in one way or another from the Gang shows to the Opening Ceremony. MC's included Chief Scout Peter Duncan, Blue Peter presenter Zoe Salmon, Newsround presenter Lizzie Greenwood.
* [http://www.theo2.co.uk Official site]
title=Olympic Basketball tournament
before=Wukesong Indoor Stadium
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