The massive O2 Arena in London is the centrepiece of the entertainment complex "The O2". The largest domed building in the world is now used for concerts and internationally important sporting events.
The O2 Arena in London is the centrepiece and highlight of the striking entertainment temple "The O2" in the district of Greenwich at Docklands, the old port of London. The famous Greenwich prime meridian is not far from the O2 Arena.
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PICTURES: O2 Arena at "The O2" in London
The O2 Arena holds the title of the largest free-standing building in the UK and the largest domed structure in the world. Music greats from all over the world perform their shows in the massive hall and teams and individuals compete for victory in internationally important sporting events under the eyes of the world.
Creation of the O2 Arena
The O2 Arena was designed by Richard Rogers and opened on 1 January 2000 as the Millennium Dome. Even before that, the gigantic dome appeared in the opening sequence of "James Bond: The World is Not Enough". At that time, the futuristic building was the largest of its kind in the world and was intended to impress the entire world as London 's landmark of the 21st century.
The dimensions of the O2 Arena are also truly impressive! With its length of 320 and its height of 50 metres, the entire Eiffel Tower could be placed in the O2 Arena. The 12 masts, each 100 metres high, that rise from the dome are meant to symbolise the face of a clock.
Equally impressive are the construction costs of over one billion euros. The "Millennium Dome" served as a museum in the first months of its existence, but was closed again only one year after its opening due to a lack of visitors and is now considered a bad investment.
"The O2" for music and sport
In 2005, O2 acquired the naming rights to the Millennium Dome and built the huge entertainment complex "The O2" around the massive dome. In addition to the breathtaking O2 Arena with 16,500 seats, it houses a multiplex cinema with 11 screens, the "Entertainment Avenue" lined with cafés, restaurants and bars, the interactive "The British Music Experience" exhibition and the ultra-modern club "indigO2" with live music.
The O2 Arena now has a seating capacity of 20,000 and has hosted the North American Ice Hockey League (NHL), the NBA basketball teams and the World Gymnastics Championships in 2009. Since that year, the ATP World Tour Finals have also been held at the O2 Arena, where the world's best tennis players compete each year. The semi-finals and finals of the PDC Darts Premier League also take place here as the largest indoor sporting event in Great Britain.
From the music business, Justin Timberlake, Barbra Streisand, Bon Jovie, Kylie Minogue, Prince and Led Zeppelin have already rocked the stage of the O2 Arena.
The O2 Arena also hosted the Olympic Games and the Summer Paralympics in 2012. At that time, the stadium, which was called the "North Greenwich Arena" at the time, hosted the apparatus and trampoline gymnastics competitions as well as the finals of the basketball tournament. Since 2012, it has also been possible to travel directly to the gates of the O2 Arena with the London cable car "Emirates Air Line".