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The O2 Arena, London


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The O2 Arena, London

Translated by Lottie Davies — one year ago

Original text by Patricia Saiz Díaz

The O2 Arena, London

London's O2 Arena, also known as the Millennium Dome, once home to an exposition for the centennial celebrations in 2000, is now part of the site of a world-class entertainment district, with a capacity for 20, 000 people.

The dome is one of the largest structures of its type in the world. When the Millenium Dome opened its doors for the first time in 2000, to mark the beginning of the third millennium, it was surrounded by controversy. It cost more than £600 million, and was considered to be a waste of money by many who thought that a permanent landmark would much better serve the country than a temporary structure.

Designed by the architect, Richard Rogers, and constructed by McAlpine and Laing, the building was very intelligently engineered by BuroHappold. They even designed it in such a way that the ceiling appears to weigh less than the air inside the building.

When the Millenium Dome centennial exposition closed at the end of 2000, there were concerns about financing the continued opening of the building. When the idea of transforming the venue into a football stadium was proposed, the idea of an entertainment venue was quickly brought to life instead. After extensive construction work to the building's interior, supervised by Meridian Delta Ltd, the transformation was finally complete and the doors were opened in 2007 to an impressive new structure, which changed its name to the O2 Arena following a sponsorship agreement with telecommunications company, O2.

The O2 has florished ever since, becoming one of the capital's premier visitor attractions. Nowadays, it is bigger than the Manchester Arena and Madison Square Garden in New York City, and has the honour of being the most visited entertainment venue in the world, with more than two million visitors a year.

The O2 Arena, London

Nowadays, the site of the O2 Arena is much more than a mere entertainment venue, and is now surrounded by a huge walkway (called 'Entertainment Avenue'), which is full of restaurants, cafes and bars. Whilst it is probably most known and loved for the top-billing concerts it organises, it also hosts world-class sporting events, stand-up comedians, movie premieres, ice-skating spectaculars and much more. If it's a big event, it will probably be at the O2 Arena!

The building is so big that its capacity is thirteen times more than that of the Royal Albert Hall, and ten times that of Saint Paul's Cathedral. It's as tall as the famous London tourist attraction, Nelson's Column. And, to seal its future glory, it was also the site of a chase sequence of the 1999 James Bond film, The World is Not Enough, culminating in the protagonist rolling down the roof of the Millennium Dome.

The O2 Arena, London

Just like the Manchester Arena, engineers constructed seating that could be modified according to the type of event and estimated audience capacity. Also, the floor's surface can be altered in accordance with the event organiser's needs. The floor area can be changed to adapt to the requirements of a variety of sporting events, concerts or conferences.

The O2 is located in south-east London, on the Greenwich Peninsula. The huge arena continues to play host to a wide variety of events. Also, customers have a great selection of restaurants to suit all dining styles, be it fine dining, an informal dinner or drinks at a bar, at their disposition on the so-called Entertainment Avenue situated inside the dome. There are many options for getting to the O2 Arena: on public transport, with the London Underground and National Rail, it's very easy. Plan your day to the O2 through the website or visiting their ticket offices, but ordering tickets online is recommended for the most convenient experience.

London's O2 Arena has rapidly become one of the most popular entertainment venues in the world, with more than a million tickets sold each year. The O2 puts on a very diverse range of concerts, sporting spectaculars and corporate-sponsored events.

The O2 Arena, London

Amongst the events hosted here, some of the highlights include:

  • The late Michael Jackson's 'This Is It' concerts during 2009 and 2010
  • Auditions for The X-Factor and Britain's Got Talent
  • Stand-up comedy from Alan Carr
  • and, concerts by...
    • Alicia Keys
    • Andrea Bocelli and friends
    • The Arctic Monkeys
    • US superstar Barry Manilow
    • Ben Hur
    • Beyonce
    • Bon Jovi
    • Boyzone
    • Britney Spears
    • and, rock legend, Bruce Springsteen.

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