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The London Arena (also known as London Docklands Arena) was an indoor arena and exhibition centre, on the Isle of Dogs, in East London, England. Seating capacity was up to 15,000, depending on the type of event held. It was the home of the London Knights ice hockey team, the London Towers basketball team and later the Greater London Leopards basketball team.
First opened in 1989, the arena had a £10 million refit in 1998, although it never managed to become a financial success, in part due to its fairly poor transport access. In 2005 the arena closed permanently. It was superseded as the main arena in East London by The O2 Arena, which is in The O2 entertainment complex (formerly the Millennium Dome). London Arena was served by the Crossharbour and London Arena DLR station, which has since been renamed to simply Crossharbour (in 2007). The arena was demolished in June 2006 and has been replaced by a residential development, including the Baltimore Tower.
It first opened in 1989 and on November 18, the Arenaball Transatlantic Challenge was played there, an exhibition game between the Detroit Drive and the Chicago Bruisers, with the Drive winning 43–14. The first band to ever play at the London Arena were Duran Duran. In 1991, the Docklands Arena hosted the Great British Beer Festival.
Slipknot recorded their live DVD, titled Disasterpieces, here on February 15, 2002. Former pop band S Club 7 filmed their concert at the arena, during their 2002 "S Club Carnival Tour" and was released on VHS/DVD in early 2003.
The London Arena played host to many WWF wrestling events, now known as WWE including the European Rampage Tour in 1989, 1991 and in 1998 the UK exclusive PPV Capital Carnage. In 2000, the Arena hosted WCW house shows as well as an episode of WCW Monday Nitro which was broadcast on tape delay in the United States and on Bravo in the UK. It was also the venue for the WWE house show 'Tour De Force' on Friday 9 May 2003.
In December 2005, it housed the annual 'Crisis Open Christmas' event (held the previous year in the Dome), organised by the London-based homelessness charity Crisis. This provides food, accommodation, various medical and social services and company to around 1,500 guests and 3,500 volunteers each Christmas.
- Description at sportsvenue-technology.com
- Map sources for London Arena
- Pictures of the demolition of the London Arena.