Copper Box Arena

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Copper Box Arena
Copper Box Arena (geograph 3642114).jpg
The Copper Box Arena in September 2013
Former namesHandball Arena (2011–12)
LocationHackney Wick, Hackney, London
Coordinates51°32′39.84″N 0°1′12.36″W / 51.5444000°N 0.0201000°W / 51.5444000; -0.0201000Coordinates: 51°32′39.84″N 0°1′12.36″W / 51.5444000°N 0.0201000°W / 51.5444000; -0.0201000
Public transitLondon Underground London Overground Elizabeth line Docklands Light Railway National Rail Stratford
Docklands Light Railway National Rail Stratford International
London Overground Hackney Wick
OwnerGreenwich Leisure Limited
OperatorOlympic Delivery Authority
CapacityConcerts: 7,481
Basketball: 6,000[3]
Broke groundOctober 2009
OpenedMay 2011 (2011-05)
Construction cost£44 million[1]
(£62.8 million in 2022 sterling[2])
ArchitectMake Architects, Populous, PTW Architects, ARUP
London Lions (BBL) (2013–present)
London Lions Women (WBBL) (2017–present)
London GD Handball Club (EHA) (2013–present)
London Pulse (EN/NS) (2018–present)
London Royal Ravens (CODL) (2020–present)

The Copper Box Arena is a multi-sport venue built for the 2012 Summer Olympics, located in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London, England.

Previously known as the Handball Arena, it was renamed because, aside from handball, it hosted modern pentathlon (fencing, shooting, swimming, horse jumping and running) during the Olympics and was the goalball venue for the 2012 Summer Paralympics.[4]


London's Olympic bid proposed that there would be four indoor arenas in the Olympic Park, in addition to other main venues, but the revised masterplan published in 2006 reduced this to three, with the volleyball being moved to Earls Court Exhibition Centre.[5] The fencing arena was also cancelled, and the fencing took place at ExCeL. Construction of the building was completed on time in early 2011 and came in under budget.[6] The design incorporates light pipes and rainwater collectors to reduce both energy and water use by 40%.[7] Test events were successfully hosted at the venue ahead of the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2012.

In January 2012, the venue was renamed the Copper Box from the Handball Arena, thus reflecting the look of the building and the fact that it would not just be used for Handball.[8] British Handball campaigned for the rebrand to be reversed.[4]


The Copper Box interior before a handball game

The Copper Box has 7,000 seats. It was used for handball preliminaries and modern pentathlon fencing during the Olympic Games, and for goalball during the Paralympic Games. The handball men's quarter-finals, all semi-finals and both finals were held at the larger Basketball Arena.

The Copper Box was praised for its loud, exciting atmosphere during handball games.[9] For the Paralympics goalball events the crowd in the Box must be quiet.[10]


The venue has been adapted into a multi-sport arena for community use, athlete training and major events.

British Basketball League side London Lions relocated to the Copper Box for the 2013–14 season.[11] They played their first game there on 14 August 2013 in front of a sell-out crowd, losing 72–107 to the Iowa Hawkeyes American college basketball team in an exhibition match.[12] The Lions' women's team, playing in the WBBL, moved to the venue in 2017.

The venue played host to the 2015 Netball Superleague Grand Final,[13] which saw the Surrey Storm win their first Netball Superleague title, defeating the Hertfordshire Mavericks, 56–39. The venue is the home arena for the London Pulse, who since 2018 have played in the Superleague. It has also hosted several home test matches for the England national team.[citation needed]

The Copper Box hosted the London Grand Prix badminton tournament on 1–6 October 2013. The London Grand Prix forms part of the Badminton World Federation's Grand Prix Gold series.

The Wheelchair Rugby event at the 2014 Invictus Games was held at the venue in September 2014, as was the BT World Wheelchair Rugby Challenge in October 2015.[citation needed]

London GD Handball Club, one of the oldest handball clubs in the country, used the venue for its home matches.[14]

The floor was badly damaged during a mass fitness event in January 2014, resulting in several netball internationals having to be played elsewhere at the last minute.[15]

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and Super Smash Bros. Melee DreamHack London 2015 took place at the Copper Box on 19–20 September.[citation needed]

On 3 February 2018, the Copper Box hosted the amateur boxing fight between YouTubers KSI and Joe Weller.[16] It has also hosted IBF boxing.[17]

From 22 to 25 February 2018, the venue played host to the ITTF Team World Cup table tennis competition.[18]

The Rocket League Championship Series Season 5 finals, an Esports event sponsored by Psyonix, the video game company who created Rocket League, was hosted there on 8–10 June 2018.[19]

Great Britain played Kazakhstan at the arena in April 2019, in the tennis Fed Cup World Group II play-offs.[20]

On 31 August 2019, the venue was used for New Japan Pro-Wrestling's show in the United Kingdom, Royal Quest.[citation needed]

From 14 to 16 November 2019 the venue hosted X0, an annual event presented by Xbox.[21]

Between January and July 2020, the Copper Box Arena was used as the home venue for the London Royal Ravens, an eSports team taking part in the inaugural Call of Duty League.

The Rocket League Championship Series 2021-2022 Season Spring Major, an Esports event sponsored by Psyonix, the video game company who created Rocket League, was hosted there on 29th June–3rd July 2022, with crowds only being present on the final two days.[22]


  1. ^ "London 2012 Olympics: Handball Arena to be unveiled".
  2. ^ UK Retail Price Index inflation figures are based on data from Clark, Gregory (2017). "The Annual RPI and Average Earnings for Britain, 1209 to Present (New Series)". MeasuringWorth. Retrieved 11 June 2022.
  3. ^ "Copper Box Arena: Venue Guide" (PDF).
  4. ^ a b "London 2012: Olympic venue name-change angers handball chief". BBC Sport. 10 January 2012.
  5. ^ "London unveils Olympic masterplan". BBC Sport. 7 June 2006.
  6. ^ Pearce, Nick (12 May 2012). "London 2012 Olympics: Handball Arena makes building work on Olympic Park '83 per cent complete'". The Daily Telegraph.
  7. ^ "Copper Box – 2012 Olympics". London 2012. Archived from the original on 6 December 2012. Retrieved 26 March 2013.
  8. ^ [1] Archived 20 January 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ PAUL LOGOTHETIS (AP Sports Writer) (4 August 2012). "Handball's Olympic venue is the 'Box That Rocks' – Yahoo! Sports". Retrieved 26 March 2013.
  10. ^ "Sharkey excited by silent Copper Box (From The Northern Echo)". 30 August 2012. Retrieved 26 March 2013.
  11. ^ "REVEALED: Lions to leave Milton Keynes for Olympic Park in London – MK Lions – Milton Keynes Citizen". 9 August 2012. Retrieved 26 March 2013.
  12. ^ "Copper Box sell-out 'promises so much', says London Lions coach Macaulay". Archived from the original on 20 August 2013. Retrieved 16 August 2013.
  13. ^ "Copper Box Arena to host NSL Finals day". England Netball. 20 February 2015. Archived from the original on 25 January 2016. Retrieved 26 April 2015.
  14. ^ BBC Sport – London GD handball club to move to Copper Box Arena
  15. ^ "England v NZ: Venue changed after damage to Copper Box floor". BBC Sport. Retrieved 20 January 2014.
  16. ^ "Result from KSI vs Joe Weller fight at Copper Box Arena". 4 February 2018.
  17. ^ "9th December 2017: World Championship Boxing". Greenwich Leisure Limited. Retrieved 23 March 2018.
  18. ^ "Box that rocks to host 2018 ITTF Table Tennis Team World Cup". Copper Box Arena. Retrieved 25 February 2018.
  19. ^ "THE RLCS WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP RETURNS TO EUROPE!". Psyonix. Retrieved 30 April 2018.
  20. ^ "Great Britain, Latvia set to enjoy homes ties in April". 12 February 2019. Retrieved 22 January 2020.
  21. ^ "Xbox X019". Retrieved 22 January 2020.
  22. ^ "RLCS SPRING SPLIT PRIMER". Psyonix. Retrieved 25 April 2022.

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