The O2 Arena

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This article is about the indoor arena located in London. For other uses, see O2 Arena.
The O2 Arena
The O2 Arena (London) logo.svg
O2 arena.jpg
The O2 Arena is located in Royal Borough of Greenwich
The O2 Arena
The O2 Arena
Former names North Greenwich Arena (2012 Summer Olympics and Paralympics)
Location The O2
Drawdock Road
North Greenwich
London, SE10 0BB
England, United Kingdom
Coordinates 51°30′10.79″N 0°0′11.28″E / 51.5029972°N 0.0031333°E / 51.5029972; 0.0031333
Public transit North Greenwich tube station
Owner English Partnerships
Operator Ansco Arena Limited (AEG Live) Europe
Capacity Concerts: 20,000[1]
Basketball: 20,000[2]
Surface Versatile
Built Between 2003 and 2007
Opened 24 June 2007
Architect HOK Sport[3]
Structural engineer Buro Happold
Services engineer M-E Engineers Ltd.[4]
General contractor Sir Robert McAlpine
AEG Live (2007–present)
ATP World Tour Finals (2009–present)
2012 Summer Olympics
2012 Summer Paralympics
Hillsong Conference Europe (2010, 2011) (2013-Present)
Euroleague Final Four (2013)

The O2 Arena, referred to as North Greenwich Arena in the context of the 2012 Summer Olympics and 2012 Summer Paralympics, is a multi-purpose indoor arena located in the centre of The O2, a large entertainment complex on the Greenwich Peninsula in London. It is named after its main sponsor, the telecommunications company O2.

The O2 Arena has the second-highest seating capacity of any indoor venue in the UK, behind the Manchester Arena, but took the crown of the world's busiest music arena from New York's Madison Square Garden in 2008.[5] The closest underground station to the venue is the North Greenwich station on the Jubilee line.


Following the closure of the Millennium Experience at the end of 2000, the Millennium Dome was leased to Meridian Delta Ltd. in 2001, for redevelopment as an entertainment complex. This included plans for an indoor arena.

Construction of the arena started in 2003 and finished in 2007. After the interior of the dome had been largely cleared and before building work inside began, in December 2004, the dome was used as the main venue for the annual Crisis Open Christmas organised by the London-based homelessness charity Crisis.[6]

Owing 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 arena building itself takes up 40% of the total dome structure.

The seating arrangement throughout the whole arena can be modified, similar to the Manchester Arena.[7] 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, a common problem among London music venues.[8] U2's sound manager, Joe O'Herlihy, worked with acoustic engineers to introduce measures such as sound absorbing material on the arena roof and the bottoms of strategically placed seats to reduce echoing.[citation needed]

Despite The O2 Arena being open for only 200 days per year (the equivalent of seven months), the venue sold over 1.2 million tickets in 2007, making it the third most popular venue in the world for concerts and family shows narrowly behind the Manchester Arena (1.25 million) and Madison Square Garden in New York City (1.23 million). By 2008 it had become the world's busiest venue with sales of more than two million, taking the crown from MEN Arena.[citation needed]

Since 2009 the arena has hosted the prestigious ATP World Tour Finals, the season ending finale of men's professional tennis featuring the top 8 players in the world. In 2015 it was announced that the tournament would extend its deal to hold the tournament through 2018. The venue has hosted the event for the second longest tenure, behind only Madison Square Garden (1977–89).

In May 2011 the O2 arena was the site of the members of Pink Floyd, Roger Waters and David Gilmour reuniting and playing music from the acclaimed album The Wall, the first since the band's breakup.

During the 2012 Summer Olympics and Paralympics, The O2 Arena was referred as the North Greenwich Arena due to Olympics regulations regarding corporate sponsorship of event sites.[9]

On 25 September 2013 Christine McVie joined Fleetwood Mac on stage, marking her first live performance since 1998.[10] She later re-joined the band officially in January 2014.[11]

In 2014 the O2 arena hit controversy when guests were prevented from bringing food on site because they represented a terror threat. However, staff reportedly said that the food was banned because the food outlets were not making enough money.[12]

On 16 January 2016 the O2 arena will host the comeback fight of former heavyweight champion David Haye.[13]


World's Busiest Arenas – 2014[14]
Venue 2014 Ticket sales for concerts/shows
The O2, London, UK 1.82 million
The SSE Hydro, Glasgow, UK 1.05 million
Manchester Arena, Manchester, UK 1.01 million
Madison Square Garden, NY, USA 793,000
Monterrey Arena, Monterrey, Mexico 782,000
Barclays Center, Brooklyn NY, USA 724,000
Arena Ciudad De Mexico, Mexico City, Mexico 714,000
Allstate Arena, Rosemont, IL, USA 653,000
Lanxess Arena, Cologne, Germany 642,000
Phillips Arena, Atlanta, GA 608,000
Air Canada Centre, Toronto, Canada 585,000
Ziggo Dome, Amsterdam, Netherlands 577,000
Genting Arena, Birmingham, UK 550,000
Staples Center, Los Angeles, USA 520,000
O2 World Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany 519,000
Allphones Arena, Sydney, Australia 512,000


  • 2010 London Lifestyle Awards – London's Live Music Venue of the Year

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Music Events". AEG. Retrieved 20 July 2012. 
  2. ^ "North Greenwich arena - London 2012, Olympic Basketball Tournament - FIBA.COM". FIBA.COM. 
  3. ^ "The O2 London - POPULOUS". POPULOUS. 
  4. ^ O2 Arena - ME Engineers
  5. ^ White, Dominic (15 April 2008). "The Lemon Dome That was Transformed into O2's Concert Crown". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 7 May 2011. 
  6. ^ "Dome sleeps 700 over festive week". BBC News. 28 December 2004. Retrieved 27 January 2014. 
  7. ^ "wins contract at O2 Arena". Audience Systems. Retrieved 7 May 2011. 
  8. ^ "Dome's hi-tech refit for The O2". BBC News. 21 June 2007. Retrieved 25 May 2010. 
  9. ^ "O2 Arena forced into Olympic rebrand following sponsor clash". 
  10. ^ "BBC News - Christine McVie rejoins Fleetwood Mac on stage at O2". BBC News. 
  11. ^ "Christine McVie rejoins Fleetwood Mac". BBC News. 
  12. ^ "Food ban at ATP tennis tour finals over 'terror fears'". BBC News. 
  13. ^ sport, Guardian. "David Haye confirms comeback against Mark de Mori at O2 Arena in January". the Guardian. Retrieved 2015-12-13. 
  14. ^ "Manchester Arena is third busiest in the world" (PDF). 13 January 2015. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Qizhong Forest Sports City Arena
ATP Year-end Championships

Succeeded by
Preceded by
Sinan Erdem Dome
Final Four

Succeeded by
Mediolanum Forum