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The SSE Arena and Odyssey Pavilion seen from the M2/M3
|Location||Titanic Quarter, Belfast, Northern Ireland|
|Operator||Odyssey Millennium Ltd (Arena)
|Belfast Giants (EIHL) (2000–present)|
The Odyssey Complex, which consists of the Odyssey Pavilion, SSE Arena Belfast and W5 is a large sports and entertainment centre situated in Titanic Quarter, Belfast, Northern Ireland, a part of the Belfast Harbour Estate. It was 50% funded by a £45m grant from the Millennium Commission as the Landmark Project for Northern Ireland with matched funding from the Department of Education Northern Ireland, the Sheridan Group and the Sports Council for Northern Ireland. The application to the Millennium Commission was led by the Ulster Museum, who wished to develop a Science Centre and teamed up with Peter Curistan who wished to develop an Imax, and then led the development of the Arena with L&R lesiure who were the consultants. The name Odyssey, was to symbolise the 'journey of discovery' that would be the science centre and Michael Montgomery, a young 14 year old at the time came up with the name. The complex adopted the name, and the Science Centre became W5.
The Arena opened in 2000, W5 on 31 March 2001 with the Pavilion opening a few months later. The Odyssey is quoted to have cost £120 million on completion. Odyssey was held in Trust by the Odyssey Trust Company with leases to SMG/Sheridan for the Arena, Sheridan for the Pavilion and the National Museums NI for W5. In 2011 Odyssey Trust took over the Arena. In 2011 The Odyssey Pavilion which was owned by The Sheridan Group went into administration, the building is now under control of KPMG until a new owner is found. It is managed by The Odyssey Trust.
World champion boxer Carl Frampton has fought at the Odyssey 5 times. The venue has also hosted a number of World Wrestling Entertainment live events including RAW and SmackDown!. WWE visits the Odyssey at least once a year. It hosted UFC 72: Victory on 16 June 2007.
Since 2008, it has played host to the Premier League Darts.
On 2 March 2011, MTV announced it would be hosting its annual European Music Awards in The Odyssey Arena. The event took place on Sunday 6 November. It was the first time the event had been hosted in Northern Ireland, and Belfast was the smallest host city in the EMA's history. It was also named MTV'S most successful EMA awards show.
SSE Arena Belfast
Formerly the Odyssey Arena from 1998-2015. Northern Ireland's biggest indoor arena, with a capacity of 10,000+ for concerts, hosts concerts and sporting events such as Belfast Giants games. On 25 June 2015, it was announced the Arena would undergo a £3 million refurbishment and become the SSE Arena on September 4, 2015. The naming rights will last for 10 years.
- Bars; Rockies Sports Bar, Chic Shed Bar
- Restaurants; Soda Joes, Pizza Hut, The Streat, Red Panda
- Nightclubs; Box Nightclub
- The Odyssey Bowl (bowling alley)
- Odyssey Cinemas (formerly Storm cinema, Vue) 12–screen multiplex.
A Sheridan IMAX operated in the complex from 2000 until 2007, with its former location remaining vacant since.
W5 stands for "Who, What, Where, When, Why"....all the question asked in science. W5 was developed by Dr Sally Montgomery, the Ulster Museum's Project Director (and then founding CEO) with the exhibitions being design by Hands On Inc, Florida USA and Ontario Science Centre, Canada. W5 has some 200 interactive exhibits in 3500 sq metres of exhibition space, workshop space and lecture theatre.
W5 was a wholly owned subsidiary of the National Museums Northern Ireland until 31 March 2012 when it became a subsidiary of Odyssey Trust. W5 has won a huge number of awards including Best Visitor Attraction, several times. In 2013 W5 opened 'Climb it', the biggest Luckey Climber in Europe where small children can climb up 12m in total safety.
In October 2009, The Odyssey Trust sought planning permission for a £100 m extension plan. The plans include 800 residential units, two hotels, a promenade, shops, additional leisure facilities and a multi-storey car park. As to date no work has been carried out on the extension plan.
On 29 November 2013, the owners of the Odyssey won planning permission for an extension to include hotels, shops and apartments creating around 1,000 new job's. Work is due to start immediately, with around 800 people set to work on construction of the scheme – described as the biggest redevelopment in Belfast in years. Odyssey Trust's plan is to build next to the existing Odyssey Arena and Pavilion as part of the restart of the Belfast master plan.
The Odyssey was short-listed for 'International Large Venue of the Year' (Outside of North America) in the 2005 Pollstar Concert Industry Awards, making it one of the top six major concert venues in the world.
The SSE Arena is located in the Titanic Quarter, just a 10/25minute walk from the City Centre. Translink NI Metro service 26, 26A, 26B, 26C, 600A and 600B stop directly outside the Arena and depart from Donegall Square North, just outside the Visit Belfast Welcome Centre.
- "The SSE Arena, Belfast home of the Belfast Giants". Theodyssey.co.uk. Retrieved 2015-10-03.
- Cromie, Claire (2015-06-25). "Belfast's Odyssey to be renamed the SSE Arena in naming rights agreement". BelfastTelegraph.co.uk. Retrieved 2015-10-03.
- "UK | Northern Ireland | £100m Odyssey site revamp planned". BBC News. 2009-10-07. Retrieved 2015-10-03.
-  Archived 20 April 2006 at the Wayback Machine.
- [dead link]
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