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Odyssey Place

Coordinates: 54°36′15″N 5°54′54″W / 54.60417°N 5.91500°W / 54.60417; -5.91500
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Odyssey Complex
Odyssey Place / SSE Arena
Complex seen from Clarendon Dock (c. 2008)
Former namesLandmark Millennium Project (planning/construction)
Odyssey Centre (2000–13)
General information
LocationTitanic Quarter
Address2 Queen's Quay
Belfast BT3 9QQ
Northern Ireland
Coordinates54°36′15″N 5°54′54″W / 54.60417°N 5.91500°W / 54.60417; -5.91500
GroundbreakingJune 1998 (1998-06)
Opened2 December 2000 (2000-12-02)
Inaugurated29 November 2001 (2001-11-29)
Cost£120 million
Renovation cost£3 million
ClientBelfast Giants (EIHL) (2001–present)
OwnerOdyssey Trust Company Ltd. (charity)
Design and construction
Architect(s)Consarc Design Group
DeveloperDelap & Waller, Tavakoli Associates
Structural engineerBallykine
Services engineerRPS Group
Other designersTeather Walls Architects
Main contractorFarrans Construction, Gilbert-Ash
Renovating team
Architect(s)H.J. Lyons Architects
Structural engineerTurley & Associates
Services engineerRPS Group
Other information
Seating capacity11,058 (SSE Arena)
Parking1,500 spaces

The Odyssey Complex,[1] consisting of Odyssey Place and the SSE Arena, is a sports, entertainment and science learning complex located within the Titanic Quarter in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

The concept for the complex originated in 1992 and was finalised in June 1998. It opened in December 2000, with expansions in March and May 2001. The complex consists of a multipurpose indoor sports arena, a "hands-on" science learning centre, retail facilities and a large car park. As of June 2024, the Odyssey houses a Cineworld cinema with a Baskin Robbins outlet and a Lavazza café, Hollywood Bowl, Ice Locker, The Lost City Adventure Golf Apocalypse, W5, three restaurants (Five Guys, Nando’s, Zizzi), a cancelled café Angels Café, and three new stores opening (Mary Brown’s Chicken, Funstation and Chapter & Verse).


Arena logo used from 2000 to 2015

The Odyssey Centre was 50% funded by a £45m grant from the Millennium Commission as part of the Landmark Project for Northern Ireland, with matched funding from the Department of Education for Northern Ireland, the Sheridan Group and the Sports Council for Northern Ireland. The application to the Millennium Commission was led by the Ulster Museum, which 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 consultants L&R Leisure. The name "Odyssey" was chosen to symbolise the 'journey of discovery' that would be the science centre; Michael Montgomery, a 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, and W5 on 31 March 2001, with the pavilion opening a few months later. The Odyssey is quoted to have cost £120 million to complete. The whole complex Odyssey was held in trust by the Odyssey Trust Company, with leases to SMG/Sheridan for the arena, Sheridan for the pavilion, and National Museums Northern Ireland for W5. In 2011, the Odyssey Trust fully took over the arena. In 2011, the Odyssey Pavilion, which was owned by the Sheridan Group, went into administration, and the building went under the control of KPMG temporarily until energy company SSE purchased it. It is managed by the Odyssey Trust.


SSE Arena, Belfast[edit]

Mass vaccination centre at the SSE Arena in Belfast (July 2021)

The SSE Arena was known as the Odyssey Arena from 2000 to 2015. Northern Ireland's biggest indoor arena, with a capacity of 11,000+ for concerts,[2] 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 4 September 2015, with the naming rights to last for 10 years.[3]


Interior bowl of the arena before an ice hockey match, October 2010

Since opening, the SSE Arena has been the home to the UK's Elite Ice Hockey League team, the Belfast Giants. The Belfast Giants play weekly home games against teams from across the U.K. between September and March of each year. On 2 October 2010, the Boston Bruins faced the Belfast Giants 'Selects' in an NHL Challenge match.

The venue also hosts a number of live sporting events including WWE who brings superstars from WWE Raw and WWE Smackdown brands so wrestling fans are able to watch their favourites perform live. On 16 June 2007, the SSE Arena hosted the UFC 72: Victory as they continued their expansion into Europe where the live events were broadcast on pay-per-view in North America, the United Kingdom and Ireland.

World Champion Boxer Carl Frampton has also fought at the SSE Arena. His first fight at the venue was in 2010 when he won the Commonwealth super-bantamweight title by a fourth-round TKO stoppage against Mark Quon. Carl Frampton has continued to fight in the SSE Arena, Belfast up until 2018 and helped promote Northern Ireland by using it as the venue for his matches

Since 2008, the venue has also played host to the Premier League Darts.

Odyssey Place[edit]

Entrance to the Odyssey Pavilion

Formerly known as the Odyssey Pavilion, Odyssey Place houses multiple shops, restaurants, cafes, entertainment venues and leisure facilities. The major redevelopment of Odyssey Place sees two new major companies entering the space. The previous Odyssey Cinema's space will now be home to world's second largest cinema chain Cineworld who will be redeveloping and entering the space of the previous Sheridan IMAX cinema. The Odyssey Bowl is home to arcade games, bowling alleys and a restaurant will re-launch itself after being purchased by the Hollywood Bowl Group, while Zizzi, Nando's and Five Guys will open restaurants. It is Cineworld and Hollywood Bowl's first ventures in Northern Ireland.

The Odyssey Pavilion was once home to a thriving nightlife including bars, nightclubs and restaurants. Notable examples include Rockies Sports Bar, Bar 7, Box Nightclub and Beach Nightclub. Several food companies were situated in The Pavilion including Soda Joes, Red Panda, La Tasca and The Streat Cafe alongside two well-known food chains including Northern Ireland's own Indian Ocean restaurants and Pizza Hut.


Luckey Climber, 2014

W5, which stands for "Who, What, Where, When, Why", was developed by Sally Montgomery, the Ulster Museum's project director (and then founding CEO), with the exhibitions being designed by Hands On Inc (Florida, United States), and Ontario Science Centre, Canada. W5 has roughly 250 interactive exhibits, along with 6 themed exhibitions, in 3500 square metres of exhibition space, workshop space and lecture theatre.[4]

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 number of awards, including Best Visitor Attraction, several times. In 2013, W5 opened 'Climbit',[5] the biggest Luckey Climber in Europe where small children can climb up twelve metres in total safety.


In October 2009, the Odyssey Trust sought planning permission for a £100m extension plan. The plans included 800 residential units, two hotels, a promenade, shops, additional leisure facilities and a multi-storey car park.[6] On 29 November 2013, the owners of the Odyssey secured planning permission for an extension to include hotels, shops and apartments; work was 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 was to build next to the existing Odyssey Arena and Pavilion as part of the restart of the Belfast master plan. In October 2017, it was announced that planning permission had been submitted to transform the complex in a £10m refurbishment. Plans included a new entrance to the Odyssey Pavilion, upgrade of public realm spaces, and reconfiguration of existing retail units. A second phase would see improved visitor access and greater use of the central open space.


In 2006, the Odyssey Arena was shortlisted for 'International Large Venue of the Year' (over 8,000 seats) outside of North America. This took place at the 17th Annual Pollstar Awards in 2006. This shortlisting made the Odyssey Arena one of the top six major concert venues in the world.[7][8]

The SSE Arena, Belfast, has won the ‘App of The Year’ at the 2017 DANI (Digital Advertising Northern Ireland) Awards.


The complex is located in the Titanic Quarter of Belfast. It is a 15-minute walk from the city centre, over the Lagan Weir and Queen Elizabeth Bridges. Visitors are also able to access it via services provided by Translink NI. Glider (Belfast) is the newest way to access the arena from the city centre. The Glider Bus route 'G2' travels from the city centre to the Odyssey bus stop which allows users to depart right outside of the venue. Metro (Belfast) service '94' takes users from Donegall Square North, just outside the Visit Belfast Welcome Centre, to the venue with stops immediately outside. The Titanic Quarter railway station is only a 10-minute walk away from the Arena and Titanic Belfast visitor centre. The arena is located across the bypass bridge and off of Sydenham Road after exiting the railway station.


  1. ^ McLaughlin, Sophie (5 April 2023). "New tenant announced for reopened Odyssey complex". BelfastLive. Retrieved 30 May 2023.
  2. ^ "The SSE Arena, Belfast home of the Belfast Giants". Theodyssey.co.uk. Retrieved 3 October 2015.
  3. ^ Cromie, Claire (25 June 2015). "Belfast's Odyssey to be renamed the SSE Arena in naming rights agreement". BelfastTelegraph.co.uk. Retrieved 3 October 2015.
  4. ^ "Explore W5|Over 250 Interactive Exhibits|W5 Belfast". W5. W5. 6 July 2018. Retrieved 9 July 2018.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: others (link)
  5. ^ "ClimbIt|Multi-Storey Climbing Structure|W5 Belfast". W5. W5. 6 July 2018. Retrieved 10 July 2018.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: others (link)
  6. ^ "UK | Northern Ireland | £100m Odyssey site revamp planned". BBC News. 7 October 2009. Retrieved 3 October 2015.
  7. ^ [1] Archived 20 April 2006 at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ "Welcome to nginx". Archived from the original on 7 September 2012. Retrieved 1 July 2006.

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