The O2 Arena

Coordinates: 51°30′10″N 0°00′12″E / 51.5029°N 0.0032°E / 51.5029; 0.0032
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The O2 Arena
The O2 entertainment complex, which houses the arena
The O2 Arena is located in Royal Borough of Greenwich
The O2 Arena
The O2 Arena
Location within Royal Borough of Greenwich
Full nameThe O2 Arena
Former namesNorth Greenwich Arena (during the 2012 Summer Olympics and Paralympics)
LocationGreenwich Peninsula
London, SE10
Coordinates51°30′10″N 0°00′12″E / 51.5029°N 0.0032°E / 51.5029; 0.0032
Public transitLondon Underground North Greenwich
OwnerHomes and Communities Agency
OperatorAnsco Arena Limited (AEG Live) Europe
Capacity20,000[1]
SurfaceVersatile
Construction
Built2003–2007
Opened24 June 2007
ArchitectHOK Sport Now POPULOUS [2]
Structural engineerBuro Happold
Services engineerM-E Engineers Ltd.[3]
General contractorSir Robert McAlpine
Tenants
Website
theo2.co.uk

The O2 Arena, commonly known as The O2, is a multi-purpose indoor arena in the centre of The O2 entertainment district on the Greenwich Peninsula in southeast London. It opened in its present form in 2007. It has the second-highest seating capacity of any indoor venue in the United Kingdom, behind the Manchester Arena, and in 2008 was the world's busiest music arena.[1] As of 2022, it is the ninth-largest building in the world by volume with a diameter of 365 metres (399 yards) and a height of 52 metres (57 yards).

The arena was built under the Millennium Dome (renamed The O2), a large dome-shaped building built to house an exhibition celebrating the turn of the third millennium; as the structure still stands over the arena, The Dome remains a name in common usage for the venue. The arena, as well as the overall The O2 complex, is named after its primary sponsor, the telecommunications company O2, a subsidiary of Virgin Media O2.

History[edit]

Following the closure of the Millennium Experience at the end of 2000, the Millennium Dome was leased to Meridian Delta Ltd. in December 2001, for redevelopment as an entertainment complex. This included plans for an indoor arena.[4]

Construction of the arena started in 2003, and finished in 2007. In December 2004, after the interior of the dome had been largely cleared and before building work inside began, the dome was used as the main venue for the annual Crisis Open Christmas organised by the London-based homelessness charity Crisis.[5]

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.[2] 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.[6]

The seating arrangement throughout the whole arena can be modified, similar to the AO Arena in Manchester.[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 designed to reduce echoing, a problem common among older arenas used for concerts.[8]

Damage to the O2's tent, above the roof of the O2 Arena, caused by Storm Eunice (2022)

On 18 February 2022 during Storm Eunice, large sections of the arena's fabric roof were shredded, causing the evacuation of 1,000 people, and the venue to close.[9][10] It was later announced that repair works would take place and that the arena was likely to reopen on 25 February 2022, for a UB40 concert.[11] The repairs took place as planned, with the O2 Arena reopened as scheduled. [12]

Events[edit]

Prince's stage for his sold-out performance of 2007

In August 2007, rock star Prince began a series of 21 sold-out nights at the O2 Arena.[13] The record-breaking run featured many of his hits while the set list changed every night so no two shows would be the same.[14]

Beginning in July 2009, Michael Jackson was scheduled to hold a 50-show residency at the arena, titled This Is It.[15][16] However, he died on 25 June, eighteen days before the first scheduled show.[17]

O2 Arena hosting a tennis match at the ATP World Tour Finals

The arena hosted the ATP World Tour Finals between 2009 and 2020.[18]

During the 2012 Summer Olympics and Paralympics, the venue was referred as the North Greenwich Arena due to Olympics regulations regarding corporate sponsorship of event sites.[19]

Since March 2013, the arena has hosted C2C: Country to Country, Europe's largest country music festival, which annually attracts over 20,000 fans. UK and Irish acts, as well as up-and-coming American acts, perform sets several times across various pop-up stages in and around the arena, with the main stage accessible only to ticket-holders. The seventh C2C was held on 8–10 March 2019.[20]

The arena has hosted the 2013 EuroLeague Final Four between 10-12th of May 2013.

Ariana Grande was scheduled to perform on 25 and 26 May 2017 as part of her Dangerous Woman Tour, but the event was cancelled after the Manchester Arena bombing on 22 May. The event was not rescheduled. Grande, however, held five concerts at the arena for her Sweetener World Tour on 17, 19, and 20 August 2019 as well as 15 and 16 October 2019.[21]

On 30 November 2019, JoJo Siwa became the youngest person to perform in the O2 Arena at the age of 16, as part of her D.R.E.A.M. The Tour.[22]

On 14 May 2022, Little Mix held their The Last Show (For Now) in the O2, which was their last show before their indefinite hiatus. Along with performing there live to 20,000 they also livestreamed the show live to millions for those who could not attend The Confetti Tour.

On 15 October 2022, the O2 hosted a boxing match between Claressa Shields and Savannah Marshall that was the first time two female boxers headlined at a major venue in the United Kingdom.[23][24][25] Shields won, and the fight headlined the first all-female boxing card in the United Kingdom.[26]

On 1 July 2023, the O2 Arena hosted WWE Money In The Bank,[27] as well as the 30 June 2023 go-home episode of Friday Night SmackDown beforehand, which was the first time the show aired live on BT Sport (Now known as TNT Sports).[28]

The O2 Arena will host the final of the 2024 League of Legends World Championship on 2 November 2024.[29]

Ticket sales records[edit]

New Jersey Nets v Miami Heat, an NBA game in the O2 Arena

Despite 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).

As of 2021, the O2 Arena was still the busiest music arena in the world in terms of ticket sales.[30]

World's busiest arenas, 2017[31]
Venue Number of tickets sold
The O2 Arena, London, England, UK 1,443,232
Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York, US 1,167,544
Manchester Arena, England, UK 1,072,079
OVO Hydro, Glasgow, Scotland, UK 1,028,934
Barclays Center, Brooklyn, New York, US 936,794
Lanxess Arena, Cologne, Germany 931,394
Arena Monterrey, Mexico 906,290
Mexico City Arena 881,665
The Forum, Inglewood, California, US 790,728
WiZink Center, Madrid, Spain 784,699

Prizes and awards[edit]

  • 2016 Pollstar International Venue of the Year
  • 2016 Billboard Touring Awards: Top Arena
  • 2016 The London Venue Awards: Best Music Venue
  • 2016 The Drum UK Event Awards: Large Venue of the Year
  • 2017 Pollstar International Venue of the Year

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b White, Dominic (15 April 2008). "The Lemon Dome That Was Transformed into O2's Concert Crown". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 7 May 2011.
  2. ^ a b "Transforming a tent into the World's favourite venue". Populous. Retrieved 13 February 2018.
  3. ^ O2 Arena – ME Engineers Archived 24 November 2017 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ "New life for Millennium Dome". BBC News. 18 December 2001. Retrieved 10 October 2017.
  5. ^ "Dome sleeps 700 over festive week". BBC News. 28 December 2004. Retrieved 27 January 2014.
  6. ^ Gottfried, Gideon (6 July 2022). "The O2 Turns 15: 'A Living, Breathing Music Machine'". Pollstar. Retrieved 18 February 2023. [includes] A cutaway render of the arena, courtesy of Populous architects.
  7. ^ "wins contract at O2 Arena". Audience Systems. Archived from the original on 27 February 2012. Retrieved 7 May 2011.
  8. ^ "Dome's hi-tech refit for The O2". BBC News. 21 June 2007. Retrieved 25 May 2010.
  9. ^ Halliday, Josh; Morris, Steven; Rodrigues, Jason; Greenfield, Patrick (18 February 2022). "Storm Eunice live: winds of up to 122mph as millions urged to stay inside after Met Office red weather warning". The Guardian. Retrieved 18 February 2022.
  10. ^ Hubbard, Ben [@BJFHubbard] (18 February 2022). "Dome update - six panels shredded and counting !" (Tweet). Retrieved 18 February 2022 – via Twitter. (includes video footage)
  11. ^ "Storm Eunice: O2 arena remains closed due to damaged roof". BBC News. 21 February 2022. Retrieved 21 February 2022.
  12. ^ "Storm Eunice: O2 Arena reopens after Storm damage". BBC News. 25 February 2022. Retrieved 19 October 2023.
  13. ^ "Prince at The O2". NME. 16 October 2008. Retrieved 23 March 2021. Caption, pic 2: Prince on his way to an aftershow party following one of his 21 sold-out nights at the O2.
  14. ^ Thorne, Matt (22 September 2007). "Prince makes history with O2 shows". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 23 March 2021.
  15. ^ Kreps, Daniel (12 March 2009). "Michael Jackson's 'This Is It!' Tour Balloons to 50-Show Run Stretching Into 2010". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on 13 March 2009. Retrieved 7 December 2021.
  16. ^ "Michael Jackson tickets sell out". BBC News. 13 March 2009. Retrieved 18 August 2019.
  17. ^ Sherwin, Adam (26 June 2009). "O2 arena counts cost as curtain closes on the greatest show of all". The Times. Retrieved 7 December 2021.
  18. ^ "ATP Finals moving from London to Turin from 2021 to 2025". BBC News. BBC. 24 April 2019. Retrieved 16 February 2022.
  19. ^ Quilter, James (7 December 2021). "O2 Arena forced into Olympic rebrand following sponsor clash". Campaign.
  20. ^ Gage, Jeff (28 January 2019). "Chris Stapleton, Keith Urban to Headline 2019 C2C Festival". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 25 May 2022.
  21. ^ Phull, Hardeep (23 December 2019). "Ariana Grande Closes Sweetener World Tour in Los Angeles With Tears and Hits Aplenty". Billboard. Archived from the original on 25 May 2022. Retrieved 25 May 2022.
  22. ^ Perreault, Olivia (6 November 2019). "JoJo Siwa Becomes Youngest Artist To Perform at London's O2 Arena". TicketNews. Retrieved 25 May 2022.
  23. ^ Hogwood, Cameron (16 October 2022). "Claressa Shields beats Savannah Marshall by unanimous decision in undisputed middleweight title fight". Sky Sports. Archived from the original on 19 October 2022. Retrieved 16 October 2022.
  24. ^ Barry, Coral (15 October 2022). "Claressa Shields v Savannah Marshall: American produces career-best performance in historic fight". BBC Sport. Archived from the original on 16 October 2022. Retrieved 16 October 2022.
  25. ^ McRae, Donald (14 October 2022). "Shields and Marshall lead historic night of UK women's boxing". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 27 November 2022.
  26. ^ "Savannah Marshall loses grudge match Claressa Shields in first ever all-female UK boxing card". ITV News. 16 October 2022. Archived from the original on 11 November 2022.
  27. ^ "Money in the Bank headed to The O2 in London on Saturday, July 1". WWE. 5 January 2023. Retrieved 7 January 2023.
  28. ^ "Friday Night Smackdown® Headed to the O2 in London the Night Before Money in the Bank". WWE.com (Corporate). 9 February 2023. Archived from the original on 23 February 2023. Retrieved 19 November 2023.
  29. ^ "2024 World Final Set for The O2 in London". LoL Esports. Archived from the original on 14 December 2023. Retrieved 19 November 2023.
  30. ^ "2017 Year End Special Features: Top Tours, Promoters, Venues, Grosses". Pollstar. 1 May 2018. Archived from the original on 18 November 2021.
  31. ^ "Top 200 Arena Venues 2017" (PDF). Pollstar. Archived (PDF) from the original on 3 October 2023.

External links[edit]

Preceded by ATP Year-end Championships
Venue

2009–2020
Succeeded by
Preceded by Euroleague
Final Four
Venue

2013
Succeeded by