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 (during the 2012 Summer Olympics and Paralympics)
Location Greenwich Peninsula
London, SE10
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 London Underground North Greenwich
Owner English Partnerships
Operator Ansco Arena Limited (AEG Live) Europe
Capacity 20,000
Surface Versatile
Built 2003 to 2007
Opened 24 June 2007
Architect Populous[1]
Structural engineer Buro Happold
Services engineer M-E Engineers Ltd.[2]
General contractor Sir Robert McAlpine
AEG Live (2007–present)

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 entertainment complex on the Greenwich Peninsula in south-east London. It is named after its primary sponsor, the telecommunications company O2.

The O2 Arena is the world's largest building by measure of floor space, and has the second-highest seating capacity of any indoor venue in the United Kingdom, behind the Manchester Arena, but took the crown of the world's busiest music arena from New York City's Madison Square Garden in 2008.[3] The closest underground station to the venue is the North Greenwich station on the Jubilee line.


Prince’s stage for his sold-out 2007 performance

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.[4]

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.[5] 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.[6]

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 until 2018. The venue has hosted the event for the second longest tenure, behind only Madison Square Garden (1977–89).

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.[7]

On 25 September 2013, Christine McVie joined Fleetwood Mac on stage, marking her first live performance since 1998.[8] She later re-joined the band officially in January 2014.[9]

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.[10]

On 16 January 2016, the O2 arena hosted the comeback fight of former heavyweight champion David Haye, promoted by Salter Brothers Entertainment.[11]


As of 2015, the O2 Arena is the busiest music arena in the world in terms of ticket sales, handling 1,819,487 tickets.

World's Busiest Arenas - through Q3 2016[12]
Venue 2016 Ticket sales for concerts/shows
The O2 Arena, London, UK 1,064,912
Madison Square Garden, NY, USA 731,574
Mexico City Arena, Mexico City, Mexico 701,001
AccorHotels Arena, Paris, France 621,629
Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY, USA 582,877
Manchester Arena, Manchester, UK 528,489
Air Canada Centre, Toronto, ON, Canada 503,936
Bell Centre, Montreal, QC, Canada 450,536
The Forum, Inglewood, CA, USA 445,923
Lanxess Arena, Cologne, Germany 437,667

Prizes and awards[edit]

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

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "The O2 London - POPULOUS". POPULOUS. 
  2. ^ O2 Arena - ME Engineers
  3. ^ White, Dominic (15 April 2008). "The Lemon Dome That was Transformed into O2's Concert Crown". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 7 May 2011. 
  4. ^ "Dome sleeps 700 over festive week". BBC News. 28 December 2004. Retrieved 27 January 2014. 
  5. ^ "wins contract at O2 Arena". Audience Systems. Retrieved 7 May 2011. 
  6. ^ "Dome's hi-tech refit for The O2". BBC News. 21 June 2007. Retrieved 25 May 2010. 
  7. ^ "O2 Arena forced into Olympic rebrand following sponsor clash". 
  8. ^ "Christine McVie rejoins Fleetwood Mac on stage at O2". BBC News. 
  9. ^ "Christine McVie rejoins Fleetwood Mac". BBC News. 
  10. ^ "Food ban at ATP tennis tour finals over 'terror fears'". BBC News. 
  11. ^ "David Haye confirms comeback against Mark de Mori at O2 Arena in January". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 13 December 2015. 
  12. ^ "TOP 200 ARENA VENUES 2016" (PDF). 17 October 2016. 

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