The O2 arena is an America-style, multi-purpose venue in London. It has a capacity of 20,000, although the area also houses Indigo2, a 2,350 capacity event space considered a more intimate concert venue. This venue and the facilities it offers are contained within a dome structure, currently known as O2 and formerly known as the Millennium Dome. This structure was completed in June of 1999.
Since it would have been impossible to use cranes from within the O2 dome structure, the roof of the arena was actually constructed on the ground of the venue and lifted upon completion, allowing the rest of the arena to be built around the already completed roof. The O2 arena, despite having only been open since 2007, has already played host to several music and sporting events.
The arena is comprised of three seating areas, the upper and lower tiers, built in the same manner as an amphitheatre, and the floor. Arena management claims there is a clear view to be had from any seat in the arena. The arena is also located in a low emission zone in London and, as such, was designed to be environmentally friendly. Within the venue, steps are taken to reduce carbon emissions. Some of these steps include recycling used cooking oil from the food vendors and composting waste food.
The first performance in the O2 arena, which took place June 23, 2007, was an event strictly for the O2 staff. The “O2 Premiere” private event consisted of performances by Peter Kay, Tom Jones, Kaiser Chiefs and Basement Jaxx. The venue opened to the public June 24, 2007, with a concert performed by Bon Jovi.
On Dec. 10, 2007, Led Zepplin played their first show in 25 years at the arena. Five days later, on Dec. 25, the Spice Girls played their first British concert in almost 10 years in their original five-piece group form at the arena.
In April of the next year, the Olympic torch passed the site during its relay in London and the arena hosted WWE tapings for ECW, SmackDown, and Raw; and in August, Tiësto became the first DJ to entirely sell out the venue in advance of the actual show.
The arena has hosted, aside from sporting events including ice skating, wrestling and boxing, several musical acts, including The Eagles, Prince, Smashing Pumpkins, and Justin Timberlake.
Since its opening, the entire O2 structure has been shown at several times in several different movie and television presentations. In the 2005 film “Green Street,” the O2 can be seen during the final fight scene. In 2006’s “The Da Vinci Code,” the O2 is featured prominently in the background during one sequence. In the James Bond film “The World is Not Enough,” the O2 was the structure that aided James Bond in reaching his hot air balloon destination. In season seven of “The Amazing Race,” the O2 was the location of a roadblock for the contestants, during which they had to properly drive a double-decker bus.