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The O2 arena, visually typeset in branding as The O2 arena, is a multi-purpose indoor arena located at the centre of The O2, a large entertainment complex on the Greenwich peninsula in South East London, United Kingdom. With a capacity of up to 23,000 depending on the event, it is one of the largest indoor arenas in Europe alongside the MEN Arena in Manchester, the Lanxess Arena in Cologne and the Belgrade Arena in Belgrade. In 2008, The O2 arena took the crown of the World's Busiest Arena from the MEN Arena, a title which it had held since 2001.
Background to the arenaEdit
Construction of the arena started in 2003 and finished in 2007. 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 whole arena building takes up 40% of the total dome structure.
Despite The O2 arena's being open for only seven months of the year, 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 Evening News Arena (1.25 million) and Madison Square Garden in New York (1.23 million). In 2008, it became the world's busiest venue taking the crown from Manchester's MEN Arena with sales of more than two million.
The arena has also hosted two National Hockey League contests, which started the 2007-08 NHL season, on 29 and 30 September, both involving the Anschutz-owned Los Angeles Kings and their regional rivals from Southern California, the Anaheim Ducks.