Wembley Arena

© Jim Steele

A £30 million refurbishment has improved the much-derided 12,500-capacity Wembley Arena no end, with comfy seating, better acoustics and decent sightlines. Built opposite Wembley Stadium it was originally intended to be used a swimming pool. Despite hosting aquatic events in the 1934 Empire Games and 1948 Olympic Games, it's rarely used for sport these days. Wembley Arena reopened to the public with a Depeche Mode concert in 2006 and has since proved a huge success. Pearl Jam drew a record crowd of 12,470 fans for a 2007 gig, Cliff Richard holds the record for most headline shows by one artist (over 60) and Busted hold the record for selling out the most consecutive nights, with 11. The only downside is the slight dearth of decent food and drink options.

For the London 2012 Olympic Games, the Arena will seat 6,000 people who will enjoy the Badminton and Rhythmic Gymnastics.

Venue name: Wembley Arena
Address: Empire Way

Transport: Tube: Wembley Park

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