The O2, visually typeset in branding as The O2, is a large entertainment district on the Greenwich
peninsula in South East London
, including an indoor arena, a music club, a Cineworld cinema, an exhibition space, piazzas, bars and restaurants. It was built largely within the former Millennium Dome
, a large dome-shaped building built to house an exhibition celebrating the turn of the third millennium; as such, The Dome remains a name in common usage for the venue.
It is often referred by various names: the O2 Dome; the O2 Centre
, which properly refers to a shopping centre on Finchley Road; or The O2 Arena
, which properly refers to a smaller indoor arena within The O2. Naming rights to the district were purchased by O2 plc (now Telefónica Europe
plc) from its developers, Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG), during the development of the district. AEG owns the long-term lease on the O2 Arena and surrounding leisure space.
From the closure of the original "Millennium Experience" exhibition occupying the site, several possible ways of reusing the Millennium Dome's shell were proposed and then rejected. The official renaming of the Dome in 2005 gave publicity to its transition into an entertainment district.