London Spy

Venue guide: Basketball Arena

London Spy

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Where is it?: Olympic Park, Stratford, East London.

How do you get there?: The arena is located in the north of Olympic Park. It can be reached by rail, underground, Docklands Light Railway, bus or coach. National Rail, London Underground and DLR all serve Stratford station to the east of the park and West Ham station to the south, while Transport for London has bus stops in the area and there will be coaches direct to the park.

Capacity: 12,000.

What events will be held there and when?: Basketball (July 28-August 7), handball (August 8-12).

Public facilities: To be shared with the Velodrome and BMX track to make the best use of space and resources in the area.

History: Reputedly the largest temporary venue to be built for any Olympics, this white PVC tent was started in October 2009 and completed within its £42million budget last June, making it one of the quickest to be built. Uniquely, perhaps, the arena, which is as tall as the Tate Modern gallery at 35 metres and longer than a football pitch at 115m, could be the first Olympic venue to be used elsewhere, since there is a plan to recycle two-thirds of it for use in other parts of the UK and abroad. However, organisers face a major challenge during the Games, as the arena has to switch from a basketball venue to one suitable for handball inside 22 hours. This will principally involve replacing the basketball posts with handball goals and basketball court with a handball pitch mat.

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