Located in a superb waterfront setting, ExCeL sits in the heart of London's Royal Docks, within easy reach of central London. As London's largest exhibition and conference centre, the venue opened in 2000 at a cost of £300million.
In terms of floor space, it is the largest competition venue at London 2012 and comprises five different arenas, each of which is to host a different sport at the Games.
Expanded in 2010 and with a legacy of staging major events, ExCeL is ideally suited to hosting a series of Olympic and Paralympic events, including boxing, judo, fencing, table tennis, taekwondo, wrestling and weight lifting. No additional construction work was needed in order to prepare ExCeL’s five arenas for London 2012.
ExCeL (short for Exhibition Centre for London) has hosted some of the UK's top trade events — including the World Travel Market, Salon International and The London International Wine and Spirits Fair — as well as staging leading consumer shows such as the London International Boat Show, Grand Designs Live and A Taste of Christmas.
In terms of sporting events it has also hosted World Wrestling Entertainment bouts, boxing matches (including two Amir Khan fights and the 2005 clash between British heavyweight fighters Danny Williams and Audley Harrison) and the 2009 Mazda London Triathlon, in which one of the halls was also used as changeover area and the adjacent Royal Victoria Dock was used in the swimming leg.
The venue sits within a 100 acre campus, which also hosts 3 onsite DLR stations, a car park with a capacity of 3,700 vehicles, several onsite hotels and an array of bars and restaurants.
Capacity: ExCeL’s five arenas will range in capacity from 6,000 to 10,000 for the London 2012 games.
Public facilities: There are a wide variety of food outlets and coffee shops in the boulevard dining area sandwiched between the conference halls, but if you are looking for something more substantial, there are also restaurants, winebars and pubs on the campus. There are also plenty of additional food and drink stands, toilets and baby changing facilities, as well as the London 2012 Shop. Each zone also hosts an exhibition about the sport it is hosting, covering history and the key athletes to watch, in addition to large screens showing video from previous sessions, or from other Olympic events.
History: The Sir Robert McAlpine-built centre was opened in 2000 and has hosted more than 3,500 events, bringing in more than 10 million visitors from more than 200 countries over the years.
The centre went through an expansion stage which was completed in May 2010, adding further meeting space, banqueting facilities, and event space. Test events were hosted in 2011 to ensure the venue was prepared and equipped to stage the Games.
The adjacent Royal Victoria Dock was shut off to commercial traffic in the early 1980s, but is still accessible for vessels to moor alongside the centre. In April 2009 ExCeL hosted the G-20 London Summit.
What’s on?: Boxing (July 28-August 12), fencing (July 28-August 5), judo (July 28-August 3), table tennis (July 28-August 8), taekwondo (August 8-11), weightlifting (July 28-August 7), wrestling (August 5-12).
How do you get there: The Docklands Light Railway and bus routes provide the most suitable ways of getting to this venue, although London City Airport is also only five minutes away. ExCeL is on the DLR Beckton line and is best reached via Custom House station. For your return journey, though, you have to board at Prince Regent station. Transport for London runs several bus routes in the area.
Find on on a map:
Location – in relation to other venues: ExCeL is a four mile road journey south towards the Thames from the Olympic Park, though the distance is shorter as the crow flies. It sits on the northern quay of the Royal Victoria Dock in Docklands, close to Canary Wharf and London City Airport.
Location – on the tube: Nearest Underground station is Canning Town but the ExCeL is best reached by DLR.
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