London 2012 Olympics: A Glance At A Pair Of Basketball Venues

Map of the Olympic venues in London, provided by londontown.com. For full-size map, click here.

As I've been watching the Olympics and wondering a bit about the venues, I started thinking - hey, maybe you fine folks are doing the same. So here's some basic information about where the basketball is being played in this 2012 Olympics.

There are two venues that will be used this year. The first is the Basketball Arena, a.k.a. "The Mattress", where the preliminary rounds are being played. The second is where the finals will be held and where the gymnastics competition is taking place in this first week of the Games, called the North Greenwich Arena, or O2 Arena. At a glance:

Basketball Arena

Built specifically for the 2012 Summer Olympics, this temporary venue stands as the largest temporary venue for any Olympic Games. There was talk of deconstructing and reconstructing the building for the 2016 Games in Rio, but this talk has since been tabled.

The President of the Company Olympic Hall (EOM), an agency of the city of Rio responsible for preparing for the Olympics, Maria Silvia Bastos, virtually ruled on Tuesday (26) the use, in 2016, the temporary arena - and removable - the basketball and handball that will be used this year in London. She said the idea may not be feasible due to the cost of transport, reassemble the structure and storage for four years.

The president of the EOM, however, still would not rule out "completely" arena only "virtually". "Why do not yet have the final determination of cost, transport and storage. Are things that we are still working," he said. The possibility of using the arena gained momentum last week, during a visit by Deputy Prime Minister of the UK, Nick Clegg, the Maracana. "Yes, we can use it," had said the State Secretary of Sports, Marcia Lins. "

- translation from a June 26, 2012 article

Location: Olympic Park in Stratford, London; adjacent to the Olympic Stadium and Olympic Village, among other venues. The 500-acre Olympic Zone, including the location of the Basketball Arena, was developed on existing waste and industrial land.

Capacity: 12,000

Constructed: June 2011

Used for: Preliminary rounds of the men's and women's basketball competition; medal round of handball; staging area for athletes during the opening and closing ceremonies; wheelchair basketball and wheelchair rugby in the 2012 Summer Paralympics (capacity: 10,000)

North Greenwich Arena - "O2 Arena"

The O2 website

This multi-purpose indoor entertainment located in the center of The O2 entertainment complex on the Greenwich Peninsula. Interestingly, due to the inability to use cranes inside the dome, the roof was built on the ground and then raised, with the arena building's structure then built around the roof. Along with its role in hosting the Olympics, the arena is well-known for its musical performances that have been held there. In 2007, despite only being open for seven months after its building completion, the venue sold over 1.2 million tickets, the third most popular arena for concerts and family shows that year. The top two spots? Manchester Arena (1.25M) and Madison Square Garden (1.23M).

Location: Located in what is known as the River Zone, the O2 Arena is the second-largest in the United Kingdom behind the Manchester Arena.

Capacity: 20,000

Constructed: June 2007

Used for: Basketball (quarterfinals through the medal round); gymnastics; wheelchair basketball (capacity: 18,000)

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