Wembley Arena Pavilion opens
Tuesday, 1 March 2005
Wembley Arena Pavilion opens
UK - Wembley Arena Pavilion opened it doors in February with shows by X Factor and Westlife in the first week. Wembley Ltd contracted The Arena Group to design and build the semi-permanent venue, which has already hosted, and will continue to host some of the world's biggest music stars, until the £32m refurbishment of Wembley Stadium is completed.

The £4m temporary arena has the look and feel of a permanent building. It is insulated for heat and sound, is over 165m long, 70m wide and 17m high, with a seating capacity of 10,000, offers a VIP corporate hospitality area and full backstage production facilities for organizers.

All four divisions of the Arena Group contributed skills and resources to create this unique venue.Arena Structures supplied their TFS structure and supplementary structures to create the venue;Arena Seating supplied and installed the 10,000 seats; Arena Scene provided 18 miles of scaffolding beneath the substructure to create a level venue; and Arena Events is the official preferred hospitality partner through 2005, taking bookings for hospitality packages in 'The View', the exclusive hospitality venue.

David Walley, chief executive of The Arena Group, commented: "It has been a great experience and pleasure working with Wembley Ltd on such an innovative project. To create a venue of this size within four months of signing contacts is a testament to everyone involved. From our perspective we were only able to tackle this ambitious project by drawing on all of the skills within the Arena Group; pooling all of our knowledge and resources to exceed everyone's initial expectations."

Key 'partners' in making this happen were Brent Council, who have worked with Wembley Ltd and the suppliers to facilitate the first temporary venue of this type in the UK, which complies to full permanent building regulations; ClearChannel Entertainments' John Probyn, who project managed the build, and critical to the venue's infrastructure, Star Events Group. Whilst the Arena Group TFS created a great venue it would not have fulfilled the weight loading requirements of the large incoming productions, so Arena Group joined the TFS onto the Star Events Group's VerTech staging system, typically for use on outdoor concerts and festivals but adapted with hard walls and a shutter door for easy load-ins and outs for this project, and created the world's largest Orbit Arch halfway down the TFS to hold the delay speakers.

Arena Group also worked with acoustics consultants Capita Symonds to design a double membrane within the venue to limit noise pollution and a set of speaker delays (supplied by Brit Row) were incorporated into the venue to help manage the sound quality and levels.

Peter Tudor, director of sales and marketing at Wembley, commented: "This is an incredibly exciting time for Wembley in general with the launch of the Pavilion and work already underway on the refurbishment of the Arena. The Pavilion was a major commitment for us and we wanted to ensure that we brought together the best possible industry experts to enable us to deliver a unique, first class venue so that live events and hospitality can continue to take place at Wembley throughout 2005."

(Lee Baldock)

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