The Millennium Dome, frequently referred to simply as The Dome, is a large dome shaped building on the Greenwich peninsula in south-east London, England. The name was officially changed to The O2 when O2 plc (now Telefónica O2 Europe plc) purchased the naming rights from the developers, Anschutz Entertainment Group.
In common British parlance, Millennium Dome is still used; The O2 is not commonly used by the general public.
The Dome was constructed to hold a major exhibition celebrating the beginning of the third millennium. This exhibition opened to the public on January 1, 2000 and ran until December 31, 2000; however, the project and exhibition was the subject of considerable political controversy and did not attract the number of visitors anticipated, leading to recurring financial problems.
Since the closure of the original exhibition, several possible ways of reusing the building have been proposed and then rejected. The renaming of the dome on May 31, 2005 gave publicity to the Dome’s transition into an indoor sporting arena. In this role the plan is to host the 2009 World Gymnastics Championships and the artistic gymnastics and basketball events of the 2012 Summer Olympic Games as well as two National Hockey League games and a National Basketball Association game in 2007.
The sports area will be complemented by a substantial entertainment area.