Wembley Arena was built for the 1934 Empire Games and and originally housed a swimming pool that was last used for the 1948 Summer Olympics. The Arena was renovated, along with Wembley Stadium, as part of the regeneration of the Wembley area at a of £35m and the new arena opened to the public on 2 April 2006, with a concert by Depeche Mode.
With 12,500 seats it is London's second largest indoor arena aftet thge O2 Arenaand the third largest indoor concert venue after the O2 and Earls Court the exhibition hall which regularly stages concerts.
With the reopening of Wembley Arena in 2006, a "Square of Fame" area has been created in front of the arena. Similar to the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Notable Wembley Arena performers are invited to have bronze plaques imprinted with their names and handprints. The first star to have a plaque was Madona on 1 August 2006.
On 9 November 2006, Cliff Richard added his handprints to the Square. Rick Parfitt and Francis Rossi, of Status Quo, unveiled a plaque, with one of each of their handprints, on 16 December 2006. On 9 January 2007, Kylie Minogue included her handprints, on the final day of the London leg of her Showgirl Homecoming Tour.
Seven time World Snooker Champion Stephen Hendry added his handprints on 21 January 2007. International country superstar Dolly Parton unveiled her plaque, on the final night of her UK tour, on 25 March 2007. Canadian music star Bryan Adams unveiled his plaque, on 10 May 2007, just before his 25th appearance at the venue. Just three days later, former Commodores frontman Lionel Richie was presented with his plaque on 13 May 2007, after another sold out performance at the arena. Members of the Irish boyband Westlife unveiled their plaque on 28 March 2008, after 27 sell-out shows, in the space of 10 years. They have sold 250,000 tickets. All four members, Shane Filan, Nicky Byrne, Kian Egan and Mark Feehily were presented with a cast of their hands, which can also be seen in the Square of Fame.
|To get there from the Americana; go to Baker Street Station and take the Metropolitan Line northbound to Wembley Park (Zone 4). When you leave the station pass under the tunnel onto Olympic Way. When you reach Wembley Stadium (do not walk up the ramps), turn right. Wembley Arena is situated across the road.|
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