initiates building at Millennium Dome
By Tom McGhee, Staff Writer
Saturday, July 8, 2006
Philip Anschutz's company AEG has begun construction on a
sports and entertainment arena in London under a 23-acre
fiberglass tent that was the Millennium Dome.
The arena is planned to be the centerpiece of a project that
would include theaters, hotels, offices and housing, and is
expected to open next summer, said AEG spokesman Michael
There is no timetable for construction to begin on other
parts of the project, which would be similar to development
planned for the area surrounding another Anschutz property,
the Staples Center in Los Angeles.
The British government built the Millennium Dome for
millennium celebrations in 2000, hoping that it would become
a viable entertainment venue.
Instead, the attraction on the Greenwich Peninsula at a bend
of the Thames River was a flop.
AEG, based in Los Angeles, won the right to lease the Dome
and land around it for development. The British government
turned over the dome and 189 acres surrounding it to a
company called Meridian Delta Ltd. AEG is Meridian's
partner and will have responsibility for developing and
running the new venue. In exchange for the site, the
partners promised to share future profits with the
AEG expects to spend $1.8 billion to develop the area around
the Dome, which has been renamed The 02, thanks to a
naming-rights agreement with the British telecom company.
A 23,000-seat indoor arena -- similar in size to Denver's
Pepsi Center -- will be the focal point of the
redevelopment. Plans for the new dome call for 10
restaurants, eight bars, a British music hall of fame, a
jazz and blues street, a 1,800-seat theater and a
2,200-capacity music club.
A super-casino could also be built. AEG recently announced
plans for another mixed-use entertainment project in Berlin.
Staff writer Tom McGhee
can be reached at 303-820-1671 or