Photo: The Millennium Dome
The Millennium Dome, now officially known as The O2, is a large dome shaped building on the Greenwich peninsula in south east London, the United Kingdom. The name was officially changed when O2 plc purchased the naming rights from the developers, Anschutz Entertainment Group.
The dome was constructed in order 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 in its planning and costing.
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 trampolining events of the 2012 Summer Olympic Games. The sports area will be complemented by a proposed substantial entertainments complex, the contents of which are still the subject of political decision (and some major controversy).