The Second Dome

I’m not sure how much anyone else will have heard about this, but a jaw-dropping new dome has just been given the green light to be built in Stratford. The Maddison Square Garden arena will apparently be as tall as Big Ben and contain the world’s largest screen. I find it incredible, I must say: Interested in things connected with Stratford and the Olympic Park that I am, this is a story I’ve kept an eye on for a while. The regeneration of that area of London has been phenomenal, and this massive new dome will take it up another level still. Alongside the biggest shopping centre in Europe, I think an events/music venue was a logical next step.

Yet, it must be said, this project is not without controversy.  A thousand local residents have raised concerns about possible light pollution, and the O2 Arena has objected to having a massive new rival built so close. After all, the two venues will only be four stops apart on the Jubilee Line, and vie for the same business. Then again, by the time the MSG arena is up and running, the O2 – itself quite controversial in it’s time – will be about 25 years old, so I reckon it’s due some competition. As fond of the O2 as I am, I’m quite sure it will survive. Indeed, the two venues may well complement one another, and make East London even greater than it already is by drawing even more business, culture and creativity into the area. Either way, this is a project I’ll be keeping an eye on; another excuse to visit Stratford.

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