Built: London 2012 basketball arena

‘Stratford venue will have amazing atmosphere’

Four down, one to go. The London 2012 Basketball Arena – dubbed The Mattress because of its striking external covering – has become the fourth Olympic Park venue completed.

The 12,000-seat venue will also host handball and wheelchair basketball and wheelchair rugby during the Paralympics.

The exterior will act as a canvas for an artistic and innovative lighting design.

Dismantled

After the Games it will be dismantled to be reused elsewhere.

The arena was one of the quickest to be built with initial works on site beginning in October 2009 and work to erect the 1,000-tonne steel frame started in March last year.

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A test event is planned in August when the venue will host the London International Basketball Invitational, which will see six top men’s teams from around the world in action.

Sports Minister Hugh Robertson lavished praise on the new venue.

He said: “Basketball is one of the most atmospheric competitions of the Games and this has been captured by the artistic design of the arena.”