The Copper Box is a multi-sport venue used for the 2012 Summer Olympics, located in the Olympic Park in Hackney, London, England. Previously known as the Handball Arena, it was renamed because, aside from handball, it hosted modern pentathlon (fencing) during the Olympics and was the goalball venue for the 2012 Summer Paralympics.
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London's Olympic bid proposed that there would be four indoor arenas in the Olympic Park, in addition to other main venues, but the revised masterplan published in 2006 reduced this to three, with the volleyball being moved to Earls Court Exhibition Centre. The fencing arena was also cancelled, and the fencing took place at ExCeL. Construction of the building was completed on time in early 2011 and came in under budget. The design incorporates light pipes and rainwater collectors to reduce both energy and water use by 40%. Test events were successfully hosted at the venue ahead of the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2012.
In January 2012, the venue was renamed the Copper Box from the Handball Arena, thus reflecting the look of the building and the fact that it would not just be used for Handball. English Handball campaigned for the rebrand to be reversed.
The Copper Box has 7,000 seats. It was used for handball preliminaries and modern pentathlon fencing during the Olympic Games, and for goalball during the Paralympic Games. The handball men's quarter-finals, all semi-finals and both finals were held at the larger Basketball Arena.
The Copper Box was praised for its loud, exciting atmosphere during handball games. For the Paralympics goalball events the crowd in the Box must be silent.
The venue has been adapted into a multi-sport arena for community use, athlete training and small-to-medium scale events. It is the only permanent indoor sports arena retained in the Olympic Park, as the temporary Basketball Arena facility has been relocated.
On 8 August 2012, it was announced that British Basketball League side London Lions would re-locate to the Copper Box for the 2013-14 season. Lions played their first game at the Copper Box on 14 August 2013 infront of a sell-out crowd, losing 72-107 to American college team Iowa Hawkeyes in the exhibition match.
The Copper Box has been chosen to host the London 'Grand Prix Badminton' in 2013 from 1 October until the finals on 6 October. The London Grand Prix forms part of the Badminton World Federations BWF Gold series.
London GD, one of the oldest Handball clubs, in the country will use the venue for its home matches.
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