Standing in the heart of Prague is the second-largest ice hockey arena in Europe. The O2 Arena has been host to a few of the most prestigious competitions on the continent, including the European Athletics Indoor Championships, the World Floorball Championship and the 2014 Gagarin Cup final. The building of the arena was inspired by the success of ice hockey in the Czech Republic in the 1990s and still holds sports events, as well as stage shows and concerts. With 35,000 metres squared space and a capacity of 18,000 spectators, the O2 Arena is one of Prague’s most impressive constructions.
The best reason to visit the O2 Arena is a concert or sports event when the atmosphere is buzzing with energy and the full potential of the building is revealed. There are many to choose from as various major sports teams and musicians have performed here. However, visitors can visit merely to witness the fantastic spectacle and see the modern technological features that include giant video cubes and amazing light displays or visitors can even visit one of the many congress halls, bars, and restaurants. Again, these features are all best shown during a show, with the greatest time to visit during an ice hockey match, as the building was originally built for this exact purpose.
Getting to Ceskomoravska is the easiest way to reach the O2 Arena, as this station is only a few minutes away and has underground, tram and bus facilities. Alternatively, the Praha-Liben train station is also close by. It is also accessible by car, although many streets nearby forbid parking for non-residents. There is, however, a nearby multi-storey car park for short-term parking.
Although it is now a thriving venue for events in Prague, the O2 Arena faced many challenges in its construction.Originally built to host the 2003 Men's World Ice Hockey Championships, the venue was moved to Finland when construction was unable to be completed in time. It was eventually finished in 2004, in time to host the same event the year after, and in 2008 gained the title of the O2 Arena. Since then, it has strengthened its reputation with international sports events and various music performances from celebrities such as Madonna, Muse, and Rihanna.