Wembley Arena is a famous entertainment venue, located in Wembley, London, UK. The building is opposite Wembley Stadium. It was built for the 1934 Empire Games and originally housed a swimming pool, as reflected by its former name, the Empire Pool. The pool itself was last used for the 1948 Summer Olympics.
Cliff Richard holds the record for the most headline shows by one artist, and will play his sixtieth concert in the Arena in 2008. Whitney Houston is the female artist with the most shows at Wembley, with 29. Westlife are the best selling pop band, having played 27 headline shows at the venue, and Status Quo will play their 42nd Wembley Arena show in December 2008.
Indoor sporting events such as boxing and ice hockey have long been popular at the Arena, notably the World Championship bout between then champion Alan Minter and challenger Marvin Hagler, which the latter won. The Wembley Lions and Wembley Monarchs were two ice hockey teams that used the venue during the 1940s, 50s and 60s, while the London Lions used the venue for a season in the 1970s. Wembley also hosted the British Hockey League play-off finals weekend at the end of each season up until the league's disbandment in 1996. More recently netball, darts, basketball, five-aside football, snooker and cage fighting have made regular appearances on the calendar.
Artists that have played the "new" venue include Busted, Shania Twain, Blink 182, Christina Aguilera, Pink, Madonna, Take That, Kylie Minogue, Ozzy Osbourne, Cliff Richard, The Eagles, Diana Ross, Céline Dion, Status Quo, Il Divo, Placebo, Meat Loaf, Westlife, McFly, Dave Matthews Band, Santana, Girls Aloud, Hard-Fi, Bruce Springsteen, Mariah Carey, My Chemical Romance, Rush, Dream Theater and Gwen Stefani.