Wembley Arena

Wembley Arena (originally the Empire Pool) is an indoor arena, at Wembley, in the London Borough of Brent. It is located right next to Wembley Stadium. The Masters snooker tournament annually took place in the venue during the month of January from 2007 to 2011. Indoor sporting events such as boxing, mixed martial arts and ice hockey have long been popular at the venue, notably the World Championship bout between then champion Alan Minter and challenger Marvin Hagler, which the latter won, after which a racially motivated riot followed. From the late 1960s to the late 1970s, the Skol 6-Day cycle race was held here. An indoor velodrome of 166 metres was assembled from sections each September. This was Britain's first indoor velodrome. Top professional riders from the European 6-Day circuit came to London, including Eddy Merckx, Peter Post, Patrick Sercu and many others. British riders such as World pursuit champion Hugh Porter and British Champion Tony Gowland rode with distinction. Another rider was the Australian Gary Wiggins, father of Bradley Wiggins, Tour de France winner 2012. During the 1948 Summer Olympics, the venue hosted the Olympic boxing, Olympic diving, Olympic swimming, and Olympic water polo events.[6] The Wembley Lions and Wembley Monarchs were two ice-hockey teams that used the venue regularly during the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s, while the London Lions used the venue for 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. The arena also played host to NHL teams the Toronto Maple Leafs and the New York Rangers for a pair of challenge matches in 1993. More recently netball, darts, basketball, five-aside football, cage fighting and The Masters of snooker have made regular appearances on the calendar. It hosted the final of the Whyte and Mackay Premier League Darts 2009 where James Wade triumphed against Mervyn King, who beat Phil Taylor in the semi-finals as he failed to successfully defend his 4 titles. Whyte and Mackay Premier League Darts also hosted the playoff finals in 2010 at Wembley Arena when Phil Taylor won the title beating James Wade and making history by being the first dart player to hit a 9 Darter in a final, and being the first dart player to hit 2 9 Darters in a darts match live on TV! The 888.com 2011 Premier League Darts Finals also took place at Wembley where Adrian Lewis beat Phil Taylor 8Ц3 in their semi-final but ultimately lost against Gary Anderson 10Ц4 in the Final itself on the same night. The Horse of the Year Show was held there from 1959Ц2002. The venue hosted Olympic badminton and Olympic rhythmic gymnastics at the 2012 Summer Olympics.[7] The UFC is scheduled to host it's first event at Wembley Arena in February 2013.