Written on: 06/02/2009 by mabdevil (28 reviews written)
Well signposted. Ample parking (if driving, of course). Choice of food inside. Good views of whole of venue. Great customer service.
Lengthy queues to eat when a big show is on. Fairly cramped space in restaurants. Tightly packed seats in arena.
Drove to the O2 on a Saturday night for a Supercross event. pre-paid for ticketless parking, but upon arrival, we didn't know which car park we were supposed to park in. The O2 and all of the car parks are clearly signed and we would have chosen to park in one closest to the Arena. No. This is a pay and display. We went to the car park next door and the attendant said he had no idea, as he was nothing to do with O2 and worked for NCP!
Went in a 3rd car park and used the intercom to speak to someone who finally told us that pre-paid parking is CAR PARK 1. When we drove back out of the area to find car park 1, we nearly missed the entrance, because the car parks are not signposted on the way out (even though we were on a main road and not simply exiting the car parks.
So if you have ticketless parking at the O2, park anywhere you like in car park 1. You insert your payment card (used to buy tickets and parking) into the ticket machine and are allowed entry. No card is needed on exit, as attendants wave you out. Thiis did seem strange, as the car park is also appears to be used as a pay on exit type! Confused yet?
The O2 itself is a fine structure. Of course, remember it is just a huge tent, so not warm inside. There are a number of restaurants that have seating inside and outside (although I mean only outside the restaurant inside the giant tent!). If it's cold, you will queue for a seat inside, as it really is not comfortable enough to sit outside. This will be worse if there is a big or well-attended show. Good food, though, but then you can't really go wrong with Pizza Express!
Entry to the Arena appears to be through one point only. There are fast track and normal entry points, though a number of doors are opened. You will be searched - bags included - on entry and all lids from plastic bottles must be removed on Health and Safety grounds. No glass.
There are fast food concessions once you get inside the concourse and these are well-stocked and serviced. There are official people walking around selling drinks, too, which helps with the queues!
Remember to buy a programme outside, as the vendors inside are not too common, although they do come around once the event starts.
One issue was with the Stewards. They wear grey/black fleeces and are not as apparent as, say, at a football match, where they would be dressed in high-vis jackets. This became a problem when a little drunken scuffle broke out.
The view was excellent. As it was motorsport event, you needed to be able to see the whole track and this was possible. Although the seats are a little small (I'm average height and build - honest!), you don't really notice it. Oh, and they're not cheap plastic seats, but have cushions and armrests!
I sent an e-mail to customer services with a few comments about parking and stewards and they responded very quickly and not with a stock reply. They took my comments on board and would look to improve! Excellent!
We would go back to watch events, especially as we're wiser now. A great arena, well run. Just needs some tweaks.