The O2 Universum, a new multi-functional Congress and Cultural Centre, is set to open in Prague, Czech Republic, in the summer of 2019. The new, nearly 50,000 square meter complex is set to be attached to the existing O2 Arena, a multi-purpose arena which has hosted hockey championships and concerts featuring performers including Rihanna, Sting and Lady Gaga. The O2 Universum is set to be connected to the 18,000 seat O2 Arena on all of its planned four floors. Plans also include 21 halls in a variety of sizes,
“The planned completion of the O2 Universum multi-functional Cultural and Congress Centre is excellent news for Prague,” says Roman Muška, managing director of the Prague Convention Bureau. The O2 Universum will increase the current capacity of the O2 Arena with congress facilities from a total capacity of up to 10,000 people to a total of 28,000 persons. “We are honored that at the beginning of April this year, the O2 Universum decided to join the ranks of the Prague Convention Bureau membership,” says Muska.
The O2 Arena is 10 minutes from Prague’s city center and 30 minutes from the airport. Construction on the arena was completed in 2004, but a planned “small arena” designed as a training area was never completed and the space was used only for storage. The O2 Universum is set to be built on that space by the Bestsport Company which owns and operates the O2 Arena. The budget for the project is 1.2 billion Czech Koruna (CZK) which is more than $56.6 million U.S. dollars. Architects Martin and Vladimír Vokatý of ATIP Company have been developing the architectural design for more than 18 months. The new design fits within the perimeter walls of the existing storage structure. Demolition is nearly complete and the project is set to move into the construction phase.
“The O2 Arena has proved the ability to host successfully the world’s greatest musical or sporting events, however we have been aware for a long time that there is an extensive space in the building that is not being used efficiently,” says Robert Schaffer, the chairman of board and CEO of Bestsport Company and O2 Arena. “In addition we have perceived the interests of promoters and organizers who wanted to place attractive events into arena but there was a question about appropriate space. In the second half of the year 2015 the first serious reflection about rebuilding has come to our minds and we have decided to complete the small arena.”
The company’s main goal is to bring together congress events that have not been in Prague before because of the number of participants or the requirements for exhibition area for the exhibiting group. The staff of O2 Universum hope to host things such as corporate events, parties, cultural events or concerts for which aren’t large enough to warrant use of the O2 Arena.
Bestsport is the operator of the O2 Arena in Prague, one of the most modern multi-functional halls in Europe with a capacity of up to 20,000 seats. The arena can accommodate corporate or public events, from single VIP rooms through congress amenities with the capacity of up to 20,000 spectators. It allows for more than 40 different configurations providing the appropriate functionality for every kind of event, from a concert to an ice hockey match, a basketball tournament or a family show. For more info, visit www.o2arena.cz/en/.