The outstanding and impressively designed Copper Box is the place where many crucial Olympic Games such as handball, goalball and fencing discipline of Modern Pentathlon will be hosted during the London Olympics 2012. Copper Box is located in the west of the Olympic Park in Stratford, East London. Many nations will compete for the precious Olympic gold, silver and bronze medals here. The sitting capacity is for 7,000 spectators. Britain has been lucky with a wildcard to play the handball tournament in Olympics. Earlier this place was known as "Handball Arena", but in January 2012 the venue was renamed as the "Copper Box" due the physical appearance of the building and because this place will not only be used for playing handball, but a couple of other games also. However, controversies have mushroomed. London 2012 organizers are against altering its name. The British Handball chief executive Paul Goodwin feels that name "Copper Box" does not reflect its actual usage.
Sport Events Handball, Goalball, Modern Pentathlon
Location In the west of the Olympic Park
New or Existing New
Permanent or Temporary Permanent
Number of Events 6 Events
Copper Box - The Construction
Construction of the Copper Box commenced on July 2009 and was completed in May 2011 under the estimated budget. Copper Box is covered with more than 3,000sq m of external copper cladding that is expected to become over the years. The scintillating look of the Copper Box will enable the spectators to spot it easily and enjoy the sports that will be hosted inside it. It will also be illuminated at night just like a shining jewel! The interior of the Copper box is colorful and electrifying. The spectators will enjoy flexible seating with retractable seats to provide them with maximum comfort. Copper Box will also be used for the fencing element of the modern pentathlon and the Paralympic sport of goalball. A 13,700sq m back-of-house area, behind the games will be utilized for catering, security and the media. A temporary warm-up area of 1400sq m and up to 15m high has also been built for the players.
During The Games
Copper Box will host the preliminary rounds and quarterfinals of the handball competition during the Olympic Games and the semi-finals and final will be held in the larger Basketball Arena. As there are a couple of games, only 48 hours will be available to get the venue ready for the Modern Pentathlon Fencing events after the handball competition finishes. For examples, the handball field of play mat will be removed, ten fencing pistes (playing areas) will be laid, new technology for timing, scoring, and new scoreboards at each fencing piste will be installed. Earlier four arenas were proposed in the Olympic Park, but only three were finalized. The volleyball game has been shifted to the Earls court Exhibition Centre. The test events have been a big success at the Copper Box, that has just heightened the excitement of Olympic and Paralympic matches!
After The Games
Once Olympic Games are over, Copper Box will become a multi-use sports centre for community use such as athlete training and small to medium sized events. It will be equipped to cater a wide range of indoor sports, including basketball, handball, badminton, boxing, martial arts, netball, table tennis, wheelchair rugby and volleyball. It will also feature a health and fitness club and a cafe for use by the local community. Copper Box will be permanently retained in the Olympic Park and the Basketball Arena will be relocated. Areas behind the scene such as the areas used for the media and technology during the Games will be judiciously transformed to provide extra spectator facilities. The athletes' changing rooms will be altered to create more family-friendly and accessible changing areas.
The basic idea behind hosting handball and other such games in such a magnificent manner is to increase awareness of the sport, which has a lukewarm response in England but hugely popular elsewhere in Europe, and around the world, especially among women. Gradually, British children are also being introduced to this sport, thus increasing its popularity. Copper Box will definitely provide a huge platform for the upcoming players!