“The scale of it and the way the crowds will be close into the arena is going to create a fantastic atmosphere and coming here gives you goose bumps.”
At the recent London 2012 Wheelchair Rugby test event, held in the Basketball Arena on the Olympic Park, players were blown away by the venue in which they will play in four months time.
“It’s staggering, just mind-blowing,” said Great Britain’s Ross Morrison. “The scale of it and the way the crowds will be close into the arena is going to create a fantastic atmosphere and coming here gives you goose bumps.”
Event specific tickets have been sold out since last year, but spectators still have the chance to view this spectacular sport by buying Olympic Park day passes, and organizers are expecting all 12,000 seats to be filled with raucous fans.
“The home crowd is our fifth man,” said Great Britain’s Andy Barrow. “Once they find out just what an amazing sport we have here, they’re going to want to see it.”
The venue, which will also host some of the Wheelchair Basketball games, is an impressively large setting: 35m high and 115m long – longer than a football pitch.
“It is a superb venue which will be the centre of some of the best team action during the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games,' said London 2012 Organizing Committee Chair Seb Coe.
The Basketball Arena is one of the largest temporary venues ever built for the Games. The venue’s frame is made up of 1,000 tonnes of steel and is covered in 20,000 square metres of a recyclable white PVC fabric that will form the canvas for spectacular lighting displays during the Games.
The Basketball Arena will be taken down after the Paralympics, and parts of it are expected to be reused or relocated elsewhere. It might even be used at the Rio 2016 Games.