A temporary 10,000-seat structure will be built to provide an alternate venue when London's Wembley Arena shuts down from January to August 2005.

A temporary 10,000-seat structure will be built to provide an alternate venue when London's Wembley Arena shuts down from January to August 2005.

The sophisticated new facility, which is expected to cost about £2 million ($3.6 million), will be located next to the existing Wembley Arena, which has a capacity of 11,500.

The move is in response to fears that Wembley's temporary closure will hurt U.K. tours planned for next year.

Wembley is London's biggest indoor venue. Its owner, Quintain Estates and Development, and operator, Wembley (London) Ltd., announced last November a £20 million ($36.4 million) refurbishment and upgrade program.

Details about the contractor and building material used for the short-term venue have not been disclosed. Wembley (London) Ltd. still needs to obtain planning permission and licensing before the alternate arena can be built.

Peter Tudor, Wembley Arena director of sales and marketing, is confident the necessary permits will be in place next month. He insists it will be a very robust operation. "People think it will be like some temporary tent. On the contrary, it will be very sophisticated with full heating and lighting, and have permanent seating in it."

Fully insulated with a permanent stage, rig, VIP catering and other required facilities, the temporary structure will be located in an area currently occupied by a parking lot at the rear of the existing Wembley Arena.

Once completed, the redeveloped Wembley Arena will be a leisure complex featuring retail outlets, hotels, bars, offices and housing (Billboard, Nov. 15, 2003).