The SSE Arena, Wembley Press Office

Facts & Figures

The SSE Arena, Wembley

  1. The SSE Arena, Wembley started out as the Empire Pool and Sports Arena in 1934 – the swimming pool is still intact underneath the standing floor.
  2. The SSE Arena, Wembley has been a dedicated concert venue for 60 years as of 2019.
  3. In its guise as The Empire Pool, the venue played a key role in the 1948 Olympic Games - hosting Swimming, Diving and Boxing. When the games returned to London in 2012, it was again a host – this time for Badminton and Rhythmic Gymnastics
  4. The glass roof was painted out with dark paint when the Blackout was imposed at the start of World War II.
  5. The Empire Pool was used for public Ice Skating every winter in the 1930s and 1940s.
  6. Cliff Richard has played the most shows at the venue – 63 in total.
  7. The Beatles played their last ever UK show at the venue in 1966 – they shared their dressing room with Roy Orbison and The Walker Brothers.
  8. The first act to headline the arena solo was The Monkees in 1967. They played 5 shows in 3 days.
  9. Whitney Houston is the biggest selling female artist in the venue’s history – performing at the venue 29 times.
  10. Alice Cooper and Status Quo have both played the venue every decade since the 1960s.

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