Olympics 2012 Venue Guide: Fencing at the ExCeL Center

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The largest multiple arena indoor venue of the 2012 London Olympics will be the location for the fencing competitions, in addition to a variety of other events. The mammoth ExCeL Center, an abbreviated name for its full title of Exhibition Centre London, has five different arenas for athletes to compete simultaneously across the facility.

Fencing has been an official Olympic sport since 1896, and will share the new ExCeL Center with table tennis, weightlifting, judo, wrestling, tae-kwon-do, and boxing during the 2012 London Games. Fencing will have its own special area in the giant convention center complex that was expanded in 2010 to accommodate the London Olympics.

Venue Name: ExCeL - acronym from Exhibition Centre London

Location: One Western Gateway, Royal Victoria Dock, London, E16 1XL

Original Construction: Completed in 2000

Additional Construction: Completed in 2010

Capacity: Each of the five competition arenas can accommodate between 6,000 and 10,000, for a total estimate of up to 50,000 visitors per day.

Ownership: Purchased in 2008 by the Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Company

Olympic Fencing Competition Event Dates: July 28 through August 5

Olympic Fencing Competition Events Each Day:

- Women's Individual Foil - July 28

- Men's Individual Sabre - July 29

- Women's Individual Epee - July 30

- Men's Individual Foil - July 31

- Men's Individual Epee and Women's Individual Sabre - August 1

- Women's Team Foil - August 2

- Men's Team Sabre - August 3

- Women's Team Epee - August 4

- Men's Team Foil - August 5

Olympic Medals Competition Dates: Each date will be a medal competition award.

Other Olympic Events: Table tennis, weightlifting, judo, wrestling, taekwondo, and boxing

Nearest Public Transportation Railway Stations: Docklands Light Railway. Custom House will be around a 10-minute walk, while Silvertown will be around a 15-minute walk.

Estimated Construction Cost: 300 million pounds sterling, including a 13 million pounds sterling investment in IT infrastructure.

Noteworthy Venue Details: The ExCeL Center has five on-site hotels that have a total of 1,500 rooms available for guests, with amenities and lodging prices ranging from budget to luxury. The venue has 6,000 parking spaces available to motorists, with 3,700 of them located on-site. ExCeL is estimated to attract 2.8 million visitors each year since the multi-use convention facility opened in late 2000. Nine of the top 10 trade shows held in London were at ExCeL Center, as well as two-thirds of the largest consumer event shows held in the United Kingdom, making it the most popular single venue for such events.

The 2012 Olympic fencing competitions will be held at Arena 1 in the southwest corner of the ExCeL Center.

Steven Holmes is an enthusiastic fan of the Summer Olympics, and has attentively watched the last seven Summer Olympic games.

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