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The Manchester Phones 4 U Arena or Manchester Evening News Arena or M.E.N. Arena (commonly referred to as just The M.E.N. or simply Manchester Arena) is a large indoor arena in Manchester, England. It is currently sponsored by the Manchester Evening News and has a capacity of 3,000 to a maximum capacity of 23,000 depending on the event being staged, making it one of the largest indoor arenas in Europe.
It was opened in 1995, and was initially sponsored by NYNEX CableComms (a British cable television provider, part of the NYNEX Corporation, a telephone service provider in the United States) as the NYNEX Arena. The Arena took its current name in 1998 after the NYNEX brand name had disappeared as a result of a merger with Cable & Wireless Communications in 1997.
The M.E.N. Arena is one of the world's busiest indoor arenas and concert venue. The arena was built to coincide with Manchester's two bids to host the Olympic games in 1996 and 2000 (which were won by Atlanta in 1996 and Sydney in 2000).
The M.E.N. Arena was one of the first indoor venues in Europe to be built following the traditionally American sports arena layout of 360 degree seating, and is the only arena in the UK to have this feature (London's O2 Arena also has 360 degrees seating, but only on its lower tier, whereas the M.E.N. Arena features it on both tiers). Other European indoor venues built to the same concept include the Lanxess Arena in Cologne, Arena Zagreb in Zagreb, Spaladium Arena in Split, Belgrade Arena in Belgrade, O2 Arena in Prague, O2 World Hamburg in Hamburg, and The O2 in London.
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