The ExCeL Exhibition Centre is a large purpose-built exhibition centre in the Royal Docks area of London's redeveloped Docklands. The centre was built by Sir Robert McAlpine: it opened in November 2000, and its name is a contraction of Exhibition Centre London.
ExCeL's site covers over 100 acres (400,000 m²) on the north quayside of the Royal Victoria Dock. Whilst this dock closed to commercial traffic in 1981, it is still accessible to shipping. The centre's waterfront location is used to advantage when it hosts the annual London Boat Show, with visiting vessels able to moor alongside the exhibition centre; for example the 2005 show was visited by HMS Sutherland. The exhibition building itself consists of two column-free rectangular halls of 32,250 m² each on either side of a central boulevard containing catering facilities and information points. The halls can be subdivided for smaller events. There are also three sets of function rooms, one overlooking the water, another above the western end of the central boulevard, and the third on the north side of the building. A temporary hall can be added on part of the car park when required. There are several on-site hotels, including a permanently moored cruise liner.
An expansion which will increase exhibition space to just under 100,000m² and add further meeting room and ancillary space is due to be completed in 2010.
ExCeL is served by two railway stations. The main western entrance is directly linked to Custom House Station and the eastern entrance is connected to Prince Regent Station, both of which are served by the Docklands Light Railway. During major shows with large visitor attendances, extra shuttle trains are run between Prince Regent Station and Canning Town Station, with interchange at Canning Town to London Underground's Jubilee Line.
On 22 April 2005 ExCeL played host to WWE's SmackDown!. On 10 December 2005 ExCeL hosted two boxing matches. The first, between British heavyweights Danny Williams and Audley Harrison. The second match between Amir Khan and Daniel Thorpe. On 2 February 2008 ExCel hosted a boxing match between Amir Khan and Gairy St Clair for the WBO intercontinental lightweight title.
For the 2012 Summer Olympics ExCeL will be divided into four sports halls with capacities ranging from 6,000 to 10,000, which will be used for boxing, fencing, judo, taekwondo, table tennis, weightlifting and wrestling.
ExCel played host to the 2007 London Guitar Show between Friday 27th - Sunday 29th April. The show featured 2 masterclasses on the Saturday with Steve Vai, in which time he answered questions asked by fans through the LGS website prior to the show, and from fans at the masterclass.
In 2007, ExCel hosted the Star Wars Celebration Europe; the first Star Wars fan event of its kind outside the United States, between 13th-15th July 2007.
Since 2006, Excel has been the venue for the British Motor Show.
The ExCel centre has hosted the biannual UK arms fair DSEi since 2001, most recently on 11-14 September 2007.
ExCeL also plays host to the London MCM Expo for comic, anime, manga and sci-fi fans every May and October with different guests each time.
The Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards 2007 was held there in October 2007 which was the first time in the United Kingdom.
ExCeL was the Permanence - the operational and media headquarters - for the Grand Départ of the Tour de France in 2007.
On 26 April 2008 the arena hosted the Bollywood cutural event, the Zee Cine Awards 2008 for the second time in the event's history, the previous one being in 2005
On 27 May 2008 the arena hosted one of the biggest events in Ahmadi history, the Khalifat Centenary.
On 31 Oct 2008 the arena hosted Stuff Live, a yearly show sponsored by What Hi-Fi Sound and Vision.
The website is .
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