Former names Point Theatre (1988–2007)
The O2 (2008–2014)
General information
Type Concert and events venue
Location East Link Bridge
North Wall Quay
Country Ireland
Coordinates 53°20′51″N 06°13′43″W / 53.34750°N 6.22861°W / 53.34750; -6.22861Coordinates: 53°20′51″N 06°13′43″W / 53.34750°N 6.22861°W / 53.34750; -6.22861
Opening December 2008 (2008-12)
Owner Live Nation
Height 28 metres
Design and construction
Architect HOK SVE (Populous since 2009)
Services engineer Buro Happold
Other information
Seating capacity 14,500 (standing and seated)
9,500 (all-seated)

The 3Arena is an indoor amphitheatre with a capacity of over 14,500 located at North Wall Quay in the Dublin Docklands in Dublin, Ireland. The 3Arena opened on 16 December 2008. It was built on the site of the former Point Theatre,[1] a smaller music venue which operated from 1988–2007, retaining only some of the outer facade. The Point Theatre was branded as "The Point Depot", in recognition of its original role as a railway goods handling station.

From 2008 to 2014, the 3Arena was known as The O2. Its capacity of over 14,500 makes it the largest indoor arena in Ireland. The venue was rebranded on 4 September 2014 as the 3Arena due to the takeover of O2 Ireland by Three Ireland.

The venue is owned by Live Nation. In 2011, the venue was named as the fifth busiest arena in the world with ticket sales of 670,000 putting it behind The O2 in London, the Manchester Arena, Antwerp's Sportpaleis and Melbourne's Rod Laver Arena.[2]


Following its closure in 2007, the site underwent major redevelopment and was renamed The O2 after the telecommunication brand, O2, similar to The O2 in London.[3] In 2008 O2 paid €25 million for the naming rights for 10 years.[4] Following the sale of mobile network operator O2 Ireland to rival 3 Ireland in June 2014, the venue was renamed as the 3Arena on 4 September 2014.

Structure and design

The arena has a capacity of over 14,500 (with standing) or 9,500 (all-seated).

Retractable seating may be withdrawn to create space for 8,000 standing in front of the stage, with the remainder seated. The furthest seat is 60 metres from the stage, 20 metres closer than in The Point. This was achieved by arranging the seats around the stage in a gigantic "fan" formation which the architects likened to the Colosseum of Rome. There are no corporate boxes inside the venue. The backstage area has a "substantial" loading bay for trucks.[5] Alcohol is available in a high-security area of the venue in an effort to curb under-age drinking.[6] Prior to re-development, the seating capacity was 6,300 or 8,500 standing.

Mike Adamson (CEO of Live Nation Ireland) claimed that Irish fans had been short-changed when attending major events in the previous venue due to size restrictions. "It wasn't always possible to get every show touring in Europe into the venue because of restrictions. It is now. Some shows couldn't fit. For example, George Michael could only stage three-quarters of his production in the Point. We're up there now with other venues in Europe." Developer Harry Crosbie said that the Point had had a "grungy" feel "which suited Dublin at the time". He claimed that it would be a "stunning venue" created for a more "sophisticated" audience.

Panorama view of inside the venue

Notable/historic performances

Further information: Events at the 3Arena

U2 were the first band to play in the venue, when Bono and The Edge performed "Van Diemen's Land" and "Desire" to a private audience.[7]

The first event to take place at the arena was the ChildLine Concert on 16 December 2008.[8]

There was a controversial Guns N' Roses show in September 2010 during which the band had arrived a substantial amount of time late then had bottles hurled at them and stopped performing. Most of the audience then left the building in disgust, but the band later returned to finish the show.[9][10][11][12][13]

U2 performed four homecoming concerts in November 2015, as part of their Innocence + Experience Tour. However, the full U2 stage setup could not be brought to the 3Arena due the venue's configuration as an amphitheatre. The U2 stage was designed for a full indoor arena, but was reconfigured for the concerts in the 3Arena.


Patrons are advised to use public transport to get to the venue.[14] Parking services for the nearby Point Village are suggested. In addition to the ferry services and shuttle buses noted on the venue's web site, Dublin Bus number 151 provides a scheduled public service to the venue.

Due to the high volume of pedestrian traffic leaving the venue after concerts, extensive traffic restrictions are put in place along the North Wall Quay after such events, which can cause both the North Wall Quay and the East-Link (Dublin) toll bridge to be restricted for vehicular traffic by the Gardaí.

A Luas light rail extension from the Red Line to the square in front of the venue opened on 8 December 2009, and links the DART train services at Connolly Station to the venue. It coincided with a performance by Lily Allen.[15] The Luas stop is called The Point.

In addition, those travelling to the 3Arena from Dublin Airport can avail of either the public Dublin Bus route 747, or the Greystones or Dalkey Aircoach services that stop outside the venue, while several other private operators also call at the venue.

Preceding station Luas Following station
Spencer Dock   Red Line   Terminus


  1. "Meet the new venue on the block – The O2". The Irish Times. 2 July 2008. Retrieved 20 September 2008.
  2. "O2 Dublin fifth best attended venue in world". Irish Independent. 1 December 2012.
  3. "Live Nation's Point Theater in Dublin to Be Renamed The O2". Reuters. 7 July 2008. Retrieved 20 September 2008.
  4. "The Sunday Business Post". businesspost.ie.
  5. "The O2: Welcome to the future". Irish Independent. 5 December 2008. Retrieved 7 December 2008.
  6. "O2 arena to curb drink at teen gigs". Irish Independent. 9 December 2008. Retrieved 10 December 2008.
  7. "U2 make a point with first O2 show". Irish Independent. 10 December 2008. Retrieved 10 December 2008.
  8. "O2 rocks to sound of music". Irish Independent. 17 December 2008. Retrieved 19 December 2008.
  9. Guns N' Roses show statement released Archived 3 September 2010 at the Wayback Machine.. RTÉ Ten. 2 September 2010.
  10. Fan fury as Rose shows thorny side. Irish Independent. 2 September 2010.
  11. Guns N' Roses bottled off stage in Dublin. BBC. 2 September 2010.
  12. Axl Rose bottled offstage at Guns N' Roses' Dublin gig. NME. 2 September 2010.
  13. Guns N' Roses bottled off stage. Toronto Sun. 2 September 2010.
  14. "Getting to The O2". Live Nation. 9 March 2009. Retrieved 1 April 2010.
  15. "Luas extended to Docklands area". RTÉ News. 8 December 2009. Retrieved 8 December 2009.

External links

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