A Dome By Any Other Name

London’s Millennium Dome became so synonymous with bad management and government wastage and developed such a reputation as a “white elephant” that Anschutz Entertainment Group would rather it wasn’t called a dome at all.

According to the U.K.’s The Daily Telegraph, AEG would prefer to see the back of “the D word” and rather have people refer to it as “The O2.”

The company put out a press release specifically pointing out that journalists should use that label and “not the O2 Dome.”

“If you leave the name Dome in there, then people will just say ‘here is the Dome,’ but this is a completely different iteration of the building,” AEG Europe president David Campbell told the paper.

“We want to have a clean break between the two buildings and not have any reference point to [the Dome],” he said. “From our standpoint it might be a good thing that [the Dome] was called a white elephant because it means we have only one place to go to make this work and that is up.”

The word “dome” is also being dropped because everything about the old building has been stripped out and it will have a completely new, and very impressive, interior.

It will eventually include a 23,000-capacity concert arena, a cinema complex, super-casino, 2,000-seat theatre and an exhibition centre.

The only thing left will be the outer shell, which will have O2 written on it in huge letters, although the tent-like, white structure-that-cannot-be-named is obviously still dome-shaped.

The O2 is named after the mobile telephone company that paid several million dollars for the branding rights.

A company spokesman told the Telegraph, “Of course, we know everyone will continue to call it the Dome for a while, but it is amazing what a bit of marketing will do. We used to be called Cellnet, but nobody remembers that now.”

– John Gammon