Smart Araneta Coliseum
|The Big Dome|
|Former names||Araneta Coliseum (1960–2011)|
|Location||Araneta Center, Cubao, Quezon City|
|Public transit||MRT-3 - Araneta Center-Cubao
LRT-2 - Araneta Center-Cubao
|Owner||Progressive Development Corporation|
|Operator||United Promotions, Inc. (Uniprom)|
Concert: 11,000 (Stage Proscenium)
(Excludes standing room)
|Scoreboard||ADSystems 4-side LED display (Big Cube)|
|Opened||March 16, 1960|
|Construction cost||₱6 million|
PBA (1975-1984, 1995-present)
The Smart Araneta Coliseum, known as The Big Dome, is an indoor multi-purpose sports arena located in the Cubao area of Quezon City, Philippines. It is one of the largest coliseums and indoor facilities in Asia, and it is also one of the largest clear span domes in the world. The dome measures approximately 108.0 meters making it the largest dome in Asia from its opening in 1960 until 2001 when it was surpassed by the Oita Stadium in Japan with a dome measuring 274.0 meters. However on 2014, this record was broken by the New Singapore National Stadium that has a dome measuring 312.0 meters.
The Smart Araneta Coliseum is mostly used for sports such as basketball, it is the main venue of the Philippine Basketball Association. The Big Dome is also used for boxing, cockfighting, local and international concerts, circuses, religious gatherings, beauty pageants and more. Other basketball league tenants include the National Collegiate Athletic Association and the University Athletic Association of the Philippines.
In 1952, J. Amado Araneta, a member of the prestigious Araneta dynasty, purchased a 35-hectare property in Cubao that is now the Araneta Center from Radio Corporation of America (RCA). The property, which includes the Araneta family home, is bound by Epifanio Delos Santos Avenue, Aurora Boulevard, P. Tuazon and 15th Avenue.
Construction of the Araneta Coliseum was started in 1957 and finished in late 1959 by Arch. Dominador Lacson Lugtu and Engr. Leonardo Onjunco Lugtu, Filipino Engineers graduated from Mapúa Institute of Technology . From 1960 to 1963, the Coliseum received international recognition and was recognized as the largest covered coliseum in the world. Today, it remains one of the largest clear span domes in the world and the largest indoor facility in Asia with a dome diameter of 108 meters. It occupies a total land area of almost 40,000 square meters and has a floor area of 23,000 square metres.
The coliseum opened on March 16, 1960, with Gabriel "Flash" Elorde boxing for the World Junior Lightweight crown from American Harold Gomes. General admission then was 80 centavos and the reserve section was five pesos.
Among the notable events to take place at the arena were the 11th and 34th FAMAS Awards, the 1975 "Thrilla in Manila" boxing match between Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier, and the annual Binibining Pilipinas beauty pageant. The Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) has played about a thousand games at the Araneta Coliseum as of 2008. Other basketball events hosted by the arena were the 1978 FIBA World Championship, a game between the 1978 NBA champions Washington Bullets and a PBA selection in 1979, and the 1982 Asian Youth Basketball Championship where the Philippines defeated China in the final.
In 1981, the original basketball scoreboard and shot clock was replaced with a Seiko brand scoreboard that also displays the milliseconds remaining in a basketball game. In 1983, the basketball court's color scheme was changed from red to yellow.
In 1995, the bulky basketball backboard which was used since the 1970s was replaced with a Hydra-Rib backboard.
In the third quarter of 1998, the Aranetas and Pilipinas Shell (local arm of Royal Dutch Shell) started negotiations for a naming rights deal that would have lasted until 2008. The Aranetas, who wanted to retain their name at the arena rejected proposed name "Shell Coliseum at the Araneta Center". Instead, the parties agreed on signage contract where Shell's name and logo will be painted at the arena's basketball court, a move that was almost shelved due to objections from other PBA teams (Shell owned the Shell Turbo Chargers team then in the PBA).
In July 1999, the coliseum underwent its first major renovation at the cost of P200 million. The coliseum was reopened on November 20, the same year. The major changes made to the coliseum is the renovation of the lower box area, replacement of seats for the patron and lower box sections, and installation of a four-sided center hung scoreboard. The section names were also given numerical designations: 100 for Patron section, 200 for Lower Box, 300 for Upper Box A and 400 for Upper Box B. In 2003, a LED display was added on the scoreboard.
From 2001 to 2008, the highest grossing event at the arena is the boxing fight between Manny Pacquiao and Oscar Larios, earning 96.2 million pesos. A concert by Westlife was attended by 17,887 people and earned 18.5 million pesos, while a Cliff Richard concert earned 17.2 million despite being watched by 5,647 spectators.
On December 2010, the coliseum management installed a giant LED screen nicknamed the "Big Cube" to replace their Daktronics scoreboard system that was installed during the 1999 renovation. This screen is much bigger than the former LED scoreboard with a size of 22.22 square-meters. During sporting events, the Big Cube will project everything from stat-video splits, full scoring mode, or full video mode. It can likewise display ticket information from RSS feeds via an internet source. It was used for basketball for the first time during the semifinal round of the 2010–11 PBA Philippine Cup on January 5, 2011.
Prior to the Ultimate All-Star Weekend in July 2011, it was announced that the Aranetas entered into a naming rights deal with Smart Communications, Inc. (a subsidiary of Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company), renaming the arena into "Smart Araneta Coliseum". The deal was for five years and includes improvements the arena such as the installation of escalators to improve access in the upper box and general admission areas, and the construction of a parking lot that can accommodate up to 2,000 cars.
Additional improvements were made in 2012, including the renovation of the Red Gate entrance and the Green Gate side facade, and the replacement of Upper Box level seats, thus increasing its seating capacity. The Lower Box and Patron sections were combined to make a new Patron section (100 and 200 level seats). A pathway between the former Patron and Lower Box sections was also made. The former Upper Box A section (300 level seats) was renamed as Box section and the former Upper Box B section (400 level seats) is now referred as the "Upper Box" section.
On January 2015, the Hydra-Rib basketball backboard first used in 1995 was replaced with a Spalding backboard. The backboard was first used in Game 1 of the 2014–15 PBA Philippine Cup Finals.
The arena is primarily the home arena for the Philippine Basketball Association and the UAAP basketball leagues. The facility has also hosted the 1975 Thrilla in Manila, 1978 FIBA World Championship, and the 2007 Philippines World Pool Championship.
WWE also hosted a house show at the venue thrice in 2006 and in 2009.
The coliseum is currently the venue for the UAAP, together with the Mall of Asia Arena.
Entertainment and others
The coliseum also hosts many non-sporting events, such as concerts, shows, graduations, seminars, ice shows, circuses, and beauty pageants.
Sharon Cuneta was the youngest solo performer to stage a remarkable two-night concert in the coliseum at the age of 18 with her Sharon Solo With The Boys concert in July 20 & 21, 1984.
At the turn of the new millenium, Regine Velasquez held her iconic two-night sold out concert entitled R2K in April 7 & 8, 2000. R2K The Concert was centerstage and has used the seating capacity of the big dome to it's 360-degree maximum. A first in Philippine entertainment history many years after movie superstar Nora Aunor staged her one-night concert in 1991. It holds the record for the most attended concert in the history of the coliseum to this day.
By 2005, Sarah Geronimo became the youngest solo performer to have held a major concert at the Big Dome. Geronimo was only 16 years-old when she staged her concert debut as a professional artist entitled The Other Side
Some notable international performers include country pop singer Taylor Swift as part of her Speak Now Tour, The pop superstar Lady Gaga performed for the first time at the coliseum and headlined her first arena in her entire career as part of her The Fame Ball Tour on August 11, 2009, Kylie Minogue as part of her Aphrodite World Tour on July 5, 2011, Kelly Clarkson as part of her All I Ever Wanted World Tour on May 1, 2010, Bruno Mars as part of his The Doo-Wops and Hooligans Tour on April 8, 2011,The Punk-Princess Avril Lavigne as part of her The Best Damn Tour  on September 3, 2008, The Black Star Tour on February 16, 2012 and Avril Lavigne On Tour on February 17, 2014, Akon, Michael Bublé, Snow Patrol on August 9, 2012, The Script (2011 and 2013), Incubus(2008 and 2011), the American Idols LIVE! Tour 2011 for two nights, and the American Idols LIVE! Tour 2012 for one night, September 21, 2012 and Carly Rae Jepsen as part of her Tug Of War and Kiss Tour on August 7, 2013. The coliseum also houses Korean artists like Super Junior's Super Show-the first Korean to perform in the arena, 2NE1, SS501, CNBLUE and Beast. K-Pop group U-KISS also had their concert at the big dome and later released into a concert DVD dubbed as U-KISS 1st Kiss Tour in Manila DVD. It was the first time that an international artist released a concert DVD featuring the coliseum. Jessica Sanchez, An American Idol runner up and of Filipino descent, Had her first sold out solo concert here on February 14, 2013.
Religious and others
Tha Big dome also hosted a praise & worship concerts like Citipointe, Israel Houghton, Parachute, Don Moen, Darlene Zschech & The Hillsong Worship Team, Sonicflood, Planetshakers, and Hillsong United.
The Big dome is also the venues of religious gatherings like the anniversary celebration of Members Church of God International also known as the Ang Dating Daan, Christ's Commission Fellowship, Iglesia ni Cristo, Jesus Miracle Crusade, Kingdom of Jesus Christ (during early years), Shalom CCFI (Every Holy Week) and Victory Christian Fellowship, and different talent search finales, like Pinoy Big Brother, Pilipinas Got Talent, Philippine Idol, Starstruck, and recently, Artista Academy (which held its one-time grand audition at the coliseum).
On October 15, 2014, the third game of the UAAP Season 77 Men's Basketball Tournament Finals Series between the FEU Tamaraws and NU Bulldogs set the all-time basketball attendance record of 25,138 which broke the previous record last October 8, 2014, the second game of the series (one week before the third game) attendance of 24,896. For the PBA, On February 12, 2014, the seventh game of the 2013-14 PBA Philippine Cup Semifinals series between Barangay Ginebra San Miguel and San Mig Super Coffee Mixers set the record of 24,883.
Notable events at the Araneta Coliseum
- 1960 Gabriel Elorde vs. Harold Gomes
- 1975 Thrilla in Manila: Muhammad Ali vs. Joe Frazier III
- 1978 World Basketball Championship
- 2006 Mano-A-Mano: Manny Pacquiao vs. Oscar Larios
- 2006 WWE Raw and Smackdown Live Tour
- 2007 Philippines World Pool Championship
- 2009 The Flash and The Furious: Nonito Donaire vs. Raul Martinez and Brian Viloria vs. Ulises Solis
- 2009 WWE Smackdown and ECW Live Tour
- 2011 Smart Ultimate All-Star Weekend
- 2012 ONE Fighting Championship: Pride of a Nation
- 2012 PXC 34
- 2013 Pinoy Pride XXIII
- 2015 Pinoy Pride 30 D-Day: Nonito Donaire vs. William Prado and Donnie Nietes vs. Gilberto Parra
- PBA Basketball: elimination round (selected games), Playoffs (selected games), PBA Finals
- Binibining Pilipinas (annually)
- PMPC Star Awards For TV (1988)
- FAMAS Awards of the Filipino Academy of Movie Arts and Sciences:
- The 11th FAMAS Awards on April 14, 1963
- The 34th FAMAS Awards on May 18, 1986
- Disney on Ice in Manila (occasionally during Christmas to New Year)
- "The Big Dome". Araneta Coliseum. Retrieved 2011-03-31.
- Henson, Quinito (2008-11-19). "Mecca of sports". The Philippine Star. Retrieved 2011-07-24..
- Henson, Quinito (2008-11-19). "More on the mecca". The Philippine Star. Retrieved 2011-07-24.
- Juico, Philip Ella (2011-07-20). "Araneta Coliseum, now Smart Araneta". The Philippine Star. Retrieved 2011-07-24.
- Coliseum History
- The Big Cube at the Big Dome, by Patricia Bermudez-Hizon, Yahoo Philippines News, January 5, 2011[dead link]
- Nelson Beltran (2011-01-03). "Big Dome launches Big Cube in PBA semis". Philstar. Retrieved 2011-01-03.
- TicketNet Online: Skip the Line, Go Online
- Getting a ticket, Jeffrey Valisno, BusinessWorld Online, August 23, 2012
- PBA attendance record set to fall as facelift expands Big Dome's seating capacity, Snow Badua, spin.ph, November 13, 2013
- ABS-CBN News http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/entertainment/02/19/11/taylor-swift-manila-concert Retrieved July 13, 2011
- Manila Bulletin http://www.mb.com.ph/node/255730/kelly-clark/Retrieved September 1, 2011
- The Filipino Web http://thefilipinoweb.com/music/avril-lavigne-in-manila-the-best-damn-tour/ Retrieved July 13, 2011
- Yahoo OMG! Philippines http://ph.omg.yahoo.com/avril-in-manila/ Retrieved February 16, 2012
- Philstar.com http://www.philstar.com/Article.aspx?articleId=474348&publicationSubCategoryId=70 Retrieved July 13, 2011.
- Manila Bulletin http://www.mb.com.ph/node/154494 Retrieved July 13, 2011
- Manila Bulletin http://www.mb.com.ph/node/305730/from-japan- Retrieved July 13, 2011.
- Pulp Magazine http://pulpmagazinelive.com/main/?p=859 Retrieved July 13, 2011.
- Philippine Star http://www.philstar.com/Article.aspx?articleId=578764&publicationSubCategoryId=70 Retrieved July 13, 2011
- ABS-CBN News http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/lifestyle/12/13/12/dolphy-jessica-sanchez-top-2012-web-searches Retrieved January 3, 2013
- Philstar.com http://www.philstar.com/entertainment/2014/10/11/1378764/kamuning-bakery-wins-qc-award Retrieved October 11, 2014
- Tempo: Artista Academy: P20M await winners
- ABS-CBN News http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/video/entertainment/06/12/10/12-performers-pilipinas-got-talents-grand-finals Retrieved July 13, 2011.
- "Starstruck winners known today". Manila Bulletin. March 12, 2006.
- PhilStar.com http://www.philstar.com/Article.aspx?articleId=252603 Retrieved July 13, 2011
- FEU-NU Game 2 Finals draws in record crowd at the Big Dome, Reuben Terrado, spin.ph, October 8, 2014
- "Game Seven between Ginebra, San Mig Coffee sets all-time record attendance". InterAksyon.com. Retrieved 12 February 2014.
- Mauricio C. Martelino
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