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Sobrang galing ba ni Junmar Fajardo at pinagaagawan?
A mammoth crowd of 36,000 filled the sparkling new Araneta
Coliseum to witness the historic Flash Elorde-Harold Gomes, the Big Dome’s inaugural offering more than 50 years ago. It was acknowledged as an engineering marvel with the biggest clear-span dome – without a single post to obstruct anyone’s view – in the world.
Fast forward to July 23-24, 2011.
Another humongous crowd filled the Big Dome as it kicked off another chapter of its illustrious history under a new name and an exciting alliance with Mr. Manny Pangilinan, the Smart Araneta Coliseum. The Ultimate All Star Weekend was a double header against Filipino basketball idols that will long be talked about in the annals of sports.
Making history and churning out the best forms of entertainment is nothing new at the Araneta Center. It now pulses toward a continued dynamic future as a mixed-use development comprising shopping malls, residential towers, office parks among the 2,000 businessmen in its confines, and the million or so people who traverse its premises daily.
So what’s in a change of name? The change of name opens up a whole new celebrity experience for the millions of Filipinos that flock to the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The Smart Araneta Coliseum will undergo a grand facelift to guarantee a star treatment for its customers. Picture this – a “green” weather-proof parking facility right beside the coliseum, providing direct access to the coliseum sections; a façade with an exterior wrapped by LED walls, its dynamic colors providing eye candy to everyone; lobbies equipped with the first ever curved escalators as access to the higher levels; luxurious seats and world class rest rooms to bring comfort to a maximum level. Celebrity treatment awaits guests with a VIP lounge where patrons meet and greet their favorite stars and performers, luxurious cinema seats for the VIP box. All these and much, much more.
With these renovations, as in the past, Filipinos can expect the Smart Araneta Coliseum to continue to be stamped in our collective consciousness.
As in the past, the Smart Araneta Coliseum will continue to be a place that will touch many lives that it deserves to be part of our national heritage.
And as in the past, the Smart Araneta Coliseum will continue to be the entertainment mecca of the Filipinos.
Welcome to the Smart Araneta Coliseum!
Big changes come to the Big Dome
By: Tina Arceo-Dumlao
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Not a few were taken aback by the surprise announcement that the world-famous Big Dome in Cubao, Quezon City—the centerpiece of the sprawling Araneta Center—has been renamed the Smart Araneta Coliseum, at least for the next five years.
After all, the Coliseum, which was at one point the biggest covered coliseum in the world, had flourished for more than 50 years—hosting 6,000 world-class shows viewed by 35 million people—without any help from corporate partners.
But what had been thought to be unthinkable did happen, with Araneta Group chairman and CEO Jorge L. Araneta himself announcing the major development on July 23, during the opening of the Smart Ultimate All-Star Weekend.
The highly anticipated exhibition games were headlined by Chicago Bulls’ Derrick Rose, Most Valuable Player of the National Basketball Association; Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers; Chris Paul of the New Orleans Hornets; and Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder.
“More than an alliance, this is a fusion of ideas and ideals, a renewed commitment to sports, entertainment and youth development,” Araneta said before the match between the NBA players and the Philippine Basketball Association selection that was watched by thousands of Filipino fans who filled the Coliseum to the rafters and the millions who watched the broadcast at home.
Araneta told the Inquirer in an interview that there were indeed mixed reactions to the renaming of the Big Dome into Smart Araneta Coliseum, but stressed that it was not unusual for stadiums to have corporate names attached to them.
Examples include the American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida, the home of the Miami Heat; American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas, base of the Dallas Mavericks; Allianz Arena, home of football giant FC Bayern Munich; and Emirates Stadium in London, home field of the Arsenal FC football team.
Araneta said that the Araneta Group had really been looking for a partner willing to pay for naming rights even before this opportunity came along.
“The plan has always been at the back of our minds,” said Araneta in an interview in his boardroom.
group came close to forging a naming rights agreement back in 1999, but it fell through. The second attempt was successful, Araneta said, because there was an immediate meeting of the minds between the Araneta group and the telecommunications giant headed by Manuel V. Pangilinan.
Smart was committed to youth development programs involving sports, while the Araneta Group wanted to cement the Big Dome’s position as the sports and entertainment center in the Philippines.
By forging the naming rights agreement, Smart and the Araneta Group are confident that they will both get what they want.
Under the five-year deal, the Araneta Group will get a “substantial” annual fee in exchange for allowing the coliseum to be named Smart Araneta Coliseum, the largest indoor facility in Southeast Asia.
Araneta declined to disclose the amount that Smart would pay for having its name attached to the Araneta Coliseum for the next five years, but said that there was not much haggling nor wrangling over the terms and conditions of the landmark agreement.
It helped a great deal that Araneta has known Pangilinan since he was a student at the Ateneo de Manila University.
Araneta shared that Pangilinan’s father was the branch manager of Philippine National Bank’s Cubao branch in Araneta Center for years.
“We used to have coffee all the time in the office,” said Araneta.
That long history eased the flow of negotiations, and Araneta said it was just “purely coincidental” that the coming to the Philippines of the constellation of NBA stars coincided with the conclusion of the naming rights talks.
There could not be a better way to mark the new chapter in the coliseum’s long history.
“It was a good omen of things to come,” Araneta added.
And there are many changes expected to come out of the pipeline.
The Big Dome will undergo a major facelift to further enhance the viewing experience of its hordes of frequent visitors.
Araneta cited the plan to establish the country’s first “green parking facility” beside the coliseum that will accommodate 2,000 vehicles.
This parking facility will provide direct access to the Upper Box and indirect access to Patron and Lower Box areas. It will also have escalators to the General Admission section.
The “green” element will be provided by the carbon monoxide absorbing plants to be installed on its facade, which was designed to allow natural ventilation within the structure. There will also be a park on the top floor of the parking building.
He also disclosed that the Araneta Group had contracted artists from the University of the Philippines—Araneta’s alma mater—to interpret their take on certain events in Philippine history on the Coliseum’s concourse.
“The artwork will cover the history of the Philippines from the coming of Magellan. We are scheduled to unveil the artwork on June 12, 2012,” Araneta said.
And yes, the coliseum seats will also be improved. Brand-new chairs complete with cup holders will replace all of the Big Dome’s 20,000 seats.
Escalators will also be installed to transport the audience to their respective sections. Modern toilet facilities and additional rest rooms will be put in place to accommodate the huge crowds that fill the Coliseum 267 days a year.
But the Araneta group said in a statement that perhaps the most significant change to be brought about by the Big Dome’s renovation is the “celebrity” experience.
Private VIP boxes to be called “Virtual Boxes” will provide VIP seating. The VIPs will get access to top-class food and beverage options as well as catered fare.
To keep up with the times, free Wi-Fi access will be available for concert goers who wish to tweet their experience while in the coliseum.
VIP services will also include access to a plush lounge cum sports bar where special guests can relax before or after shows. A dedicated concierge will be on call for the guests.
Lounge guests will also get the rare chance to meet and greet their favorite performers.
The improvement of safety features also figured highly in the renovation plan. An enhanced fire protection system will be put into place to ensure the safety of every guest. There will be more production and dressing rooms for promoters and artists at the back of house.
Beyond the gates, giant LED walls will display show schedules and other video materials.
Outside the Coliseum, hotels will be constructed to house businessmen, local tourists and visiting performers and there will be a center-wide refurbishing of lighting facilities and street signs to brighten up the center of commerce and entertainment.
All of these positive developments combine to make Araneta look to the future of the Coliseum and the Araneta Center with confidence.
For the patriarch of the Araneta Group, the best is yet to come.
Renovated coliseum with more glass at its exteriors
the green parking building with a park on top
Renovated frontier broadway
sa totoo lang between MOA at Araneta, mas gusto ko sa Araneta kasi mas accesible para sa akin...
kelan sila mag start ng renovation sa araneta? kelan nila isasara for renovation? estimated finishing ng project?
wow. good for araneta coliseum. pwede bang wala na yung smart?
^ Ayos 'yung light blue shade ng court. Mas fresh sa paningin.
talagang inangkin na ni bakla yung araneta coliseum. i liked the colors before. ang pangit na ng kulay ngayon.
as for the renovation of Smart-Araneta, tinigin ko parang mabagal yung progress ng construction ng gate sa harap ng Shopwise. paano pa kaya kung buong Smart-Araneta pa, including inside it?
as for the refreshed flooring, it's OK for me.