Araneta Coliseum started as a vision of J. Amado Araneta. The industrialist traveled far and wide and saw what his countrymen were missing. He wanted something extraordinary, something spectacular but within the reach of ordinary Pilipinos.
In 1952, Araneta purchased the 35-hectare Cubao property that is now the Araneta Center from Radio Communication of America (RCA). The property which includes the Araneta family home is bounded by Edsa, Aurora Boulevard, P. Tuazon and 15th Avenue. It is the centerpiece of the Araneta Center, offering a one-stop shopping, dining and entertainment experience. Some of the other establisments in the Araneta Center are Ali Mall - the first multi-level commercial mall in the country, New Frontier Cinema - the largest theater in the country with over thirty-five hundred (3,500) seats, Fiesta Carnival - the Philippines' first all-year indoor amusement center, and many more. It is also strategically positioned at the transportation hub of the busiest part of the country's metropolis which is easily accessible by almost any mode of transportation. It is the only area where the two biggest public rail transits intersect, namely the Metro Rail Transit 3 and the Light Rail Transit 2.
Construction of the Araneta Coliseum was started in 1957 and finished in late 1959. In 1960-63, the Coliseum received international recognition as the "Biggest covered coliseum in the world". Even today, it still remains as one of the largest clear span dome in the world and the largest indoor facility in Southeast Asia with a dome diameter of one hundred and eight (108) meters. It occupies a total land area of almost four (4) hectares and has twenty-three hundred (2,300) square meter floor area.
The coliseum opened on March 16, 1960, with Filipino boxer Gabriel 'Flash' Elorde wrestling the World Junior Lightweight crown from American Harold Gomes. More than 33,000 spectators watched the contest. General admission then was 80 centavos and reserve section was five pesos. Throughout the years, the Araneta Coliseum management adheres to the commitment of J. Amado Araneta to provide the Filipino people with the best entertainment at the lowest admission possible. Some of the most remembered performances were the "Thrilla in Manila" which was the Ali-Fraizer World Heavyweight Championship Fight, the Philippine Basketball Association Games, and annually, the Bb. Pilipinas Beauty Pageant.
Recently the Araneta Coliseum embarked on a 250-million peso renovation that began in July of 1999. Such a huge capital investment is a testimony to management's commitment to bringing in world-class events and performers to a world-class facility. The renovation encompasses a complete back-of-the-house overhaul with the construction of a plush locker, dressing, production and press rooms. All the seats for the premier sections in the patron and lower box areas have been replaced. A new aluminum grid/catwalk has been installed ready to accommodate the most technically demanding event set-ups in addition to housing a four-sided center hung scoreboard, the only one of its kind in the Philippines. Many more significant alterations and additions will be made throughout the interior and exterior of the Araneta Coliseum to position it as the country's only destination for total entertainment and related activities. It is the only truly multi-purpose public assembly facility, allowing it to have 7 different configured shows in seven consecutive days.
When the Araneta Coliseum was put up, the Cubao area was still largely undeveloped. However, due to the progressive development undertaken by the Araneta Group, Cubao has been transformed into a bustling area of commerce.
Araneta Coliseum owes much of its success to its location in a prime property like Cubao. The Cubao area is located at the heart of the metropolis, easily accessible both from the north and from the south through both private and public transport. The Coliseum is easily accessible through Edsa which serves as the transportation of the MRT3 and LRT2 projects, whereby consumer access to the coliseum will be significantly improved.
The environment where the venue is located helps establish the pattern of attendance. If the consumers feel insecure, this may discourage them from attending and participating at sports events regularly.
The availability of other services within the vicinity of Araneta Coliseum is another edge it has over its counterparts. Thus, patrons are presented with choices among an extensive range of services within their reach in the Center.
The availability of safe parking spaces is also an important consideration for consumers. The presence of ample security ensures the safety of their vehicles while they take part in the activities within the Araneta Center.
The location of Araneta Coliseum also ensures the significant traffic in the area which ranges from the A and B to the D and E classes. This means that the Coliseum caters to a diverse market, an important factor for its success.
Facility layout is a very important consideration. The structures within the venue must be relatively flexible to allow its use for a variety of sports and entertainment activities. In the case of the coliseum, the fact that it has been used during sports events, concerts, shows, religious and political gathering is a testament to its flexibility to accommodate the needs of the different groups which avail of it.
Entrance and exit points are strategically located to ensure that patrons can get in and out of the Coliseum with little or no difficulty within 10 to 15 minutes. Easy access to concessionaires's stands, add to comfort of the patrons.
Perhaps the most important edge of the Big Dome over its counterparts is its facility image. In more than 45 years of providing sports and entertainment, the Coliseum has gained a reputation for quality. It is a much sought after venue because of the prestige it has achieved through the years. Conversely, the patrons regard the fact that an event is held at the Coliseum as an assurance of high quality sports and entertainment.
THE ARANETA COLISEUM: A PIONEER SPORTS AND ENTERTAINMENT FACILITY
The coliseum was established with the vision of providing world-class quality entertainment for the Filipino. This vision resulted from the realization that Filipinos have developed a taste for quality entertainment, and thus, deserve only the best local and international sports and entertainment industries have to offer. More than four decades later, the coliseum has held true to this vision and standard set by J. Amado Araneta, builder of the Big Dome.
Besides pioneering the establishment of world-class facility, the Coliseum set the standard in sports and entertainment.
The Big Dome has been the host of unforgettable and historical sports events. Sports of different genre impart their presence as they happen in the Araneta Coliseum.
The Coliseum has been the home of the PBA, the longest running professional basketball league in the country and Asia, for so many years now. Since it opened in 1975 and up to the first quarter of 1999, there were more or less 400 PBA games held in the Coliseum.
In addition, it is also a much sought after venue for the opening, semifinals and championships of the biggest annual sports events like the University Athletics Association of the Philippines (UAAP) and the National Collegiate Athletic Assocation (NCAA). The Coliseum was also the site of many international basketball tournaments such as the World Basketball Championships, the 1991 Southeast Asian Games Basketball Championships and the Asian Youth Basketball Championships. The Big Dome also played host to a number of foreign sporting greats who came over to the Philippines to conduct exhibitions and sports clinics. The likes of NBA superstars like Magic Johnson, Shaquille O'Neal, Kobe Bryant and Grant Hill, to name a few, have visited the coliseum during their stay in the country.
The Araneta Coliseum made history when it first opened its doors on March 1960 when the great Gabriel "Flash" Elorde decked defending champion Harold Gomes of the United States eleven times to capture the latter's Junior lightweight crown.
The historic "Thrilla in Manila", the 15-round bout between Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier, was held at the Big Dome on October 1, 1975. This was the fight that carved out the legendary reputation of Muhammad Ali as one of the greatest boxers of all time.
Another entertainment dimension has been added in the coliseum's list when international cockfighting affecionados decided to hold their big time events at the place. But the Big Dome made drastic changes as it raised cockfighting to a sport. The most famous cockfight event happening in the Coliseum is the World Slasher Cup International Derby. Approximately 29 international derbies took place in the Araneta Coliseum. On the other hand, around 176 local cockfighting events transpired in the Big Dome.
Bevy of Beauties at the Dome
Beauty connoisseurs will always associate the Coliseum with the glamour and glitz of the local and international beauty pageants held at the coliseum.
Starting from 1962 until 1999, a total of 45 local beauty pageants took place in the Araneta Coliseum. These include the very popular and most prestigious Bb. Pilipinas Beauty Pageant. Seven international pageants were also held in this venue including the very prestigious Miss Universe, Miss International Beauty Pageant. Araneta Coliseum is a world-class venue for world-class beauty.
The Coliseum proves that it can bring the best and most popular entertainers or celebrities in the world to the Philippines. The Big Dome offers the Filipino viewers world-class entertainment from local and international concerts to ice shows and international circuses.
The Coliseum gave the people opportunities to see their favorite world-class performers and celebrities in person. They sighed, laughed, cried and swooned before Julio Iglesias, Paul Anka, the Osmond Brothers, Patti Page, Everly Brothers, Johnny Mathis, Connie Francis, Nat King Cole, Pat Boone, Neil Sedaka, Jack Jones, Dave Clark Five, Harry Belafonte, Ricky Nelson, Matt Monro, Jose Feliciano, the Lettermen and Sergio Mendes. They fell in love with the seductive Ann Margaret, stomped their feet with the Blood Sweat and Tears, the Commondores, Hues Corporation, Southside Movement, Herman's Hermits, Jackson Five, Gary Lewis and the Playboys, Peaches and Herb, Yabba Dabba Doo, America, Angela Bofill and Menudo. They savored Renata Tebaldi, Earl Klugh and Deodato's kind of music.
The Big Dome also featured local artist which was also partronized by the Filipino crowd. Local performers like Gary Valenciano, Zsa-Zsa Padilla, Jaya, Martin Nievera, Freddie Aguilar, Kuh Ledesma and local bands like Side A Band.... South Border. Television shows also choose the Araneta Coliseum when there is a big thing happening like birthdays and anniversaries and others.
This only proves that the Araneta Coliseum is where it all happens.
Children and adults alike took a flight to fantasy land, dreamed of adventurous worlds watching Holiday on Ice, Walt Disney's World on Ice, Grand Circus International, Chipperfields London Circus, Circus Europa and the Great Japanese Circus.
These family entertainment showcases are rare and memorable events that can only happen in Araneta Coliseum.
Sports and entertainment were not all there was to the Big Dome. It was also the venue for big religious and political gatherings. Some business ventures like product sampling also took place in the Araneta Coliseum. Some of the remarkable religious events that were held in Araneta Coliseum are the Don Moen and Ron Kenoly Concerts, the World Youth Day celebrations and the Papal Visit.
Jorge L. Araneta
Tomas V. San Pedro
Technical Services Manager
Phone: (+632) 911-3101 ext. 8361
e-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Phone: (+632) 911-3101 ext. 8246
Romeo M. Tan
Vice President - Finance
Phone: (+632) 911-3101 ext. 7311
Araneta Coliseum Fax No.