I was in Manila over the weekend. Attending the 32nd national anniversary of the Brotherhood of Christian Businessmen and Professionals (BCBP), the 4,000+ attendees crowded the SMX.
What else did I see at SM’s Mall of Asia? A giant, glass-covered dome that will soon be one of the most hi-tech and applauded of coliseums in this continent.
Mall of Asia Arena gleamed and sparkled when lighted by the summer sun. Workers installed roof beams. Maintenance staff wiped the see-through walls. Construction is at full speed.
The reason? Barely a month is left before the long-awaited “We’re Open!” sign is hung from the entrance. On May 19, the 16,000-seating-capacity gymnasium will open. Two nights later, on May 21, it’s the concert of the concert queen herself, Lady Gaga.
Sports? Ahhh. NBA exhibition games? Check. Nadal-Djokovic? Double-check (meaning, we’re hopeful!). UAAP and NCAA games? Check.
This sports arena is long-overdue in Manila. The Smart Araneta Coliseum is 52 years old. That’s grandfather-age. It’s time for a world-caliber venue for sports and concerts.
According to details I obtained via Google, the venue… “boasts of floorings by Robbins Inc., Spalding basketball goals, Daktronics scoreboard—similar to what the NBA is using—and LED ribbon boards surrounding the 3rd and 5th floors. There are press rooms… and four dugouts. Another feature is the Corporate Suites—private rooms with their own restroom, mini bar, sofas and a private gallery with cinema seats. Occupants will be entitled to a season pass for all the shows.”
They have 31 of these Suites for rent. How much? They offer one- to 5-year leases between P9 to P12 million. Wow.