Smart Araneta Coliseum

Smart Araneta Coliseum
The Big Dome

The Green Gate facade of the Smart Araneta Coliseum
Former names Araneta Coliseum (1960–2011)
Location Araneta Center, Cubao, Quezon City
Coordinates 14°37′14″N 121°3′12″E / 14.62056°N 121.05333°E / 14.62056; 121.05333Coordinates: 14°37′14″N 121°3′12″E / 14.62056°N 121.05333°E / 14.62056; 121.05333
Public transit MRT-3Araneta Center-Cubao
LRT-2Araneta Center-Cubao
Owner Progressive Development Corporation
Operator United Promotions, Inc. (Uniprom)
Capacity Basketball: 25,000[1]
Concert: 11,000 (Stage Proscenium)
Boxing: 18,000[2]
(Excludes standing room)
Scoreboard ADSystems 4-side LED display (Big Cube)
Broke ground 1957
Built 1958
Opened March 16, 1960
Renovated 1999
Construction cost ₱6 million(1958)
Architect Dominador Lugtu
NCAA (1960–2012)
UAAP (1960–present)
PBA (1975–1984, 1995–present)
Binibining Pilipinas (1964–present)
Spikers' Turf (2016–present)

The Smart Araneta Coliseum, known as The Big Dome, is an indoor multi-purpose sports arena that is part of the Araneta Center in the Cubao area of Quezon City, Philippines. It is one of the largest indoor arenas 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 Ōita Stadium in Japan with a dome measuring 274.0 meters.

The Smart Araneta Coliseum is mostly used for sports such as basketball. It is a main venue of the Philippine Basketball Association[3] and for the basketball games of the National Collegiate Athletic Association and the University Athletic Association of the Philippines. The Big Dome is also used for boxing, cockfighting, local and international concerts, circuses, religious gatherings, beauty pageants and more.[4]


Araneta Coliseum during its construction
The Araneta Coliseum during the 1960s
The Smart Araneta Coliseum during the Game 1 of the Barangay GinebraMeralco championship series for the 2016 PBA Governors' Cup.

In 1952, J. Amado Araneta, a member of the Araneta family, purchased from Radio Corporation of America (RCA) 35 hectares (86 acres) in Cubao which includes the Araneta family home and is bounded by Epifanio Delos Santos Avenue or EDSA, Aurora Boulevard, P. Tuazon and 15th Avenue.

The Araneta Coliseum was constructed from 1957 to late 1959, and designed and built by Architect Dominador Lacson Lugtu and Engrineer Leonardo Onjunco Lugtu. 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 with a dome diameter of 108 meters. It occupies a total land area of almost 40,000 square metres (430,000 sq ft) and has a floor area of 23,000 square metres (250,000 sq ft).[5]

The coliseum opened on March 16, 1960, with Gabriel "Flash" Elorde boxing for the World Junior Lightweight crown against 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 more than a thousand games at the Araneta Coliseum as of today. 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.[6]

Araneta Coliseum logo from 1999 to 2011 prior to naming rights deal with Smart Communications.

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 a 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 because Shell owned the then-PBA team, the Shell Turbo Chargers.[7]

In 1999, the coliseum underwent its first major renovation at the cost of P200 million.[8] The major changes include 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 to the scoreboard.

From 2001 to 2008, the highest grossing event at the arena is the Pacquiao vs. Larios boxing fight between Manny Pacquiao and Óscar Larios, earning 96.2 million Philippine 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.[6]

Prior to the Ultimate All-Star Weekend in July 2011, it was announced that the Aranetas entered into a naming rights deal with mobile network operator 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.[7]

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.[9] 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.

In 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 Araneta Coliseum with the "Big Cube" LED display during a PBA game in 2011. This photo was taken before the naming rights with Smart Communications took effect.

Sports usage

The arena is primarily the home arena for the Philippine Basketball Association and the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) basketball leagues. It annually hosts every PBA Basketball Championship, NCAA Basketball Championship as well as UAAP Basketball Championship.

The facility has also hosted the 1975 Thrilla in Manila, 1978 FIBA World Championship, and the 2007 Philippines World Pool Championship.

Entertainment and others

The coliseum also hosts concerts, shows, graduations, seminars, ice shows, circuses, and beauty pageants.

At the turn of the new millennium, Regine Velasquez held her iconic two-night sold out concert entitled R2K: The Concert, in support of her album R2K, on April 7 and 8, 2000. R2K The Concert which became the most attended concert at the coliseum with over 37,000 attendees, was center staged and has used the seating capacity to its 360-degree maximum.

Sarah Geronimo is the youngest solo performer to stage a concert in the coliseum at the age of 16 with her Sarah Geronimo: The Other Side concert on September 30, 2005.

Some notable international performers include Akon (on July 4, 2009),[10] Kelly Clarkson as part of her All I Ever Wanted World Tour on May 1, 2010,[11] Incubus (in 2008 and 2011), Carly Rae Jepsen (in 2013 and 2015),[12] Lady Gaga as part of her The Fame Ball Tour on August 11, 2009, Avril Lavigne as part of her The Best Damn Tour on September 3, 2008,[13] The Black Star Tour on February 16, 2012[14] and the Avril Lavigne On Tour on February 17, 2014, Kylie Minogue as part of her Aphrodite World Tour on July 5, 2011, Bruno Mars as part of his The Doo-Wops and Hooligans Tour on April 8, 2011, The Script (in 2011 and 2013), Snow Patrol (on August 9, 2012), Taylor Swift as part of her Speak Now Tour on February 19, 2011,[15] and Westlife in 2001 and as part of their Gravity Tour on September 29, 2011,[16] as well as the American Idols LIVE! Tour 2011 (on September 21 and 22, 2011),[17] and the American Idols LIVE! Tour 2012 (on September 21, 2012).[18] Following her performance with the American Idols LIVE! Tour 2012 five months prior, Filipino-American American Idol runner-up Jessica Sanchez had her first sold out solo concert at the coliseum on February 14, 2013.[19]

The coliseum also housed K-pop artists like Super Junior's Super Show-the first Korean to perform in the arena, 2NE1, SS501, CNBLUE and Beast.[20][21] 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.[22] It was the first time that an international artist released a concert DVD featuring the coliseum. GOT7's first fan meeting in Manila was also held in the Coliseum last November 14, 2015.

On October 12, 2014, the main celebration of the 75th Diamond Anniversary of Quezon City was held at the coliseum.[23]

Religious services and other uses

The Big Dome also hosted a praise and worship concerts like 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, International Convention of Pentecostal Missionary Church of Christ (4th Watch), Jesus Miracle Crusade, Kingdom of Jesus Christ (during early years), Shalom CCFI (Every Holy Week) and Victory Christian Fellowship,[24] 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[25] at the coliseum).[26][27][28]

Attendance records

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.[29] 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.[30]

Notable events at the Araneta Coliseum

Sports events

Regular events

Entertainment events

See also


  2. "The Big Dome". Araneta Coliseum. Archived from the original on 2011-07-04. Retrieved 2011-03-31.
  3. "Big Dome still main PBA venue, but MOA Arena an alternative option".
  4. Archived November 11, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.
  5. Henson, Quinito (2008-11-19). "Mecca of sports". The Philippine Star. Retrieved 2011-07-24.
  6. 1 2 Henson, Quinito (2008-11-19). "More on the mecca". The Philippine Star. Retrieved 2011-07-24.
  7. 1 2 Juico, Philip Ella (2011-07-20). "Araneta Coliseum, now Smart Araneta". The Philippine Star. Retrieved 2011-07-24.
  8. Coliseum History
  9. PBA attendance record set to fall as facelift expands Big Dome's seating capacity, Snow Badua,, November 13, 2013
  10. Beltran, Nelson (2009-06-05). "Aquino faces rap for allegedly mauling fan | Sports, News, The Philippine Star". Retrieved 2015-08-29.
  11. Archived February 25, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.
  12. "Carly Rae Jepsen in Manila concert". ABS-CBN News. September 15, 2015. Retrieved September 2, 2016.
  13. Archived July 6, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.
  14. "Yahoo Celebrity Singapore – Yahoo". Retrieved 2015-08-29.
  15. Archived February 22, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.
  16. Archived September 13, 2012, at the Wayback Machine.
  17. "Thia would 'love' to meet Pacman, Aga in Manila". Philippine Daily Inquirer. August 13, 2011. Retrieved September 2, 2016.
  18. "The 'American Idol' tour is ready for Manila". Philippine Daily Inquirer. September 8, 2012. Retrieved September 2, 2016.
  19. "Dolphy, Jessica Sanchez top 2012 web searches". ABS-CBN News. 2012-12-13. Retrieved 2015-08-29.
  20. Archived February 28, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.
  21. "3 katao kinidnap ng A-SG | Probinsiya, Pilipino Star Ngayon Sections, Pilipino Star Ngayon". 2010-05-28. Retrieved 2015-08-29.
  22. "Kamuning Bakery wins QC award | Entertainment, News, The Philippine Star". 2014-10-11. Retrieved 2015-08-29.
  23. Archived March 30, 2012, at the Wayback Machine.
  24. "Artista Academy: P20M await winners – Tempo – News in a Flash". Tempo. Retrieved 2015-08-29.
  25. Archived June 16, 2010, at the Wayback Machine.
  26. "Starstruck winners known today". Manila Bulletin. March 12, 2006.
  27. "Matiyaga si Sr. Supt. Querol at dapat siyang premyuhan | PSN Opinyon, Pilipino Star Ngayon Sections, Pilipino Star Ngayon". 2004-06-04. Retrieved 2015-08-29.
  28. FEU-NU Game 2 Finals draws in record crowd at the Big Dome, Reuben Terrado,, October 8, 2014
  29. "Game Seven between Ginebra, San Mig Coffee sets all-time record attendance". Retrieved 12 February 2014.
  30. "Ateneo de Manila University – Ateneo de Manila University".
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Araneta Coliseum.
Preceded by
Roberto Clemente Coliseum
San Juan
FIBA World Championship
Final Venue

Succeeded by
Coliseo El Pueblo
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