The Philippine Arena
The Philippine Arena is a multi-purpose indoor arena at Ciudad de Victoria, a 140-hectare tourism enterprise zone in Bocaue and Santa Maria, Bulacan, Philippines. With a maximum capacity of 55,000 people, it is the world's largest indoor arena and the largest mixed-use indoor theater. It is the centerpiece of the many centennial projects of the Iglesia Ni Cristo (INC) for their centennial celebration on July 27, 2014. The legal owner of the arena is the INC's educational institution, New Era University.
Building details Concept
Populous, a global mega-architecture firm, designed the arena through their office in Brisbane, Australia. The arena has been master planned to enable at least 50,000 people to gather inside the building and a further 50,000 to gather at a ‘live site’ or plaza outside to share in major events. The arena is a one-sided bowl. The lower bowl will be the most frequently used part of the building and the architectural design allows for easy separation of the lower bowl from the upper tier, by curtaining with acoustic and thermal properties.The seating layout of the arena is different from that of a standard arena where the stage is at the middle and is surrounded by seats. The seating of the arena closely resembles that of a Greek amphitheater, built in a semi-circle with the seats at the sides and front of the arena stage. The seatings are divided into three sections. Each of the sections are colored green, white and red the colors of the Iglesia Ni Cristo flag.
A portion of the 50,000 seats of the Philippine Arena. The color of the seats was patterned on the Iglesia Ni Cristo flag.
Built on 99,200 square meters of land and has a dome of 36,000 square metres. The roof spans some 160 meters and contains 9,000 tons of steel work. The roof was made as a separate unit to reduce burden on the arena with extra load. The arena is 62 meters in height, or about fifteen stories high and founded on pile construction. For earthquake loads, about a third of the dead load of the building was designed. The building was also divided into multiple structure to strengthen the arena's earthquake resistance.
PWP Landscape Architecture, the firm who landscaped the National September 11 Memorial & Museum, designed the landscape for the arena and the whole complex of Ciudad de Victoria. For the arena, a series of outdoor plazas, gardens and performance venues form the setting for the development including: The North and South Arrival Plazas, The Promontory Plaza, The Great Stairs, and Ciudad de Victoria Plaza that are all related to each other with two cross axes (N-S and E-W) that intersect at the Promontory Plaza.
The arena will not only hold major church gatherings, but will also operate as a multi-use sports and concert venue, capable of holding a range of events from boxing and basketball to live music performances, but no soccer or field events due to its limited size. There is clear "line of sight" for every seat from each tier, even for various arena configurations such as church ceremonies, boxing, tennis, concerts or indoor gymnastics. The Iglesia ni Cristo will allow non-Iglesia tenants to use the arena. The church reserves the right to disallow activities which it sees violate its religious principles, which include gambling-related events and cockfighting. The overall vision of the master plan will eventually see inclusion of shopping centers, a hospital, and large scale residential developments.
The Philippine Arena, along with Ciudad de Victoria was officially inaugurated on July 21, 2014. Philippine President Benigno Aquino III and Iglesia ni Cristo Executive Minister Eduardo Manalo unveiled the marker of Ciudad de Victoria.
The first events which took place on the arena are the series of activities of INC as a part of their centennial celebration.
July 27, 2014 Special Worship Service and Oratorio A worship service led by Eduardo Manalo, the INC Executive Minister and a large musical composition for orchestra, choir, and soloists.
July 29, 2014 Bayan Mo'y Nagpupuri A musical presentaion featuring original INC Christian music and INC history
July 31, 2014 Ang Sugo A stage play depicting the ministry of Felix Manalo and the history of the INC
August 1, 2014 Tagisan ng Talino A quiz show for Binhi members, the INC organization for young members 12 to 17 years old, which includes Bible and INC history & current events.
August 2, 2014 Evangelical Mission A Bible exposition for the non-members.
The Philippine Basketball Association is negotiating with Iglesia ni Cristo officials for rights to hold games of the 2014 PBA Season at the arena. The arena will be one of the main venue for the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup if the Philippines wins the bid through Manny V. Pangilinan.
In popular media
The Philippine Arena was featured in a documentary called Man Made Marvels: Quake Proof. It aired on December 25, 2013 in Discovery Channel and focused on making structures in the Philippines more safe from natural disasters such as earthquake and typhoons
The Philippine Arena was awarded as the best sports project in Asia under the "medium cap project" category at the Construction Awards 2013 by the World Finance. On July 27, 2014, Guinness World Records recognized the arena as the largest mixed-use indoor theater when 51,919 official audience attended the worship service conducted that day.
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