More than twice bigger in seating capacity than the heretofore world’s largest enclosed arenas, the Philippine Arena is a giant in both size and significance to Philippine architecture and to the Filipino people. Conceived and designed as a world-class stage for big-tent events such as concerts, conferences, and sports championships, it transcends its architectural specifications by embracing an unintended, but welcome, symbolism – that of resolve, resourcefulness, and rejoicing. The Philippine Arena, for all that it already is, has become an empowering emblem of national pride.
The Philippine Arena was inaugurated on July 21, 2014. It is a multi-purpose indoor arena located at Ciudad de Victoria – a tourism enterprise zone in Bocaue, Bulacan, Philippines, covering more than 100 hectares. With a seating capacity of up to 55,000, it became the world’s largest indoor arena.
It is considered as the world’s largest indoor arena, and has been declared as the largest mixed-use indoor arena by the Guinness Book of World Records.
Having already made a mark in history, there is no doubt that the Philippine Arena is the only venue of choice when it comes to hosting the biggest and most significant events in the country.
Size matters as far as arenas and stadiums go. It is in the nature of these structures to be big, not just because by nature they need to accommodate large audiences, but also because they need the bragging rights to attract more spectators as the events they host get grander and more spectacular. The fascination with, and the need for bigness goes back a long way, and it seems ingrained.
In sheer floor area, the Philippine Arena is easily the world’s biggest permanently roofed arena (or stadium). In seating capacity, Philippine Arena is the world’s largest domed arena. And it isn’t just seating capacity that makes the Philippine Arena big. Its length and breadth are just supersized - 243 meters at its longest and 193 meters at its widest.
Form follows function. Bequeathed to the architectural world by the American architect Louis Sullivan and smithed by the modernist movement into a principle, the venerable architectural credo is alive and well in the Philippine Arena. Unlike many of the worlds biggest arenas, the Philippine Arena seats most of its audience in front of its performance area and a bit in its wings, the better to keep its audience close to the world on stage and even closer to the spirit of community – the latter being the ineffable intangible that all classical amphitheaters strove to engender in their day. The function of the Philippine Arena is that of an amphitheater: to entertain, to be seen, to be heard.