By Nikka Garriga
PASAY CITY, METRO MANILA—With its iconic structure and high-tech amenities, the SM Mall of Asia Arena is leveling-up homegrown Filipino talents as a ‘feast for the eyes’ for both local and foreign tourists.
According to Sahara Jean Garnia, Marketing Head of West Avenue Theaters, its eye-shaped exterior represents the vision of the Sy family to promote local talents in terms of performing arts and sports in a world-class stage.
“It was built as an initiative to encourage and to celebrate original Pinoy talent in a world-standard platform that goes up to par with our world-class artists,” she says.
The Arena stands on a 64,085-square-meters land area with an all-glass façade and a seating capacity of over 15,000 to 20,000 spectators.
A music event entitled “Icons” was held for Arena's official grand launch, gathering some of the biggest names in the Philippine music industry like Lea Salonga, Gary Valenciano, Ogie Alcasid and Jim Paredes of the Apo Hiking Society to name a few.
Among the notable features of this five-level events venue are its eight-sided, center-hung scoreboards by Daktroniks, retractable Spalding basketball goals and LED-powered ribbon boards. All these features meet the standards of the National Basketball Association (NBA)--as SM plans is currently in talks with NBA to hold a pre-season game here.
It has four dug-outs, a mess hall for an event’s technical team, a room exclusive for press conferences, and a special area for meet-and-greet affairs.
Besides sports and entertainment, the Arena also aims at becoming a destination for unique and gourmet finds that will only be available at its Hawker’s Alley.
“What you often see in the mall is usually what is being offered in a particular venue. But for us, if you want to be part of Arena’s food offering you have to come up with something different,” explains Garnia.
Popular food establishments like Yellow Cab and New York Fries and Dip (NYFD) offer a new twist to their typical menu dressed as Pitstop and Spudnik.
The Arena is also the first in the country and in Southeast Asia to introduce the Corporate Suites, or commonly referred to as luxury boxes in the United States.
Located just above the lower box section, it is furnished with its own restroom, a mini bar and a glass-paneled viewing deck complete with plush theater seats.
With such aesthetics and facilities, the Arena is hoping to present itself as the ultimate one-stop destination for both local and international events in an effort to boost the country’s tourism industry.
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