On Wednesday night, the brand new SM Mall of Asia Arena opened its doors up for a tour of the new sports venue. A state-of-the-art facility with all of the amenities expected from a top-flight arena, including a 360-degree LED scoreboard, VIP boxes, and restaurants, the MOA Arena can sit 14,500 comfortably and has plenty of parking areas available to visitors.
The design of the arena was based off of several different arenas from the US. “They got the best quality from each arena and put it here,” said UAAP president Nilo Ocampo of host National University.
“It’s like an NBA-standard arena,” said NU assistant athletic director Bobby Parks, Sr. “I’ve seen the floors. I’ve seen the lockers. I think everybody’s going to want to get in here.”
“It was a great feeling to play in what’s actually like an NBA arena,” said UAAP MVP Bobby Ray Parks, Jr. whose Bulldogs tested the arena floor earlier in the day. “Feels like home.”
The crowd enters the arena floor.
“There were plans of bringing in the professional team from China, the Shanghai Sharks, but that was postponed,” said Ocampo. “But there are negotiations going on with the NBA to maybe hold a preseason game here.”
The patron section behind where the basketball rings will be set up has the rows down for now, but electronically propped up by row to give the touring audience a place to rest.
The view from the section.
The tour took the crowd up the escalators to pay a visit to the VIP boxes.
There are 41 VIP boxes but 30 of them were already sold for the whole year as season boxes. The rest will be available per event. “May butler ka sa loob. May TV ka,” said Ocampo. “You’ll be comfortable inside. But there are seats right outside also.”
The VIP boxes differ in size. There are ones that can seat 17 people, some that can seat 22. But most have this great view of the action.