NCAA and Smart Araneta Signs Venue Deal for Season 88
Collegiate basketball enthusiasts was the first to preview the Extreme Transformation of the Smart Araneta Coliseum or the Big Dome when the 88th season of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) opened last Saturday, June 23. Champion coaches of the NCAA also expressed their anticipation of better games at the venue where they snared their most memorable victories.
Michael Noah, Chief Operating Officer of United Promotions Inc., who signed the venue agreement with NCAA on behalf of the Araneta Group at the Gateway Suites, aptly described the partnership between NCAA and Smart Araneta Coliseum as "great cooperation resulting in good competition".
Noah also expressed his excitement to welcome the droves of screaming basketball fans that will troop to the Big Dome at the start of basketball season of the academe. "The energy of these hotly-contested games can be experienced to the hilt only at the Big Dome because it conforms to elevation, lighting and acoustic standards of world-class venues. Kids can cheer and jump all they want from any part of the coliseum without fear of falling off the bleachers or the stands. At the same time, the coliseum reverberates with the sounds and cheers of excited fans like no other venue," Noah emphasizes. He stresses that because of the location of the Big Dome, especially the convergence of major transport lines, MRT and the LRT that connects to most of the schools in the league; the student populations enjoy the viewing experience at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
But wait, there's more.
NCAA coaches are also looking forward to having their varsity teams play at the Smart Araneta Coliseum. First-time San Beda coach Ronnie Magsanoc has only good memories about playing fifteen championships at the Big Dome. "This is a place of victory for me. I remember the championship games I played here for San Beda, the University of the Philippines, Shell and as a member of the national team. These days I also enjoy concerts in this venue. I am really glad that they are coming up with the parking building because I don't have to park my car far from the venue any longer. Of course, since I live near the Loyola Heights area in QC, the Big Dome is more accessible to me."
Former UST Champion coach and now Perpetual Help coach Aric Del Rosario says that playing at the Big Dome is something that he prefers for his players, "The floor has the right amount of bounce and that prevents players' injuries. That was essential especially during the times my team won three championships against DLSU. I also really like the giant scoreboard and the lighting. It is at par with international standards. I should know I scored a four peat here. I just hope that part of the current transformation is the elevation of the ringside area and additional lighting at the bleachers."
NCAA Assistant League Commissioner and former Crispa superstar Bai Cristobal says that he is eagerly looking forward to the improvements at the Big Dome. He remembers that he won six championships playing for Crispa, one as a Purefoods cager and as a member of the RP youth team. As a coach, he had several championships for San Sebastian College. He too, is delighted at the new basketball goals, the bounce of the flooring and the world-class sports lighting at the coliseum.
|The Future Smart Araneta Coliseum Facade|
Noah assures that when the Extreme Transformation of the Smart Araneta Coliseum is finished, the basketball experience will be even more enhanced for fans, players and coaches. "There will be enhanced sports lighting inside the coliseum which all athletes and fans will appreciate. Over at the back of house, there will also be new locker rooms and media lounges," says Noah. The Green Gate is just about done and soon, we will start work on the new seats, new concourse and rest rooms. Rising just beside the Big Dome and connected to the third and second levels of the Big Dome is a multi-storey parking facility that can accommodate 1200 cars. Bridge ways to the Gateway Mall, Shopwise and other adjacent shopping and dining places also ensure that students and basketball enthusiasts enjoy the perks of an ultra-modern shopping center during all weather conditions.
With the opening of the NCAA, the Smart Araneta Coliseum will once again be roused with rip-roaring cheers from the country's biggest colleges and universities.
Let the games begin!