Friday, May 18, 2012

MoA Arena is Ready for Lady Gaga!

Less than two months ago, on March 28, I was given an opportunity to take a peek inside the Mall of Asia Arena. It was overwhelming to see how huge the interior is and how much work left was to be done before the first concert is staged in May. At the time, the executives of MoA Arena said they still couldn't confirm with us who the music artist would be but the media rumor mills have already been whispering Lady Gaga's name. True enough, it was confirmed a week later that the world-famous singer would be the first to set foot on the Arena stage.

Still, I heard talks that the concert might be moved to another location if the Arena wouldn't be finished as scheduled. I wondered back then if, indeed, despite the 24/7 construction work, everything could be ready on time.

Yesterday, I saw for myself how fast the transformation had been. MoA Arena's interiors are impressive! The structure, poised as one of Asia's premiere entertainment destinations is definitely set for international pop superstar Lady Gaga who is coming back to once again perform for her Filipino fans this May 21 and 22.

MoA Arena is designed to cater to local and world-class performances from concerts to a wide range of sports events. It has 20,000 full-seating capacity and more than 2,000 parking spaces located on the south side of the mall, with an additional 1,400 slots at the neighboring MoA Annex Car Park Building. The Arena has a total land area of 18,214.18sqm and a gross building area of 64,085sqm.

Edgar Tejerero, Senior VP of West Avenue Theaters Corp. told us that construction started ten months ago and expressed, "We are happy that we are opening as originally targeted."

The building's exterior is made of glass with an eye-catching eye-shaped facade which is also reflected on the design of the car park building next to it. The structure boasts of cutting-edge facilities that can be considered the best and the first in the Philippines. For one, MoA Arena is the first events venue to use Robbins Inc.'s upgraded and newly improved portable floor design (the system of choice by 16 NBA arenas) and the first to have a Spalding Goal in the country, the NBA Basketball goal standard. 

Additionally, MoA Arena houses the first-ever Corporate Suites in the country and all of Southeast Asia. The press conference was held in one and it felt like being inside a comfortable condominium unit with a nice view. Each suite is an exclusive and fully-furnished room designed with its own mini-bar, sofas, restroom, and private gallery with cinema seats. There are a total of 41 suites, 10 of which can be rented on a per-event basis while the rest are already leased for a period of one to five years. How much is the rental fee? The Premier Suites can go for about P9 million to P12 million per year and entitles suite-holders to season passes to all of MoA Arena's entertainment and sporting events. 

This awesome venue also has a live beaming capability which means they can broadcast any concert/event performed there in any SM Cinema nationwide. Imagine, those who live far from Manila may also have a chance to watch performances in real time! MoA Arena further has a technologically enhanced internal crowd and traffic control as well as WiFi accessibility. The Arena is described as production-friendly because it allows 4-hour set-up, basic sounds and lights availability, plug and play set-up, press room, world class dressing room, and state-of-the-art dug-out and shower rooms.

We got to tour the said rooms and were joking among ourselves that we got inside Lady Gaga's dressing room before she did LOL. We also saw how spacious the dug-outs are -- a total of four so that, in case of games to be played one after another, two teams can rest and hang out in their own rooms while another two teams battle it out on the arena.

Patrons are promised VIP-level services and amenities, all the comforts of an arena-type venue, and a vast offering of food and merchandise. It features a designated smoking lounge on all floors, CCTV security system, mobile package counter, PWD access, pick-up center, paging system, and more. For easy transportation, the venue will provide shuttle bus service on special play dates, valet parking, taxi service and waiting area, and a driver's lounge at the car park.

"The Sy family has been involved in this project especially Mr. Hans Sy who was very much into the details of the construction," revealed Tejerero. "MoA Arena is part of a grand master plan for the Mall of Asia Complex."

I'm not watching Lady Gaga's concert but, at least,
I already had a photo taken inside MoA Arena :)
Although the Born This Way Ball will be the inaugural performance, Tejerero clarified that the grand launch for MoA Arena is set on June 16 where Filipinos can expect a grander spectacle featuring some of the country's best OPM artists.

*To see more photos, please visit this blog's Facebook page

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