|The SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City. Photo from the Mall of Asia Arena Facebook page
MANILA, Philippines -- The newly built SM Mall of Asia (MOA) Arena in Pasay City finally opens its doors to the public tonight with the controversial "Born This Way Ball" concert of Grammy winner Lady Gaga.
The MOA Arena, built by the SM group, is positioned as one of the most high-tech events venues in Asia, as suggested by the eye-catching LED "ribbon" on the arena's exterior.
With a gross floor area of 64,085 square meters, the six-level building can seat 15,093 persons for basketball games and 10,311 for proscenium concerts, according to its official website.
The adjacent MOA Annex, meanwhile, houses a carpark building with 1,400 slots, as well as restaurants and merchandise stores.
"The vision is to give an event venue na world class," said Allan Florendo, marketing head of the MOA Arena, who even compared it to venues in the United States.
The dressing room, which will be used by Lady Gaga, has been compared to a hotel suite, while the dugouts to be used by sports teams, are said to be similar to those seen in Hollywood movies.
Then there are the corporate suites, which come with dedicated parking slots, their own private restroom, and room and catering services.
After Lady Gaga, the MOA Arena will be the venue for the much-awaited joint concert of boy bands New Kids on the Block and the Backstreet Boys.
The opening game of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) will also be held at the new venue.
Meanwhile, the grand opening of the MOA Arena on June 16 will feature top Filipino artists, Florendo said.
"All events inside the arena is actually a feast for the eyes. At the same time all who come here want to be seen and want to see world class entertainment," said Sahara Garnicam of the MOA Arena's corporate communications group.