PBA attendance record set to fall as facelift expands Big Dome's seating capacity
A major facelift of the Big Dome has added to its seating capacity, improved its facilities and done away with the lower box section to be able to expand the patron section and its more expensive seats. Jerome Ascano

A major facelift of the Smart-Araneta Coliseum has been completed in time for the 39th season of the PBA that opens shop on Sunday, making it more competitive against the newer Mall of Asia Arena.

A source told Spin.ph the Big Dome has added to its seating capacity, improved its facilities and done away with the lower box section to be able to expand the patron section and its more expensive seats.

“Yung lowerbox seats dati, wala na yun. Seats have been improved. Tapos it will be categorized as Patron A and B na,” said an official who requested that he not be named.

Although the Big Dome has a bigger capacity, the MOA Arena generates more revenue since it boasts of more premium seats such as the lower box and patron compared to the circumferentially designed of the Big Dome.

In the last Commissioner’s Cup Finals between Alaska and Ginebra, the 17,856 crowd at the Mall of Asia yielded P5.7 million in earnings, almost double the amount gained by the record-breaking 23,436 crowd at Araneta Coliseum during Game Three of the semifinals that only netted P3.5 million.

“That’s the aim. We want to be competitive in terms of returns sa mga clients namin. With the present set-up kasi mas maliit `yung price level,” said the source, who bared Araneta Coliseum will also install state-of-the-art seats at the venue for more viewing pleasure.

With the new set-up, Araneta officials are optimistic breaking the current PBA game attendance will be more doable.

“Madadagdagan kasi ng seats eh, so we can accommodate more fans inside the coliseum,” said the source, who also take pride in the new look of the Big Dome’s façade.

Aside from this, fans also get to experience world class viewing with the venue’s refurbished comfort rooms, new and improved galleries, as well as the arrival of new food concessionaires.

The coliseum has already improved the dugout facilities, where 42-inch LCD monitors have been installed.

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