BOCAUE, Bulacan - The brand-new Philippine Arena left a lot of fans awed by its sheer size and design, but opening day for the PBA at the venue wasn't without problems.
The Iglesia Ni Cristo-owned facility listed as the biggest domed arena in the world hosted its first commercial event since it opened and obviously wasn't prepared for the record 52,612 fans that came to watch the PBA opening on Sunday.
Food concessionaires inside the arena made a killing during the keenly awaited event, but fans had to endure long queues even for simple purchases like bottled water.
Obviously, there weren't enough food stalls to address the need since fans aren't allowed to bring in food to the venue.
One fan from Pasig City complained that he had to miss the second and third quarters of the Blackwater versus Kia game because he had to queue for one hour in a food stall.
"Nakakainis kasi inabot ako ng halos isang oras sa pila pa lang sa pagkain," said the fan.
"Imbes na mag enjoy ako sa panonood ng game, heto nakapila ako. Hindi nila anticipate ang dami ng tao," he added while comparing the food service to that of the older Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Long queues were also prevalent in rest rooms and elevators leading to the second and fourth levels where the food stalls are located.
"Nakakainis. Kasi hindinsila systematic," said Melvin Escalora, a regular PBA viewer who also complained about the lack of rest rooms in the ground floor.
Meanwhile, Spin.ph also learned that Purefoods Star Hotshots big man Gerwin Gaco lost his iphone 5S which he left inside his bag in the dressing room prior to the opening ceremonies.
"Iniwan kasi ni Gerwin 'yung phone niya sa bag niya sa dressing room. Pagbalik namin, nagsisigaw na lang siya na nawala nga raw," said a Purefoods player who refused to be named.
Another dampener was an incident involving San Miguel Beer guard Marcio Lassiter's car which was hit in the parking lot, allegedly by the arena security's mobile.
Petron governor Robert Non and Ginebra counterpart Alfrancis Chua had to leave their seats while watching the KIA-Blackwater game to attend to Lassiter.
"Ayaw mag-start ng kotse ni Marcio. Ibig sabihin, matindi ang bangga," said the official.