AN Ateneo-De La Salle basketball or volleyball match-up at the Philippine Arena can already be ruled out - at least for this year.
A high-ranking UAAP official thumbed down the possibility of league games being played at the Iglesia Ni Cristo-owned arena located in Bulacan anytime soon.
But its inaccessibility to Metro Manila fans has nothing to do with it, as the official said the league has already booked its schedule ahead of time in its two regular playing venues - the Smart-Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City and the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay.
“Contracts and schedules have been set at the Araneta Coliseum and Mall of Asia Arena,” said the UAAP official who asked not to be named as he is not authorized to speak in behalf of the league.
The brand-new Philippine Arena, which has been featured in international television shows as a structural marvel, is set to be completed soon. Photos of the venue have already been spreading online.
The huge arena, built at a reported cost of P9.2 billion, is considered the largest indoor dome stadium in the world with a reported capacity of 55,000. It is set to open in July.
Its huge capacity could easily house one of UAAP’s top-grossing games - the Final Four and championship matches and the annual duels between longtime nemesis Ateneo and La Salle.
Likewise consistently attracting huge crowds are women’s volleyball matches between Ateneo and La Salle.
While those games could easily accommodate a large throng of fans in the new venue, the same UAAP official said the league has yet to consider holding games at the Philippine Arena.
“Not this season,” said the UAAP official.