Iglesia Ni Cristo inaugurates the world’s largest domed arena – Philippine Arena
As part of the grand celebrations for the Iglesia Ni Cristo’s (INC) 100th anniversary, the Philippine Arena officially opens today, July 21. The INC executive minister Eduardo V. Manalo together with the Philippine President Benigno Simeon Aquino III led the unveiling of the marker for the entire Ciudad de Victoria. Several ranking officials led by Vice President Jejomar Binay were also present at the area for the inauguration.
Here’s President Benigno Simeon Aquino III’s inaugural speech:
Located in a 50-hectare complex called Ciudad de Victoria (City of Victory), which is part of the INC’s centennial project, it has a bowl-shaped structure inspired by the narra, the Philippine national tree, according to the world-acclaimed architectural firm Populous, its concept designer. The INC hired the best companies to design, structure and build the Philippine Arena. Aside from Populous, it contracted Buro Happold, a British professional services firm, for its structural engineering and the Korean firm Hanwha Engineering and Construction for the completion of the project.
The Philippine Arena is more than twice the size of The O2 in London and even of the large indoor arenas in the United States, which was why it was a big challenge to design and build. The Philippine Arena ‘pushed the boundaries of arena design’ and is now considered the world’s largest indoor arena, Populous said in its website.
The Philippine Arena is part of Ciudad de Victoria (City of Victory) complex of the Iglesia ni Cristo that is estimated to be about 130 hectares. The Philippine Arena has four levels. The parking area, offices and stage can be found on level 1. On Level 2 are the main entrance from the great stairs, and lower bowl seats. The VIP rooms are on Level 3, while the concourse or general patronage area is found on Level 4.
Construction of the arena began on August 17, 2011 and ended last May 30, 2014. The dome can accommodate some 55,000 people. The Iglesia Ni Cristo believes, the Philippine Arena represents the fulfillment of God’s promise.
The INC said the construction of the Philippine Arena was made possible through the voluntary offerings of its members.