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Wednesday, 17 August 2011


An "Arena" actually refers the special ultra-fine sand that was used in gladiatorial coliseums to soak up blood quicker. The Romans used the term 'arena' to describe the site for an enclosed area in which some public entertainment was staged as after each event, slaves would sprinkle sand over the gore, and the Latin word for sand was arena.

The Hippodrome of Constantinople was an arena that was capable of seating 100,000 people. Byzantines gathered there to sit under silk awnings to watch chariot races, jugglers, circus acts, and fights between wild animals.

Henry VIII oversaw the building of four of the great sporting arenas of the age:
1. Greenwich Palace: Tiltyard for jousting, tennis court, indoor bowling alley and cockpit.
2. Whitehall Palace Gravel: Tiltyard, two tennis courts, two indoor bowling alleys and cockpit
3. Whitehall Palace Park: Outdoor stalking and hawking
4. Hampton Court: Two bowling alleys, tiltyard with exceptional viewing towers and tennis court.

The oldest existing indoor ice hockey arena still used for the sport in the 21st century, the Boston Arena, opened for the first time in 1910.

The first indoor arena was Madison Square Garden in New York City. It was completed in 1890 to replace a converted railroad terminal that had been used for public events since 1874. The 1890 arena was replaced in 1925.

The New Orleans Superdome is called like that for a reason – with a total floor area of 269,000 square feet it is the largest enclosed arena in the world.

The Philippine Arena is a multipurpose indoor arena at Ciudad de Victoria, a 140-hectare tourism enterprise zone in Bocaue and Santa Maria, Bulacan, Philippines. With a maximum capacity of 55,000 people, it is the world's largest indoor arena.

Soource Observer 2/1/00 article on History of Sport

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