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For other uses, see Arena (disambiguation).

An arena is an enclosed area, often circular or oval-shaped, designed to showcase theater, musical performances, or sporting events. The word derives from Latin harena, a particularly fine/smooth sand used to absorb blood in ancient arenas like the Colosseum in Rome.[1] It is composed of a large open space surrounded on most or all sides by tiered seating for spectators. The key feature of an arena is that the event space is the lowest point, allowing for maximum visibility. Arenas are usually designed to accommodate a large number of spectators.

The term arena is sometimes used as a synonym for a very large venue such as Pasadena's Rose Bowl, but such a facility is typically called a stadium, especially if it does not have a roof.[citation needed] The use of one term over the other has mostly to do with the type of event. Football (be it association, rugby, or gridiron) is typically played in a stadium while basketball and ice hockey are typically played in an arena, although many of the larger arenas hold more spectators than do the stadiums of smaller colleges or high schools. There are exceptions. The home of the Duke University basketball team would qualify as an arena, but the facility is called Cameron Indoor Stadium. Domed stadiums, which like arenas are enclosed but have the larger playing surfaces and seating capacities found in stadiums, are generally not referred to as arenas in North America. There is also the sport of indoor American football (one variant of which is explicitly known as arena football), a variant of the gridiron-based game that is designed for the usual smaller playing surface of most arenas; variants of other traditionally outdoor sports, including box lacrosse and futsal/indoor soccer, also exist.

The term "arena" is also used loosely to refer to any event or type of event which either literally or metaphorically takes place in such a location, often with the specific intent of comparing an idea to a sporting event. Such examples of these would be terms like "the arena of war" or "the arena of love" or "the political arena". In many fighting games, the stage that opponents are fought in is also called an arena.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Claridge, Amanda (1998). Rome: An Oxford Archaeological Guide (First ed.). Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 1998. pp. 276–282. ISBN 0-19-288003-9.

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CBS Local

CBS Local
Tue, 29 Jul 2014 12:18:45 -0700

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Mon, 28 Jul 2014 07:48:45 -0700

Feb 16, 2013; College Park, MD, USA; Maryland Terrapins mascot waives the state flag prior to the game against the Duke Blue Devils at the Comcast Center. Mandatory Credit: Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports (Photo: Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports ...
Sacramento Business Journal
Tue, 29 Jul 2014 11:11:15 -0700

This art piece in the Kings experience center is made of peach baskets. Shelly Willis, executive director of the Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission, said with $5.5 million allotted for art as part of the overall arena construction plan, there's ...
Dayton Daily News
Mon, 28 Jul 2014 18:52:30 -0700

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The Kalamazoo Gazette
Mon, 28 Jul 2014 14:44:19 -0700

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