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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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Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Wed, 20 Aug 2014 13:06:16 -0700

Lasry and Edens, as well as Sheehy, have consistently said there will need to be some form of public financing to pay for an arena that could cost between $400 million and $500million. Lasry and Edens already have committed $100 million toward a new ...
Wed, 20 Aug 2014 13:48:45 -0700

As Fifth Third Arena approaches the 25th anniversary of its opening in November, the building has come to be viewed as a problem badly in need of a solution, an albatross preventing the University of Cincinnati men's basketball program from reaching ...


Wed, 20 Aug 2014 06:30:00 -0700

However, according to those same sources, the Mariners have told the city it does not have extra capacity in the garage for additional events in the area, like at a proposed arena. That is likely a major reason why Hansen closed a deal on a piece of ...
Wed, 20 Aug 2014 16:03:40 -0700

Shoemaker, one of eight siblings who attended UC, played guard for the Bearcats from 1975 to 1979. His father, who died in 1985, was motivated to find a way to fund a new on-campus arena for the Bearcats after attending one of his son's games at what ...


Wed, 20 Aug 2014 22:48:45 -0700

The LA Galaxy followed its abysmal performance last weekend in Columbus with a first half Wednesday night in Colorado that was just as poor, perhaps worse, prompting an embarrassed head coach Bruce Arena, on the local telecast, to proclaim that he ...
Lincoln Journal Star
Wed, 20 Aug 2014 22:15:00 -0700

The Pinnacle Bank Arena wrapped up its first year of concerts Wednesday with a 2-hour, 10-minute spectacle courtesy of Katy Perry. Action-packed from start to finish, Perry used a giant video screen, every light trick in the book, a pack of dancers and ...
Sacramento Bee
Tue, 19 Aug 2014 16:04:27 -0700

A group of local buyers closed escrow Tuesday on 555 Capitol Mall, a major downtown office property that occupies an entire city block near the planned Sacramento Kings basketball arena. The 380,000-square-foot property includes two connected office ...

Sydney Morning Herald

Wed, 20 Aug 2014 13:50:41 -0700

Despite selling out all five UK concerts within 60 minutes and selling out a number of other stops, including two Paris shows, across her 23-date European and multi-month American tour, the curtains were drawn across the top tier of seating at Perth ...

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