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An arena is a large enclosed platform, often circular or oval-shaped, designed to showcase
theatre Theatre or theater is a collaborative form of performing art that uses live performers, usually actor, actors or actresses, to present the experience of a real or imagined event before a live audience in a specific place, often a stage. The p ...
, musical performances, or
sporting events Sport pertains to any form of Competition, competitive physical activity or game that aims to use, maintain, or improve physical ability and Skill, skills while providing enjoyment to participants and, in some cases, entertainment to specta ...
. It is composed of a large open space surrounded on most or all sides by tiered seating for spectators, and may be covered by a roof. The key feature of an arena is that the event space is the lowest point, allowing maximum visibility. Arenas are usually designed to accommodate a multitude of spectators.


Background

The word derives from Latin ', a particularly fine-grained sand that covered the floor of ancient arenas such as the
Colosseum The Colosseum ( ; it, Colosseo ) is an oval amphitheatre in the centre of the city of Rome , established_title = Founded , established_date = 753 BC , founder = King Romulus (Romulus and Remus, legendary) , image_m ...
in
Rome , established_title = Founded , established_date = 753 BC , founder = King Romulus (Romulus and Remus, legendary) , image_map = Map of comune of Rome (metropolitan city of Capital Rome, region Lazio, Italy).svg ...
, Italy, to absorb blood.. 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 A stadium (plural, : stadiums or stadia) is a place or venue for (mostly) outdoor sports, concerts, or other events and consists of a field or stage either partly or completely surrounded by a tiered structure designed to allow spectators to ...
'', especially if it does not have a roof. The use of one term over the other has mostly to do with the type of event.
Football Football is a family of team sports that involve, to varying degrees, Kick (football), kicking a Football (ball), ball to score a Goal (sport), goal. Unqualified, Football (word), the word ''football'' normally means the form of football tha ...
(be it association, rugby, gridiron,
Australian rules Australian football, also called Australian rules football or Aussie rules, or more simply football or footy, is a contact sport Contact sports are sports that emphasize or require physical contact between players. Some sports, such as mixe ...
, or Gaelic) is typically played in a stadium, while
basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular court, compete with the primary objective of shooting a basketball (approximately in diameter) through the defender' ...
,
volleyball Volleyball is a team sport in which two teams of six players are separated by a net. Each team tries to score points by grounding a ball on the other team's court under organized rules. It has been a part of the official program of the Summe ...
,
handball Handball (also known as team handball, European handball or Olympic handball) is a team sport in which two teams of seven players each (six outcourt players and a Handball goalkeeper, goalkeeper) pass a ball using their hands with the aim of t ...
, and
ice hockey Ice hockey (or simply hockey) is a team sport played on ice skates, usually on an Ice rink, ice skating rink with Ice hockey rink, lines and markings specific to the sport. It belongs to a family of sports called hockey. In ice hockey, two o ...
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 Duke University is a Private university, private research university in Durham, North Carolina. Founded by Methodists and Quakers in the present-day city of Trinity, North Carolina, Trinity in 1838, the school moved to Durham in 1892. In 1924, t ...
men's and women's basketball teams would qualify as an arena, but the facility is called
Cameron Indoor Stadium Cameron Indoor Stadium is an indoor arena An arena is a large enclosed platform, often circular or oval-shaped, designed to showcase theatre, Music, musical performances, or Sport, sporting events. It is composed of a large open space surr ...
. 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 Indoor American football, or arena football, is a variation of gridiron football played at ice hockey Ice hockey (or simply hockey) is a team sport played on ice skates, usually on an Ice rink, ice skating rink with Ice hockey rink, line ...
(one variant of which is explicitly known as arena football), a variant of the outdoor game that is designed for the usual smaller playing surface of most arenas; variants of other traditionally outdoor sports, including
box lacrosse Box lacrosse, also known as boxla, box, or indoor lacrosse, is an indoor version of lacrosse played mostly in North America. The game originated in Canada in the 1930s, where it is more popular than field lacrosse. Lacrosse is Canada's official ...
as well as
futsal Futsal is a football-based game played on a hardcourt, hard court smaller than a football pitch, and mainly indoors. It has similarities to five-a-side football and Indoor soccer, indoor football. Futsal is played between two teams of five players ...
and
indoor soccer Indoor soccer or arena soccer (known internationally as indoor football, fast football, or showball) is five-a-side football, five-a-side version of minifootball, derived from association football and adapted to be played in walled hardcourt ind ...
, 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 such as "the arena of war", "the arena of love" or "the political arena". In many
fighting game A fighting game, also known as a versus fighting game, is a video game genre, genre of video game that involves combat between two or more players. Fighting game combat often features mechanics such as Blocking (martial arts), blocking, grappli ...
s, the stage that opponents are fought in is also called an arena. An arena is often named after a name sponsor. It is common that the name changes with 4–8 years intervals.


Gallery

File:Hartwall Areena ESC 2007.jpg,
Helsinki Halli Helsinki Halli (formerly Hartwall Arena) is a large multi-functional indoor arena located in Helsinki, Finland. It was opened in April 1997. The arena is convertible for various events. The total seated capacity during ice hockey games is 13,34 ...
File:AccorHotels Arena (Bercy Arena).jpg,
AccorHotels Arena Accor Arena (originally known as Palais Omnisports de Paris-Bercy, and previously as AccorHotels Arena; also known as Bercy in competitions where commercial names are prohibited, such as in the Olympic Games) is an indoor sports arena An are ...
File:Scotiabank Arena - 2018 (cropped).jpg,
Scotiabank Arena Scotiabank Arena ( French: ''Aréna Scotiabank)'', formerly known as Air Canada Centre (ACC), is a multi-purposed arena An arena is a large enclosed platform, often circular or oval-shaped, designed to showcase theatre, Music, musical p ...
File:Lanxess-Arena, Köln-7892.jpg,
Lanxess Arena Lanxess Arena (originally Kölnarena, German for ''Cologne Arena'') is an indoor arena An arena is a large enclosed platform, often circular or oval-shaped, designed to showcase theatre, Music, musical performances, or Sport, sporting events. ...
File:The SSE Hydro (geograph 5420681).jpg, SSE Hydro File:Jyske Bank Boxen (cropped).jpg,
Jyske Bank Boxen Jyske Bank Boxen is an indoor arena, located in Herning, Denmark, that is part of the Messecenter Herning. Opened in October 2010, it has a maximum capacity of 12,500. It hosts concerts, ice hockey, basketball, volleyball, team handball and gymnas ...
File:American Airlines Arena, Miami, FL, jjron 29.03.2012.jpg,
FTX Arena FTX Arena (known as American Airlines Arena from 1999 to 2021) is a multi-purpose arena located in Miami, Florida, along Biscayne Bay. It was constructed beginning in 1998 as a replacement for the Miami Arena and designed by the architecture fir ...


See also

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Amphitheatre An amphitheatre (British English) or amphitheater (American English; both ) is an open-air venue used for entertainment, performances, and sports. The term derives from the ancient Greek ('), from ('), meaning "on both sides" or "around" and ...
*
Architectural structure Architectural engineers apply and theoretical knowledge to the engineering design of buildings and building systems. The goal is to engineer high performance buildings that are sustainable, economically viable and ensure the safety health. Archi ...
*
Field house Field house or fieldhouse is an American English American English, sometimes called United States English or U.S. English, is the set of variety (linguistics), varieties of the English language native to the United States. English is the Lan ...
*
Ice hockey arena An ice hockey arena (or ice hockey venue, or ice hockey stadium) is a sport venue A sports venue is a building, structure, or place in which a sporting competition is held. A stadium (plural: stadiums or stadia) or arena is a place or venue for ...
*
List of nonbuilding structure types A nonbuilding structure, also referred to simply as a structure, refers to any body or system of connected parts used to support a load that was not designed for continuous human occupancy. The term is used by architect An architect ...
* List of indoor arenas by capacity *
List of stadiums by capacity The following is a list of notable sports stadiums, ordered by their seating capacity, capacity, which refers to the maximum number of spectators they can normally accommodate. List criteria notes * The capacity figures are standard, permanent t ...


References


External links

** {{Authority control Music venues Sports venues by type Buildings and structures by type