Smart move for the Big Dome
Smart Communications, the Philippines' leading wireless services provider, and the Araneta Group of Companies have finalised a naming rights deal for the Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City, Philippines.
While financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, the contract will run for five years, with the 16,000-seat multi-sport arena being renamed the ‘Smart Araneta Coliseum’. The agreement includes improvements to the fifty-year old stadium’s facilities, such as new escalators and a 2,000 capacity car park.
In 1991, Smart Communications was incorporated into the Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT), which currently owns Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) side Talk ‘N Text Topang Texters.
Throughout its history, the Smart Araneta Coliseum, nicknamed the ‘Big Dome’, has hosted a number of notable sporting events, including the ‘Thrilla in Manila’ boxing match between Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier in 1975 and the 1978 World Basketball Championships.
The first sporting event to be staged in the newly-named arena was the Smart All-Star Weekend, held on 23rd and 24th July, which saw an NBA All-Star side, including stars such as Kobe Bryant and Derrick Williams, take on players from the PBA.