There’s a chance that the brand new Philippine Arena will be the place of the opening ceremonies of the 40th season of the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA).
After weeks in the grapevine, the PBA acknowledge their plans of setting their foot into the world’s biggest dome next month, though Commissioner Chito Salud has yet to make a word. The league chieftain said on the Philippine Star he will be at the 55,000-seater venue in Bocaue, Bulacan, to do the ocular.
“We’re doing the inspection Thursday. We want to make sure the court is in place. If satisfied, we’ll hold two games there during the opening day,” said Salud.
If the plan pushes through, the PBA commissioner said in addition, they will provide transportation means for the Metro-based fans.
“We’ll be ready with shuttle buses to bring the fans from Metro Manila to the Bocaue venue,” he added.
Also, a potential doubleheader will be at stake where newcomers Blackwater and Kia Motors will grace the season on its first game, while the second contest will showcase the long-time rivalry between Ginebra and Talk n Text.
Since the Philippine Arena formally opened its doors to the public, news and speculations about the PBA staging their games in the venue, also rose.
As per SPIN.ph article on August 21, PBA media bureau chief Willie Marcial revealed they are then negotiating directly with the Iglesia Ni Cristo, the group behind the Arena, regarding the use of their venue.
The league aims to break the opening crowd of over 30,000 people they attracted last season, when the PBA staged their opening games in three different playing cities last year—Manila, Cebu, and Davao.
In case the plans for Philippine Arena won’t push through, Salud said the second option will be a traditional inaugural rites at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City, with possibly a match between Ginebra and Talk n Text serving as the league’s first contest.