Field House Info
An arena is an enclosed area, often circular or oval-shaped, designed to showcase theater, musical performances, or sporting events. 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. Usually, an arena is designed to accommodate a fairly 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. The use of one term over the other has mostly to do with the type of event. Football is typically played in a stadium while basketball and 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. And there are exceptions. The home of the Duke University basketball team would qualify as an arena, but the facility is called Cameron Indoor Stadium.
An "all-seater" stadium has seats for all spectators. Other stadia are designed so that all or some spectators stand to view the event. The term "all-seater" is not common in the U.S., perhaps because very few American stadia have sizeable standing-only sections. Poor stadium design has contributed to disasters, such as the Hillsborough disaster and the Heysel Stadium disaster. Since these, both the FA Premier League and FIFA World Cup qualifying matches require all spectators to be seated (though not necessarily in an all-seater stadium, if terraces are left empty).
The spectator areas of a stadium may be referred to as bleachers, especially in the U.S., or as terraces, especially in the United Kingdom, but also in some American baseball parks, as an alternative to the term tier. Originally set out for standing room only, they are now usually equipped with seating. Either way, the term originates from the step-like rows which resemble agricultural terraces. Related, but not precisely the same, is the use of the word terrace to describe a sloping portion of the outfield in a baseball park, possibly, but not necessarily for seating, but for practical or decorative purposes. The most famous of these was at Crosley Field in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Many stadia make luxury suites available to patrons for thousands of dollars per event. These suites can accommodate fewer than 10 spectators or upwards of 30 depending on the venue. Luxury suites at events such as the Super Bowl can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.
A modern stadium (plural stadia or stadiums) is a place, or venue, for (mostly) outdoor sports, concerts or other events, consisting of a field or stage partly or completely surrounded by a structure designed to allow spectators to stand or sit and view the event.
Pausanias noted that for about half a century the only event at the ancient Greek Olympic festival was the race that comprised one length of the stade at Olympia where the word stadium is originally derived from.
Dome stadia are distinguished from conventional stadia by their enclosing roofs. They are called stadia because they are large enough for, and designed for, what are generally considered to be outdoor sports. Those designed for what are usually indoor sports are called arenas. Some stadia have partial roofs, and a few have even been designed to have moveable fields as part of the infrastructure.
The term "stadium" tends to be used mostly in connection with games like association football, American football, Baseball, Gaelic football, Cricket, Hurling, Rugby, and other large field games. Exceptions include the basketball arena at Duke University, which is called Cameron Indoor Stadium and the now-demolished Chicago Stadium, former home of the Chicago Blackhawks of the NHL and Chicago Bulls of the NBA.