Coca-Cola Arena’s first sporting event proves a hit

Dubai’s Coca-Cola Arena has staged its first-ever sporting event as the Philippine Basketball Association held a ‘Back in Dubai’ weekend at the 17,000-seat venue.

The event saw the NLEX Road Warriors secure an overtime win over Barangay Ginebra, with thousands of fans turning out to watch the action.

Coca-Cola Arena opened in June and has already hosted gigs from the likes of Maroon 5, The 1975 and Westlife. Last weekend marked the first time the arena has been transformed into a sporting venue.

The event proved a hit, with a huge Filipino community attending on both days.

Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) commissioner Wilie O. Marcial told the Gulf News website that discussions have been held with the Dubai Sports Council to stage more games in the city.

“The Dubai Sports Council is keen that we organise more games in Dubai in the future,” Marcial said. “We are only too pleased to accommodate such a request as it gives us the opportunity to further our interests and the interests of basketball in the region.

“The DSC general secretary led by Saeed Hareb is in close touch with the PBA about how we can take our sport forward here. He is all in favour of us organising more such games in Dubai, and if that is not possible, then at least have an exhibition match involving an all-star side.”

Coca-Cola Arena is the largest indoor facility of its kind in the Middle East and North Africa region.

Images: Coca-Cola Arena