An arena is an enclosed area, often circular or oval-shaped, designed to showcase theater, musical performances, or sporting events. The word derives from Latin harena, a particularly fine/smooth sand used to absorb blood in ancient arenas like the Colosseum in Rome. 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, 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 (be it association, rugby, or gridiron) is typically played in a stadium while basketball and ice 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. There are exceptions. The home of the Duke University basketball team would qualify as an arena, but the facility is called Cameron Indoor Stadium. Domed stadiums, which like arenas are enclosed but have the larger playing surfaces and seating capacities found in stadiums, also fall under a gray area. There is also the sport of indoor American football (one variant of which is explicitly known as arena football), a variant of the gridiron-based game that is designed for the usual smaller playing surface of most arenas; variants of other traditionally outdoor sports, including box lacrosse and futsal/indoor soccer, 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 as "the arena of war" or "the arena of love" or "the political arena". In many fighting games, the stage that opponents are fought in is also called an arena.

Other articles related to "arena, arenas":

Kitchener Memorial Auditorium Complex
... The complex includes "The Kitchener Memorial Audiorium" with the Dom Cardillo Arena, two smaller community arenas the Kinsmen Arena and Kiwanis Arena, the Jack Couch Stadium baseball park ...
Oshawa Civic Auditorium - History
... The arena was built as a replacement home for the Oshawa Generals, when the Hambly Arena burned down on September 15, 1953 ... played in nearby Bowmanville, Ontario for one season until construction on the new arena was finished ... In June 2005, construction began on a replacement arena in downtown Oshawa, the General Motors Centre ...
O2 Arena (Prague)
... O2 Arena (formerly Sazka Arena, stylised as O2 arena) is a multi-purpose arena, in Prague, Czech Republic ... O2 Arena is easily accessible by public transport, from line B metro station Českomoravská, tram stops and bus stops Praha-Libeň railway station is close to the O2 arena as ... O2 Arena is the home of Czech Extraliga team HC Slavia Praha and partly home of HC Lev Prague team from KHL ...
Olympia (Helsingborg)
... The updated arena will be opened in 2014 ... This will be the fourth updating of the arena since 1985 ... Before 1985 the arena was in a dreadful state with athletic running tracks, wooden stands, and a very poor lightning system ...

Famous quotes containing the word arena:

    This is a Senate of equals, of men of individual honor and personal character, and of absolute independence. We know no masters, we acknowledge no dictators. This is a hall for mutual consultation and discussion; not an arena for the exhibition of champions.
    Daniel Webster (1782–1852)

    [I]t forged ahead to become a full-fledged metropolis, with 143 faro games, 30 saloons, 4 banks, 27 produce stores, 3 express offices—and an arena for bull-and-bear fights, which, described by Horace Greeley in the New York Tribune, is said to have given Wall Street its best-known phrases.
    —For the State of California, U.S. public relief program (1935-1943)

    ... often the empowering strategies we use in the arena of love and friendship are immediately dropped when we come into the arena of politicized difference—when in fact some of those strategies are useful and necessary.
    bell hooks (b. c. 1955)