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Philippine sect opens 'world's largest indoor arena'

Published on Jul 21, 2014 1:41 PM

MANILA (AFP) - Philippine President Benigno Aquino presided over the opening on Monday of what is billed as the world's largest indoor stadium, erected by a politically-influential religious sect.

The US$175-million (S$218.8 million) Philippine Arena, which can seat 55,000 people, was hailed as a showcase that will serve as a major venue for concerts and sports events as well as gatherings for its owners, the Iglesia ni Cristo (Church of Christ) sect.

"You have proved that the Filipino can reach great heights, that we can have achievements as lofty as any in the world," Aquino said in a speech to Iglesia members.

He hailed the 15-storey structure as "the largest domed arena in the whole world", saying its capacity was "even double that of the Staples Center in Los Angeles", a major sporting and entertainment venue.

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