‘Choliseo’ turns 10 with full agenda, photo gallery
The Puerto Rico José Miguel Agrelot Coliseum is marking its 10th anniversary of operations this year as one of the most productive venues in the world — with more than $245 million in collective ticket sales so far, company executives said this week.
The arena, which opened for business in September 2004, has hosted 758 functions ranging from musical, religious and children’s concerts, to sporting match-ups such as boxing, basketball and tennis, and community events such as Race for the Cure. In its full version, the coliseum sits 18,000 people.
“Since its inauguration on Sept. 4, 2004, the coliseum has been visited by more than 5 million people, locals and from all over the world, who now see in Puerto Rico and the venue a real, affordable, modern and comfortable alternative to enjoy their favorite shows and artists,” said Víctor Suárez, director of the Convention District Authority and the Port Authority.
In its first 10 years, the “Choliseo,” as the locals baptized it early on by mashing up the words “coliseo” and “Cholito” — the nickname given to the Puerto Rican artist it is named after, José Miguel Agrelot — has racked up a number of industry awards and distinctions, including the “Top 25 Arenas of the Decade” and “Prime Site Awards” in 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011.
The property, located in the heart of Hato Rey, boasts a structure that spans about five acres of a 10-acre lot. Since its opening, the facility has spurred significant residential and commercial activity in the area, which has become a cultural mecca of sorts.
Philadelphia-based SMG, which manages the venue, offered some interesting statistics about the operation, which employs about 300 to 500 people per event. The property houses about 30 venues that sell about 225 hot dogs and 300 pounds of nachos per event, and about 8,000 bottles of water a year.
So far, the all-time grossing performers are reggaeton artists Wisin y Yandel with 15 shows, trailed closely by pop singer Ricky Martin, who has been on stage 13 times. The concert with the highest number of tickets sold was Metallica, with 17,286 filled seats in one shot.
Wesley Cullen, general manager of the Puerto Rico Coliseum said the inauguration of the venue “forever changed the face of entertainment on the island.”
“Humbly, but proudly, I can say that the possibilities that our space now offers Puerto Rico were unimaginable 10 years ago,” said Cullen.
“We continue to make history, working with discipline and vision to have the best and most modern facilities for our artists and attract shows and artists from abroad who otherwise would not be able to perform on the island,” she said, confirming that the 2014 agenda is already full.
To mark its 10 years in business, the coliseum unveiled a photo gallery that will be open free to the public until September. The gallery features 100 historic photos depicting the venue’s construction, as well as shots of artist and events that have passed through the coliseum.