HomeCultureThe Poliedro resumes its role as the main hall of Caracas

The Poliedro resumes its role as the main hall of Caracas

The arena “is occupied until 2029,” said Potro Álvarez, who explained how they managed to rescue this favorite place in the city.

La Rinconada Geodesic Dome. That was the name under which a 145 meter diameter project was conceived that, at the time, became the largest roofed site in the country, designed by Jimmy Alcock.

Fifty years later (it was inaugurated in March 1974), the Poliedro de Caracas, as it is known, continues to be the most important venue in the country. Not only because it can accommodate 12.000 people in its facilities (the capacity is greater when the format known as 360 is used or when there is no type of furniture in the “pot”), but because of the challenge of exhausting its places.

In its five decades of existence, dozens of national and international artists have passed through the stages and formats that have been used to present them, in addition to dozens of athletes from different disciplines and visitors and exhibitors at fairs of all kinds who have had their experience. under the dome".

For six years, Antonio “el Potro” Álvarez, a former professional baseball player, has been in charge of the club also known as Coso de La Rinconada, not only guaranteeing the venue's regular programming, but also facing the contingencies that he has had to experience.

Something more than show

In the past, the Poliedro served, in addition to a stage for entertainment, as a shelter for people affected by the Vargas landslide and other large-scale social episodes in the country.

Thus, in 2020, President Nicolás Maduró instructed Álvarez to build a field hospital. “There was a collapse because the hospitals and clinics were full with coronavirus patients. Above all, because there was a group of people who were asymptomatic and it was necessary to break the chain of infections. So we got to work right away,” he explained.

The result was 3.200 beds, through which those affected by Covid-19 were cared for for a year and nine months. “It was a very hard time, because the viral load in the Poliedro was high. Those of us who were in front also got infected. I was affected for a month. But more than because of the disease, also because of the media attack of which we were victims. They even said that people were burned, because an incinerator was installed to dispose of hospital material. The pandemic was politicized and an attempt was made to minimize not only the care, but also the treatments that were provided. In the end, it was worth it because many people were treated and many people saved their lives here,” he stated.

In November 2022 it was decided that the venue would resume its daily activities. In this sense, El Potro assured that not only the infrastructure, but the essence of the place was rescued. “There was a stigma about returning to the Poliedro because the area was seen as unsafe, which did not provide guarantees of mobility to enter and leave a show. It had become politicized and that made it difficult to fill. We have been solving all of this and we can see that now the public responds to the calls, with modern and pleasant facilities, in addition to having their own security and that of the authorities.”

Return to the essence

The more than 200 people who work directly at the site were called to undertake the rehabilitation work of the facilities. The external areas and, above all, the internal areas, as well as the building, were disinfected.

During a tour of the arena facilities, it was possible to see the execution of remodeling and improvements, as well as the reconditioning of the areas where the public shares.

Álvarez pointed out that the bathrooms were reconditioned, which had already been reopened some time before the pandemic. “By the time we reopened the doors everything was spotless. At the beginning of our management we began to improve that area, which was one about which we received the most complaints. Currently, we have operational, well-kept, clean and, above all, safe toilets.”

Likewise, he said that the roof of the building was also rehabilitated, since “it had been without maintenance for a long time. He had lost several of his layers and when it rained he had some leaks. All of that was taken care of and I can say that it is now in perfect condition.”

The dressing room area was also recovered. That entire part was redesigned, converting the main room into a kind of room, where the protagonist of each concert has all the comforts. “Not only is it an aesthetically well-kept space, but there are all the facilities that riders usually hire (technical and logistical requests) that each singer requests. It gives him a pleasant atmosphere, both before he goes on stage and the experience after the end of his presentation at our venue,” he stated.

Un Amancecer vallenato, with Omar Geles and Jorge Celedón as main figures, was the show that reopened the new era of concerts at the venue. Although that was in the parking lot, Álvarez considered that it was important “to rescue the trust of the people. Mainly because it was a musical experience of more than 12 hours of music, which we had not presented for more than six years. A few days later we reopened the interior with Camila and Sin Bandera.”

And, at that concert, they realized that a leg of the table was missing to be mended. “During the pandemic our air conditioning system was on 24 hours, for which it was not prepared. The public complained about the heat and that is how the Executive approved the resources to face the situation. Eight months ago we installed three new chillers, each weighing 500 tons to correct that. A significant economic investment has been made. But not only that, but the entire system is new. I feel proud of what we have done, because I am sure that we have already recovered the essence of the Polyhedron. Thanks to the work of men and women, who have responded to the challenge. “We work in coordination with the Bolivarian National Police and other organizations to guarantee security and maximum communication.”

With its neighbor, the Monumental Simón Bolívar stadium, Álvarez assured that they have good relations. “We work in coordination, especially when we coincide with events, respecting each person's competencies.”

Compliance guarantee

To recover the spirit of the place, as far as entertainment is concerned, Álvarez has relied on his artistic side. He assured that the Poliedro has its doors open for any producer, artist or interested in presenting a show. “It doesn't matter your political tendency or your belief. They only have to meet one important requirement: the ability to do a good job and guarantee the public a quality experience,” he explained without revealing the fee charged to present a show at the venue.

In this sense, he stated that he has had to supervise so that the production companies comply with what they offer and that the people who paid get what they deserve. “So far we have only had problems with one production company and it was up to them to come forward, because any problems that may arise are not our responsibility. If at any time a situation occurs that could be caused by us, we will assume it,” he noted.

Up to 2029

According to Antonio Álvarez, the Poliedro is occupied "until 2029. We have a program in which although the forte is music, we will also have other types of experiences."

He said that in addition to the Salsa festival under the dome, which will be held next August with the presence of more than ten important figures of the genre, they plan to hold an international boxing championship and two important fairs.

He detailed the Potro that they are preparing for the Turkish Business Fair, which will bring together more than 600 exhibitors. “It will be an opportunity not only to strengthen ties between both countries, but to learn about news, sign agreements and hold business conferences that will benefit both countries.”

Likewise, they are also preparing a technology conference, promoted by the Ministry in charge, in which advances and cutting-edge products in this area will be shown.

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