General-purpose Hall for Entertaining and Sports

General-purpose Hall for Entertaining and Sports


a large public edifice designed for sports events, entertainment (film showings, concerts, and theatrical performances), and large public gatherings (meetings, festive assemblages). Their facilities, technical equipment, and multipurpose usage make them the most highly developed type of covered sports arena.

The shift to the construction of general-purpose halls is the result of the proven uneconomical character of the large covered sports arenas with spectator stands (the so-called palaces of sports and similar structures) used for sports alone, since sports events normally occupy only one-third of the calendar year. Since the 1950’s the latter have been giving way to the more economical general-purpose halls, as well as to palaces of sports containing halls that can be used for the different types of large public gatherings (sometimes after reconstruction and reequipping).

Normally the general-purpose halls contain a sports arena (often with ice rinks) that can be transformed into a pit to be used for such activities as concerts and meetings. The halls have means of communication (radio, neon Scoreboard), film-projection equipment, and acoustic apparatus. In contrast to palaces of sports, which normally have detachable and portable stages and platforms (or automatic ones on a retractable undercarriage), general-purpose halls can be equipped with a permanent stage that has all the facilities needed for complex theatrical performances, and they are designed to ensure equally good visibility and audibility both for sports events and public spectacles. General-purpose halls, as a result of their multipurpose designation, are complicated complexes of facilities grouped on a functional basis. Like other covered sports arenas, their design is determined by the need for a large hall and a ceiling without supporting beams. The flat ceilings were the reason the hall and the entire building used to be built in simple rectangular shapes. New types of ceilings (suspension constructions and shells) characteristic of the construction of the 1950’s and 1960’s, have permitted a significant increase in the dimensions and capacity of the halls and have led to a variety of architectural innovations based on functional considerations.

The halls are usually built near subway stations, and they are served by special streetcar and trolleybus lines. Underground passages and multilevel passes for vehicles and trains are constructed for pedestrian and transportation safety.


Reznikov, N. Zrelishchno-sportivnye universal’nye zaly. Moscow, 1969.


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