The Capitol Arena was an arena within the Capitol. During the time before the First Rebellion, it was used for various performances, such as circuses. Those who were not as rich had to enter via turnstiles using Capitol tokens. The richest, however, had private boxes, some of which even sported retractable roofs and air-conditioning.
10th Hunger Games
Before the Games started, the arena was bombed by rebel bombs, causing the direct death of the District 6 tributes and their mentors, and the indirect death of the District 9 tributes and mentor Gaius Breen. The tributes from District 1 and District 2 attempted to escape. The explosions created tunnels, which added a dynamic to the Games. Many other people were injured, including Festus Creed and Coriolanus Snow.
The Games that were held here, so far, were still in the early primitive stages of their creation. There was no force fields, artificial dome top or sections, nor a cornucopia or yearly theme and the arena was considered drab in color. With the exception of this year's Games, where a large flag of Panem was draped. The arena prior to the bombing was just open space with bleachers and the exits barricaded.
During the Games, Capitol citizens had the option to gather around the arena, watching from TV screens and enjoying a festival type atmosphere.
The arena was built across a river protected by a tall wall, in order to prevent crowds from swamping the downtown. While not part of the arena, this was where Sabyn, the District 2 female tribute, fell to her death after escaping.
During the Hunger Games, most of the tributes spent their time hidden in the tunnels and behind the barricade. A notable exception to this was Lamina, the District 7 female tribute, who spent almost all of her time in the main part of the arena. The only time she was in the tunnels was at the start of the Games and only until she perceived it was safe. She then executed her strategy of staking came to a wooden beam at least 20ft high and in the process killing Marcus in a show of mercy. He was the male tribute from District 2 who escaped the arena after the bombing but was later caught, tortured, and left hanging to die prior to the Games. Wovey used the tunnels as an advantage, having surviving three whole days hiding in the tunnels without food and water.
The bleachers and the concession stands also proved to be helpful, especially when snake muttations were let loose in the arena on day 4. There was also a scoreboard keeping track of tributes left.
However, another important piece to the arena was the beam and poles Marcus was hung from at the start of the Games. This is where Lamina remained for the rest of her Games and where Teslee and Mizzen took refuge when the snake mutts attacked them, and many tributes' deaths happened near them.
On the fourth day, Dr. Gaul unleashed a tank of snake muttations as retaliation for Gaius Breen's death. They were brightly colored, and they heavily relied on their sense of smell because their hearing and sight were horrible. If they smelled an unfamiliar scent, they attacked it. The snakes directly led to the deaths of two tributes, and one indirect death by Lucy Gray, who used a snake mutt to kill Treech. Lucy Gray was able to charm to the snakes because Coriolanus Snow tampered with the tank the night before, exposing them to her scent so that they would not attack her. As a storm rolled around, the muttations died due to their lack of adapting to the cold and wet weather.
Food and water sources
There was no access to food and water because the arena was only a big enclosure before the bombings. In prior Games, it was not necessary as the Games would normally last a day. However, with the inclusion of the tunnels, the tributes would grow hungry from hiding. The addition of sponsors helped them, providing a way for food and water to be given to the chosen tribute.