Every NBA team plays in an arena. The arena hosts 41 home games in an 82 NBA game schedule. All 30 NBA arenas hold a seating capacity of 15,000 or more. Each arena has its own distinct features that separate them from others. For example, the Milwaukee Bucks play at the BMO Harris Bradley Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The Bucks struggled in previous years and had the worst home average attendance in 2014. This season, the Bucks have improved and are a playoff team at the moment. They have also risen to 26th in home attendance average so far in 2015.
The Bradley Center is one of the oldest NBA arenas and is in need of some much needed repair. With more fans coming out to the Bradley Center this season, the issue needs to be fixed. Opposing NBA fans who are visiting to see their team play the Bucks will leave with disappointment as the Bradley Center is simply one of the worst NBA arenas to visit. However, there are new reports of the Bucks building a new arena which will attract local and visiting fans. With so many NBA arenas, it can be difficult to figure out which arenas to visit and which ones to avoid.
For those NBA fans who wish to cheer on their favourite teams at the opposing NBA arena and want to enjoy the experience listed below are the 10 best arenas to visit. They have been ranked in terms of the building itself, how accessible the arena is to the city and the experience itself.
10 American Airlines Arena (Miami Heat)
The American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida is one of the 10 best arenas to attend a NBA game. It has been consistently ranked as one of the best places to visit in Miami. The arena has many great features and is one of the league leaders in energy efficient buildings. The arena has also received great reviews regarding the staff and overall cleanliness of the venue. The arena is set to add a solar pavilion that will include food & drink concessions and gives a great view of the Biscayne Bay which will enhance the fan experience. The solar pavilion will be in place by the beginning of the 2015-16 NBA season.
9 Toyota Center (Houston Rockets)
The Toyota Center in Houston, Texas is one of the best NBA arenas yet still just the third best in Texas. It is one of the best to visit because it has some neat features that many arenas currently do not have. It has a state of the art scoreboard with four large monitors and eight LED boards. There is also a LED ribbon board that circles the entire arena. The arena also offers a great variety of food and drink at reasonable prices and parking is not an issue. The metro is also easy and accessible. Fans who visit Houston for a game won't be disappointed.
8 TD Garden (Boston Celtics)
It's no secret that Boston, Massachusetts is one of the best sport cities. So many professional sport teams have had great success and the TD Garden has experienced some of it with the Boston Celtics and the NHL's Boston Bruins. The TD Garden is one of the 10 best NBA arenas, and probably one of the best in any sport because of the history and its strong and vocal fan base. While parking is nearby, the best and most accessible way to access the arena is through the rail station. It is located directly underneath the arena. The arena is also nearby to great restaurants and bars filled with sports fans. With such a storied history and a great local fan base the TD Garden is a must visit for any NBA (or NHL) fan.
7 American Airlines Center (Dallas Mavericks)
The dominance of Texas on this list continues, but doesn't end here. The American Airlines Center in Dallas is one of the 10 best NBA arenas because of it's fairly priced game ticket prices. Like the American Airlines Arena in Miami, the arena has great staff and overall cleanliness. The arena also offers food and drinks at a reasonable price like the Toyota Center. Parking is also not a problem and the railway express is easily accessible to the arena. Reasonably priced tickets, food & drinks and accessible transit should make any NBA fan come visit the American Airlines Center for a game.
6 United Center (Chicago Bulls)
The United Center located in Chicago, Illinois is a no-brainer to visit because of its rich history and great fans. The Chicago Bulls history is shown throughout the arena and a statue of Michael Jordan is located outside of it. The United Center offers a great variety of food and drinks at reasonable prices. Parking is expensive so the best and easy way to access the arena is through public transportation. It also has a large capacity, tallying over 23,000 with standing room. The United Center would be ranked higher if there were nearby restaurants and shops however it's still a great arena to visit as a NBA fan.
5 Chesapeake Energy Arena (Oklahoma City Thunder)
The Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma lands here because of its excellent service and vocal and knowledgeable fan base. The arena is ranked as one of the top places to visit in Oklahoma City. There are no long waiting lines for both entry and food. During the game the local fans are really loud and cheer even when the Thunder are down big. The arena also has great staff. Parking is a bit of a hassle but otherwise the arena is easily accessible by public transportation. It is also close to many restaurants and bars. Oklahoma City may be small but the Chesapeake Energy Arena delivers NBA fans with a great experience.
4 Moda Center (Portland Trail Blazers)
The Moda Center in Portland, Oregon shoots to the top four because of the atmosphere and the passionate local fan base. Known affectionately as the Rose Garden to most people, the Moda Center offers a great view of the basketball action in any part of the arena. The arena is surrounded with all of the Trail Blazers' storied history and during the game the fans are very much into the game. The Trail Blazers are the only major pro sports team in Portland which just adds to the fans' passion.
The arena also offers a great variety of food and drinks although it is a bit pricey. The best and easy way to access the arena is through public transportation. The arena is close to nearby restaurants and stores. Great fans and a great atmosphere should convince any NBA fan to visit the Moda Center for a game.
3 AT&T Center (San Antonio Spurs)
The AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas is the best NBA arena to visit in the state of Texas, despite its tough competition. It has history, fans, food and drinks and a tremendous atmosphere. The San Antonio Spurs have won five championships and it is shown throughout the arena. San Antonio fans are also knowledgeable regarding their team and the game of basketball. The arena also offers a good variety of food and drinks at fair prices. The rates for parking are fair and it is accessible through public transportation. Fair prices, great food and drinks should entice NBA fans to visit the AT&T Center for a game. Plus, you get to watch a great team.
2 Staples Center (Los Angeles Lakers & Clippers)
The Staples Center in Los Angeles, California is a must-see for anybody, whether you're just a basketball fan, a sports fan or just in the mood for some entertainment. It has atmosphere, fans, and the Hollywood spotlight. The Staples Center is the busiest NBA arenas as it hosts both the Lakers and the Clippers (plus the NHL's Kings). During Lakers games, the Lakers' history is shown throughout the arena and during pre-game introductions. Usually at Lakers games, there are quite a few celebrities who watch the game court side.
For Clippers games, the atmosphere is quite different. The team's colors are quite prevalent and used all over the arena. The scoreboard also flashes the team's colors during the introductions. Clippers fans and Lakers fans are both knowledgeable about their team as well. Staples Center also offers a great variety of food and drinks. Like many other arenas, parking is expensive and the best way to access the arena is through public transportation. Staples Center is also nearby great restaurants, shops, tourist attractions and much more. Staples Center should be at the top of the list to visit for anybody.
1 Madison Square Garden (New York Knicks)
Not just the NBA's, but the world's most famous arena; Madison Square Garden in New York City.
It has history and a passionate fan base and is located in one of the busiest cities of the world. The arena has been recently renovated and has made MSG an even better arena. The history of Madison Square Garden can be felt in the arena with banners and retired players jersey numbers hanging in the ceilings. The passionate fan base can also be heard regardless if the New York Knicks are losing or winning. They provide great entertainment value and will keep other visiting fans amused. The food and drinks at MSG are a bit expensive however there are so many great restaurants, bars, shops, etc... around the arena. You are in Manhattan, after all.
Parking is also expensive so the best way to access the arena is through the subway or through buses. For many NBA players their favorite NBA arena to play in is Madison Square Garden. Despite the high prices for parking and food and drinks, it is the best NBA arena to visit. Every NBA fan should try at least once to visit Madison Square Garden for a game. They won't be disappointed doing so.
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