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Hilarious Yelp Reviews of NBA Arenas

What does Yelp have to say about Madison Square Garden? Photo courtesy of
What does Yelp have to say about Madison Square Garden? Photo courtesy of
Luke PetkacFeatured ColumnistApril 3, 2013

Most of the NBA arena reviews found on Yelp are honest, helpful looks at different venues across the country. Needless to say, none of those will be featured here.

This is a place for the more...interesting reviews that Yelp has to offer. But helpful or not, they're all sure to be entertaining. And that's what really matters, right?


Not-So-Common Problems

TeaBoy A.—Sleep Train Arena—4 stars

Everytime i come here i get lost.
All the doors look the same and the parking lot is so big!

The Sacramento Kings' Sleep Train Arena forces TeaBoy A. to face two of the biggest NBA arena problems: too much parking and similar-looking doors.

I think I speak for everyone when I say that there's nothing worse than showing up to an NBA game and having too many empty spots to park in. Nothing screams “basketball” like having to wedge your car in between two RVs because it's the only space available.

Poor TeaBoy is constantly being deprived of that privilege.

As for the similar-looking doors...honestly, I don't even have a joke for that one. I have no idea what that means. Either way, the surplus of parking and door-shaped doors were only enough for TeaBoy to dock Sleep Train Arena one star, so if you don't mind those issues, it's probably a pretty great place.


Brendan R.—US Airways Center—1 star

How can you enjoy anything in this arena knowing US Airways brings so much frustration and misery to people around the country? This airline is the worst out there, consistently underserving customers, leaving people stranded, delivering the absolute lowest level of service. It's a shadow hanging over every Suns game.

You know what, Brendan? Somehow, I'm guessing that most Phoenix Suns fans aren't too worried about the frustration and misery US Airways is bringing to people across the country.

They're too busy being worried about the misery and frustration that the Suns are bringing to them. They ask questions like, “Is it bad that Kendall Marshall has a PER of seven?” and “Should I be excited that we now have both of the Morris twins?” (The answers to those questions are “yes” and “not at all,” by the way.)

Somehow, I just don't get the feeling that US Airways is a big concern—unless its lack of service was the reason that Steve Nash wanted to leave. But only then.


Chrissie G.—Oracle Arena—2 stars

This place is no Giants stadium. Came here for an A's vs. Giants game and all I wanted was some garlic fries but there was no stand to be found. Looked at the map and it was all the way to the other side. Tipsy girls don't feel like walking alllll the way around, so we gave up :(

Either Chrissie G. didn't mean to write a review for Oracle Arena, or she was so preoccupied with her garlic fries that she never stopped to think, “Hey, this isn't a baseball game.”

In any case, Chrissie had to walk "alllll the way around" wherever she was and got so tired that she was never able to buy her fries.

Golden State Warriors head coach Mark Jackson seems pretty concerned with the playoffs, but he should be thinking about how to get some garlic fries to every vendor in both Oracle Arena and the Oakland Athletics stadium. Priorities, Mark.


Outdoors Only

Nick J.—Madison Square Garden—3 stars

Didn't get to go inside. Just lookin at it is amazing. The World's Most Famous Arena. Amazing Sports History.

Bold move to review an arena without ever being inside of it. Very bold.

The best thing about Nick J.'s review of Madison Square Garden is that he went on about what an amazing experience he had just looking at it from the outside, and then proceeded to slap it with a three-star rating. Unless you're packing X-Ray vision, three stars seems a tad unfair, Nick.


Kyle V.—Staples Center—4 stars

Ever look up at the night sky in Los Angeles and wonder what the hell is going on with that over-the-top, acid soaked version of the Bat-signal? It's the Staples Center.

Honestly, I don't see it. Sure, Staples Center has a lot of searchlights, but none of them really scream “Batman.” Plus, it's hard for anything to be more over the top than a signal that summons a grown man in a bat costume. Just saying.


Packed with Information

Lauren C.—Amway Center—5 stars


Lauren C. loved the Orlando Magic's Amway Center so much that she couldn't even type words, let alone say them. What you see here is five stars of pure, unfiltered emotion—as well as the least informative review ever.

Phil M.—Staples Center—5 stars

It's nice here.

Meet Phil M., the Magic 8 Ball of the Staples Center. Phil's review will pretty much cover all of the questions you have about the arena.

Hey Phil, what's the food like?

It's nice here.

How about the bathrooms? They clean?

It's nice here.

Well, what are the seats like? Will we have a good line of sight?

It's nice here.

Anything else we should know before we show up?

It's nice here.

Thanks for the insight, Phil.


Janet P.—Quicken Loans Arena—4 stars

I fad lun at th' barrrr!
I think!

Here's all that Janet P.'s review of Quicken Loans Arena tells us:

  1. Quicken Loans Arena has a bar.
  2. Janet “fad lun” there. She thinks.

And somehow, this is still by far the most informational review in this category. Way to use Yelp to its fullest extent, everybody.


Fun Stories

Adam P.—US Airways Center—3 stars

Suns games. Good view from all areas. Beer. Pizza Hut. Gross popcorn. Watermelon slushy drinks gave me the runs. Not a whole lot else to say.

Believe it or not, Adam, I think you've already said too much. Way too much, in fact.

Alex S.—Palace of Auburn Hills—4 stars

I saw AC/DC here when I was like 7. It was awesome. I fell asleep in the suite we were in and I woke up to hear them play Money Talks and there was money confetti falling from the roof. It was sweet, and now I tell everyone how I fell asleep at an AC/DC concert. Good stories...

Not so good, Alex. Not so good.


Personal Problems

Keith M.—Palace of Auburn Hills—2 stars

This place is good in the dead of winter when there is no other place to have a concert, other then that they suck at everything.

Here's a Palace of Auburn Hills pros-and-cons list (according to Keith M.):

Pros: open in the winter.

Cons: sucks at everything except for being open in the winter.

My list would look more like this:

Pros: get to watch Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond play.

Cons: might have to listen to one of Alex S.'s “good” stories.

But to each his own.


Steven C.—Philips Arena—3 stars

I didn't get any free stuff. And this isn't the first time. I always hope to get a cow with a parachute, but I never do.
Their distaste for me aside, I think this is a great venue. Get good seats or bad. Doesn't matter much to me. Just have a generally positive attitude.

To understand this review, it's important to know that parachuting cow dolls serve as a Chick-fil-A promotion at some sporting events. Philips Arena isn't giving out live cows at the door—although that would be a cool giveaway.

Anyhow, someone needs to explain to Steven that not everyone gets a cow. He's not being targeted in any way. The cow-dropping guys aren't calling up Philips Arena to make sure that one doesn't come his way. Maybe don't take this whole thing so personally.


Dan B.—United Center—3 stars

"Anything can change in the blink of an eye." Same goes for the fans. They're a bunch of fair-weather fans so don't be shocked to see Jordan jerseys everywhere and no jerseys of current players. These fans never watch the bulls unless they are winning championships. If you want atmosphere this is not the place to be. If you like basketball, this place rocks. I highly recommend checking out the magicians near the concession stands.

How dare you, Chicago Bulls fans. How dare you wear the jersey of Michael Jordan—the greatest player of all time—instead of supporting the 2004-05 Bulls squad (when Dan B. wrote this review). Those Lawrence Funderburke and Eric Piatkowski jerseys don't wear themselves. For shame.

It's also hilarious—and a little hypocritical—that Dan B. goes on a whole rant about how the fans at the United Center don't care about basketball, and then talks about how important it is to check out the magicians by the concession stands.

Unless the magicians' trick was to make Funderburke jerseys magically available. Then it makes sense.



Patrick H.—United Center—5 stars

One time a man dressed as a clown punched my friend in the face here, for no reason. This is the only place where you can get punched by clowns AND see Brad Miller fool dudes with pump fakes. Five stars.

UPDATE: Brad Miller was traded to the Houston Rockets, so you'll only get to see Brad Miller fool dudes with pump fakes a few times per year. Better than nothing!


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