One of the most important aspects of a game of basketball is the atmosphere. The atmosphere of a NBA game is created within the confines of an arena.
Every arena in the association has its' own perks and flaws. Some are clean and serviceable, while others are dirty and out of order.
Whatever the case, there are 29 of these buildings (the Lakers and Clippers share the pictured Staples Center), and in the coming slides is an extensive ranking of these arenas.
25. Prudential Center, New Jersey Nets
In just its' first season as home to the Nets, the Prudential Center has put themselves in prime position for a higher spot if they fix some of its tweaks. The seats are comfortable but it definitely needs some work.
26. Bradley Center, Milwaukee Bucks
As an old-time annual visitor to the Bradley Center, I can confidently say that the arena itself isn't terrible. The thing however that is bad about has to do with its' size. I always felt like it was way too big of a place and that any shout could be echoed and heard across the entire arena.
27. The Palace of Auburn Hills, Detroit Pistons
Last season, a dude by the name of Andrew Unterburger visited all 30 arenas in 60 days. His least favorite? Of course it was the Palace of Auburn Hills, a place he documented as smelling like cheese whiz with a terrible gift shop selection. Did he also mention that the Pistons suck, too?
28. Oracle Arena, Golden State Warriors
From the inside to the outside, Oracle Arena is just a bad arena. The fact that it is only cash accessible clearly made some of the online reviewers a bit upset. It is crammed and tightly put together, and perhaps not even worth your time at all.
29. Arco Arena, Sacramento Kings
A lot of the criticism within the confines of this arena have to do with the Maloofs. Fans have cried in outrage over the family's apparent "cheapness" and are seeking a reinvention. Its' only saving grace lies within the fact that they have some of the most loyal fans in all of the league.
20. US Airways Center, Phoenix Suns
The US Airways Center is a nice arena, sure, but the services and the overall cleanliness are lacking. From the sounds of it too, the concessions are extremely overpriced. Where a beer might be five dollars elsewhere, the Suns figure they can make a few extra bucks and charge a Hamilton.
21. Ford Center, Oklahoma City Thunder
From the sounds of it, the Ford Center in Oklahoma City seems like a terrible place to see a concert. However, when seeing a Thunder game, it isn't exactly terrible. It's nine-years-old so it is modern, but at the same time some improvements can be made.
22. TD Garden, Boston Celtics
While researching extensive reviews on both sides, I came across an interesting fact. The TD Garden does not have a single water fountain. Not one. The only way to receive drinkable water is by buying a bottle. That in of itself doesn't seem right. It's a nice place, but that tidbit helps secure a low standing.
23. New Orleans Arena, New Orleans Hornets
Aside from looking like a bathroom on the outside, the seats are apparently cramped and it is a tight fit down in the Big Easy. On the positive side, the people there help out your experience by being so helpful and nice, but really how far does a statement like that take you?
24. Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland Cavaliers
Apparently known as one of the more expensive arenas on this list, Quicken Loans Arena might have the dirtiest facilities out of any of the stadiums. They have great and loud fans, sure, but at the same time the Q also has bad parking and a mediocre concessions program.
15. FedExForum, Memphis Grizzlies
I personally thought that the Pyramid Arena was classic, but the Grizz took their talents across the Mississippi to the FedExForum (yes, it's one word). While looking at reviews and hearing personal stories, the words "value" and "service" came to my attention. So did "crammed", but I'll take those first two anyday.
16. Toyota Center, Houston Rockets
Rockets' fans are fairly dedicated to their team, and even though their current arena, the Toyota Center, isn't as small and intimate (as one reviewer put it) as their previous home, it still has its' perks. However, some seats are way overpriced and the guest services people aren't exactly excited to help you out.
17. Verizon Center, Washington Wizards
The Verizon Center is a fine arena, but at the same time it definitely has its' flaws. The nosebleeds aren't necessarily a long shot from the court itself, and it makes for a solid viewing experience. On the flip-side, it also had the most food service violations over the last decade out of any stadium on the list.
18. Phillips Arena, Atlanta Hawks
One thing that bothers me about the Atlanta Hawks and their arena (named Phillips) is their failure to draw in fans. The arena itself is nice, but how can one properly judge an arena if you can't even tell what kind of noise the fans make?
19. Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia 76ers
The floors are sticky, the place is dirty. Otherwise, the Wells Fargo Center of Philadelphia (formerly known as the Wachovia Center) is a decently-kept together building.
11. Madison Square Garden, New York Knicks
This arena is just a pure classic, but many believe it is now outdated. The seats are older-looking, but the fact of the matter is that it is just mythical upon entering. It's tough not to give this stadium a higher standing, but there definitely are some aspects that could be improved upon. It would at least bump them into the top 10.
12. Staples Center, Los Angeles Lakers/Clippers
Perhaps the NBA's most storied franchise (although the Boston Celtics would beg to differ), the Los Angeles Lakers play their home games at the Staples Center. Oh, and so do the Clippers apparently as well. Nonetheless, the facility has been criticized due to its' cleanliness (or lack thereof). I am, however, jealous of the atmostphere. Just look at that picture.
13. Pepsi Center, Denver Nuggets
Not only are Nuggets games enjoyable for the fans; so are the Avs! It's one of those stadiums that really don't have a bad seat, making it viewable from all angles. The only problem is that what makes it so viewable has somewhat to do with how close all the seats are together.
14. AT&T Center, San Antonio Spurs
Many of the reviewers didn't like the idea of having the arena away from the downtown area, and I couldn't agree more with them. However, the atmosphere is almost unmatchable, so it's hard to leave this San Antonio venue off the top half of the list. The Spurs of the last 15 years have made it legendary.
In addition to having the loudest and most passionate fans in the association, the Utah Jazz also have one of the better arenas around the country.
Everything is crammed a bit, sure, but it makes for one heck of an experience.
Alright, so this might be a little biased because I go to at least six or seven Timberwolves games every season.
The fact of the matter is though that the Target Center has never once given me any sort of problem I couldn't handle. The facilities are nice, the seats are comfy, and the uniquely-colored floor makes for an interesting experience. Now if only the T'Wolves were good, it'd be a different story.
It's well-kept together, it's huge, it's clean, and it's new.
The size is so great that absolutely nothing seems crammed inside it but at the same time, that can make a nosebleed difficult to sit in. Nonetheless, this is a great modern arena.
The location may be a bit weird and unconventional, but in all honesty, the American Airlines Arena is just about as solid as you can get with a basketball arena.
On a side note, isn't it ironic how the two teams who met in June's Finals both are sponsored by American Airlines?
Compared to the some of the other elders on this list, the Air Canada Centre holds its' own fairly well in the great white north.
It's comfortable, accessible, not too crowded, and has a fun atmosphere.
That sounds like just about anything you could ask for in an NBA arena wrapped up in a package.
The 2011 NBA Finals gave the American Airlines Center a chance to showcase itself on national television.
And what did we learn?
Well, it's sure as heck loud in there. We also could see many seats close to the arena, and the court being a far-from-boring design itself was a bonus.
The services are great, additionally. Mark Cuban and the rest of management really have helped the arena into the top five of this list.
The building itself has an interesting look, but as soon as you step inside, a feeling of nostalgia overcomes you as you see hanging posters of all-time greats Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, and Dennis Rodman, among others.
Then "Sirius" goes off and the rest is magical history.
Why is it that most fans out west have a passion for the game that the east does not always possess?
The Portland Trail Blazers are no exception, and the Rose Garden is one of the best arenas in the game today due to those fans, the accessibility, and the ability to make it a tight fit but loose enough for a typical fan's liking.
For being such a small-market club (Orlando's metro population is around two million), the Magic really do know how to put on a show at the brand new Amway Center.
A new stadium brought more fans. The building itself was a huge upgrade over its' predecessor.
The Conseco Fieldhouse is undoubtedly the best around in all of the NBA.
It's clean, it's huge (and that might be an understatement), and to top it off, the Pacers fans are loud enough to the point where management would never question why they built it in the first place.