The Best NBA Arenas to Visit
NBA basketball has exploded on the global scene. While baseball and American football remain the top two sports in the United States, it’s Kobe Bryant and Lebron James who are the most recognized athletes around the world. Attending an NBA game is a great way to enjoy a part of American culture. For the best experience, try one of these arenas:
Conseco Fieldhouse is the home of the Indiana Pacers. It was built to mirror the experience of attending a college basketball arena. The fieldhouse also has a retro feel to it. Pairing the rich Indiana basketball history with the passion of the college-esce environment allows for a unique experience for visitors. While the Pacers have struggled in recent years, its knowledgeable fans continue to fill the arena.
Madison Square Garden is the stomping ground of the New York Knicks. Located above Penn Station, MSG has hosted a variety of sporting events ranging from championship boxing to the Stanley Cup hockey. Its history and location in the heart of New York City has made The Garden popular among NBA players. Michael Jordan was one of many who brought their best performances to MSG. Not a basketball lover? Spot Chris Rock, Woody Allen, and Spike Lee who frequent Knicks games.
EnergySolutions Arena is the home of the Utah Jazz. As the only major professional sports team in Utah, the Jazz have the full attention of local sports fans. The venue is built in a way that gives fans an ultra close view. The passion of the fans makes it one of the loudest arenas in the NBA. An added benefit of attending a game is the toughness of the teams under coach Jerry Sloan. Sloan is the longest tenured (20+ years) coach in professional sports.
TD Garden is the home of the Boston Celtics. The Celtics are the most successful team in NBA history with 17 championships. With legends like Bill Russell, Bob Cousy, and Larry Bird, fans have experienced decades of great basketball. Despite a tough stretch after the Bird Years, the Celtics returned to glory in 2008 with their 17th title. The arena itself isn’t spectacular, but the passion of the Boston fans make up for it. Catch a game before the Pierce, Garnett, and Allen trio breaks apart.
TD Garden, Boston © Rene S
The Rose Garden is the stomping ground of the Portland Trail Blazers. As with the Utah, Portland has only one major professional sport. This has led to a similar raucous atmosphere. With the Blazers returning to form over the past couple of years, the state-of-the-art venue has been filled to the brim. With Paul Allen owning the team, Portland will have no problem keeping their young nucleus together.
Staples Center is the home of the Los Angeles Lakers (and the Los Angeles Clippers). The Lakers are second to the Boston Celtics with 14 NBA championships. Their history is equally rich with Wilt Chamberlain, Jerry West, Magic Johnson, and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar among their hall of famers. Today, Kobe Bryant leads a Lakers team that is looking to return to championship form. As with Madison Square Garden, celebrities are easy to spot at Lakers games including Jack Nicholson, Denzel Washington, and Leonardo DiCaprio.
Read about the best MLB ballparks to visit and the best NFL stadiums to visit.
Gennaro Salamone is the founder and editor of Enduring Wanderlust. Feel free to contact him with questions, comments, or inquiries with reference to contributing an article or photograph for publication.