Few, if any, sports allow you to get as close to the action as NBA games. There’s just something about floor seats at an NBA game where, at any moment, a basketball player could be inches away from you. Or, in the case of a 2015 Cleveland Cavaliers game, a basketball player could be flying into the crowd, knocking you over.
Accidents like this are rare, though, and the excitement of sitting so close to the game far outweighs the risks for most fans. If court-side seats aren’t in your budget, don’t worry. There are plenty of basketball arenas that give you just as an amazing experience.
Read on for our list of the top NBA arenas you need to visit.
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1. Madison Square Garden (New York City)
There’s just something about seeing the Knicks play at Madison Square Garden (really, anything or anyone you see at MSG is amazing). It’s arguably one of the best, if not the best, basketball arenas in the country.
Even if the Knicks stink, which they have for the past few years, you will undoubtedly make tons of memories and have lots of great photos from a game at Madison Square Garden. As an added bonus, you’re almost sure to see a celebrity or two (or ten) sitting courtside.
While the NBA tickets for a Knicks game at MSG will cost you a pretty penny, the memories will be priceless.
2. Crypto.com Arena (formerly the Staples Center) (Los Angeles)
In 2021, the Staples Center became the Crypto.com Arena. Despite the name change, it remains the home of four different LA teams: the Lakers and the Clippers (NBA), the Kings (NHL), and the Sparks (WNBA). The diversity in the teams that play there makes it unique among arenas.
It’s also in a great location across the LA Live district, which is full of bars, restaurants, and entertainment venues. Catch a game and then enjoy the city afterward without having to go far.
3. Scotiabank Arena (Toronto)
The NBA originated in Toronto and although it might seem like the Raptors don’t necessarily attract huge names, you’ll still get quite an experience taking in a game at Scotiabank Arena.
Even if the game doesn’t go your way, you’ll most likely see Drake there, as he has courtside seats for his hometown team and can often be seen interacting with the Raptors coach, and players, or even providing commentary on the game.
4. FTX Arena (Miami)
FTX Arena is located right on the Biscayne Bay, so it has already won the award for the NBA arena with the best views. In addition to the beautiful setting, it’s got a plethora of luxurious amenities for fans and is another hot spot for celebrities.
Both the inside and the outside of the arena are architectural marvels. The outside has a giant aircraft painted on the roof, which is visible by planes taking off and landing at Miami International Airport.
Inside, the scoreboard is one of the most unique in the NBA. Designed by artist Christopher Janney, the scoreboard resembles a giant sea anemone that changes color.
5. Wells Fargo Center (Philadelphia)
Philadelphia fans are unlike fans in any other city, and the 76ers fans you encounter at the Wells Fargo Center are no exception.
Whether they’re rooting for the Eagles, the Phillies, or the 76ers, Philly fans love to come together to give the opposing team hard time, show their love for the home team, and conversely, let the home team know when they’re not happy with their performance.
Put These Basketball Arenas on Your Bucket List
If you’re an NBA fan, you have to put these basketball arenas on your bucket list. Even if your team doesn’t win, the experience of visiting the arena and being among the fans will make up for it.
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