Top 10 Basketball Arenas
There are a number of basketball arenas around the country. Some are the home to college teams and others to professional teams. Here’s a look at the best arenas in the country to catch a game.
- The Palestra
Tucked away in Philadelphia. The Palestra is the home of University of Pennsylvania basketball. It also plays host each year to the Big Five, a yearly season series played by Villanova, Saint Joseph’s, LaSalle, Penn, and Temple. Every single one of the 8,722 seats feels like it is right on the floor.
- Allen Fieldhouse
Known around the University of Kansas campus as the “Phog” in honor of legendary coach Phog Allen, the Jayhawks home opened in 1955. Kansas has won over 90 percent of its games at the Phog. That is home-court advantage.
- Bankers Life Fieldhouse
Before the move to make all these modern arenas, the “fieldhouse” accommodated fans for basketball games. The home of the Indiana Pacers is the only “fieldhouse” in the NBA and mixes the old-school fieldhouse with all the modern amenities. There is also a $360 million renovation coming soon to improve what is already an outstanding experience.
- Dean Smith Center
Named after one of the legendary coaches in college basketball, the Smith Center is home to the University of North Carolina Tar Heels. It opened in 1986 and has undergone numerous improvements. Smith coached UNC from 1961 through 1997, the last 11 in his own arena!
- American Airlines Arena
The home of the Miami Heat is not to be confused with the American Airlines Center, which is the home of the Dallas Mavericks. Heat fans can find the score on an underwater-inspired scoreboard. All the seating is orange and red and there is a night club in the arena where many fans go to celebrate Miami victories.
- TD Garden
Built in 1995, TD Garden replaced the old Boston Garden. The venue has had 33 official names in its short 28-year history. Inside “The Garden” as it is known, fans can find The Sports Museum, which exhibits a variety of sports history from the Boston area including memorabilia from Boston’s Bruins, Celtics, Patriots, and Red Sox.
- Staples Center
Home to both the Los Angeles Lakers and the city’s Clippers, Staples Center was built in 1999. It is an icon in the city and hosts over 250 events each year. Outside the arena, fans will find Star Plaza a tribute to the great Los Angeles athletes and sports broadcasters.
- Rupp Arena
It is the winningest college basketball program of all-time. Kentucky’s basketball arena is named for the coach – Adolph Rupp – with the highest winning percentage (82 percent) of any coach who has coached 1,000 Division I games. Rupp Arena is the largest arena in the U.S. designed specifically for basketball with a seating capacity of 23,500. The Wildcats are hard to beat at home in that sea of blue and white.
- Cameron Indoor Stadium
Also among college basketball’s winningest programs is Duke, which plays at Cameron Indoor Stadium. The venue is known for its loudness, which can reach 121 decibels or more. That is louder than a power saw or jackhammer. Seating only 9,314 fans, there isn’t a bad seat and opponents can feel like fans are right on top of them. Tickets for marquee games are in such high demand, fans (primarily students) will camp outside the arena for months.
- Madison Square Garden
There is no better place to watch a basketball game than MSG. Home of the NBA’s Knicks and the NCAA’s St. John’s University, the Garden is also home to the annual Big East tournament. Some of the most important moments in basketball history happened right here in midtown Manhattan.