NBA Arenas From 10 To 1

With the 2016 NBA Finals upon us, the staff at decided to rank what we believe to be the 10 best NBA arenas to see a game at. Check out our list, positioned from 10 to 1, and let us know what you think of our rankings.


10. Philips Arena - Atlanta Hawks

Opened in 1999, the downtown Atlanta arena is home to the Hawks and formally the NHL's Atlanta Thrashers, until they relocated to Winnipeg in 2011. The building’s most unique architectural feature involves a design where the suites and luxury boxes are located on one side of the floor, instead of around the venue’s entire seating bowl. This layout allows fans throughout the arena to be much closer to the action.

9. Oracle Arena - Golden State Warriors 

Even though this is an old and outdated arena, that will be vacated in a few years (team moving to San Francisco in 2019), Oracle remains a great place to watch a game. Opened in 1966 and remodeled in 1997, this building offers a more cavernous feel, making it one of the loudest venues in the NBA. These attributes give the Warriors a tremendous home court advantage.

8. Chesapeake Energy Arena – Oklahoma City Thunder

Opened in 2002 and remodeled in time for the Thunder’s arrival in 2008, Chesapeake is one of the few NBA venues that take on the feel of a college atmosphere. The building’s large lower deck and small upper level allow fans to be right on top of the action.


7. American Airlines Arena – Miami Heat

This venue opened on New Year’s Eve 1999 and possesses arguably the best geographical setting in the NBA. The AAA is located right on the shores of Biscayne Bay, surrounded by skyscrapers, palm trees and Miami’s cruise ship port. In addition, the building is just a short drive from the heart of South Beach. The arena’s exterior and interior design offer a uniquely Miami feel, with bright orange, yellow and red serving as the color scheme. 

6. Moda Center - Portland Trail Blazers 

Opened in 1995, this arena is considered one of the loudest places to see a game. It is the only venue built with an acoustical cloud. These 160 ceiling panels allow for the sound to travel around as if it was an older arena. Like its counterpart in OKC, Moda often takes on the feel of a college venue, due to the architectural design and the overall enthusiasm of one of the NBA’s most loyal fan bases. 

5. Barclays Center - Brooklyn Nets

Opened in 2012, this is one of the most state-of-the-art arenas in the association, inside and out. Its outdoor LED info boards provide an almost futuristic look to the building’s exterior. Inside, Barclays’ seating design is built to provide fans with a more intimate connection to the action. Plus, the venue’s food concession options rank among the best in the league. A bonus involves the fact that this building is located in a very vibrant area of Brooklyn and is easily accessible from several major train and subway lines.

4. Madison Square Garden - New York Knicks 

Opened in 1968, this has been dubbed “The Worlds Most Famous Arena” due to its location in the heart of Manhattan, right on top of Penn Station, New York’s busiest train and subway transit hub. In 2013, MSG underwent a $1 billion renovation to bring it up to date. Now, when factoring in the building’s unparalleled history and location, famous organ and modern appearance, MSG has become an even greater place to watch a game.

3. FedEx Forum - Memphis Grizzlies 

Opened in 2004, its three-deck design provides fans in the lower bowl and suite level with an intimate feel, while placing those in the upper deck in a closer, more vertical placement to the court. The arena's interior pays tribute to Memphis’ musical heritage, with the city’s iconic Beale Street sitting right outside the building’s front door. As a result, few venues offer as many nearby entertainment options as the Grizzlies’ home court. 


2. Staples Center – Los Angeles Lakers & Los Angeles Clippers

Opened in 1999, Staples is the only venue that hosts two NBA teams, one of which happens to be the Lakers, the league’s most prominent franchise (despite LAL’s poor record the last few seasons). Due to the number of big name players on LA’s home teams, the number of celebrities always in attendance for games, and the fact that ESPN and ABC conduct the majority of their NBA studio shows from right across the street, the downtown LA arena can easily be characterized as the current epicenter of NBA basketball. In addition, the building’s LA/Hollywood vibe, prominent displays of LA sports history and adjacent LA Live entertainment complex, make Staples a very unique place to see a game. 

1. Bankers Life Fieldhouse – Indiana Pacers

Opened in 1999, the downtown Indianapolis venue is one of the few NBA arenas that can be described as quaint. All three decks, as well as the suite levels, are right on top of the action, with the entire bowl standing vertically, so that no seat is too far from the floor. The building was designed to pay tribute to the vast professional, college and high school basketball history of Indiana. As a result, Bankers Life is the only NBA venue constructed in a retro, classic look, similar to many of the modern MLB ballparks. It is no accident that it is the only NBA building to have the name “fieldhouse” in its title. Bankers Life’s best feature is the beautiful atrium lobby, where fans enter. The Pacers home is widely considered to be the best venue in the NBA.