biggest NBA arenas

In the world of sports, basketball reigns supreme. There are currently 30 teams in the National Basketball Association (NBA) and arenas across North America that house these teams as they battle it out on the hardwood for a chance to be crowned champions. In this article, we will take a look at some of the biggest NBA arenas. What teams they belong to, their history and their capacity.

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biggest NBA arenas

10. Oracle Arena

Home of the Golden State Warriors, Oracle Arena is located in Oakland. It was opened back in 1966 and has a capacity of 19,596 people for basketball games. While it originally hosted both hockey and basketball teams.

Meaning that two different playing surfaces were depending on which game you wanted to attend. These days just one hardwood court remains.

This arena also once served as home base for the now-defunct American Basketball Association (ABA) team known as The Oaks. However, though they were successful during their time here, winning three championships between 1969 through 1971.

This wasn’t enough to save them from extinction when the NBA came knocking at their door. Looking to absorb some more talent into its league after folding due to financial woes.

Today, as mentioned above, the biggest team to call this arena home is none other than the Golden State Warriors. Who has been playing here since 1971. They are so popular in Oakland that some fans have even taken it upon themselves to start a petition.

Hoping that city officials will approve a new stadium for them on land just south of Jack London Square by 2021. Something which would require an estimated $500 million worth of funds being put up front and center before any shovels could officially hit the ground.

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9. The American Airlines Arena

Located in downtown Miami. This is home to the Miami Heat and holds a capacity of 19,600 people during basketball games. It was opened back in 2000 when it replaced an older arena with the same name. Located on the other side of Biscayne Bay.

Miami-Dade County officials paid for roughly half of what American Airlines paid out to build this new facility up. While private funds from both team ownership as well as corporate donors helped foot the rest of that bill. In addition, naming rights were bought by another airline company.

One known today simply as “American” after merging with US Airways back in 2015 – which will continue paying through 2035 thanks again to their deep pockets being able to afford such a pricey price tag.

While the Miami Heat has played their home games here ever since it opened its doors. They were not alone in this endeavor. When American Airlines Arena first debuted back during the 2000 NBA season. Another team was known as Florida Panthers also called this place home for a brief period. Before moving on to yet another location.

Today that same NHL franchise still calls South Florida home. But have now switched over to what is now known as “BB&T Center”. Located just 15 miles away from downtown Miami near Fort Lauderdale after signing an 18-year lease deal with Broward County back in 2013.

That arena was built back in 1998. And holds roughly 19,250 people at maximum capacity when things are going well for each respective team.

American Airlines Arena is also the host to a variety of concerts, awards show, and other events throughout the year. Such as WWE’s biggest event of the summer – WrestleMania XXVII which took place back in 2012. Where The Undertaker would defeat Triple H by way of submission at that show’s main event.

8. Air Canada Centre

This is home to the Toronto Raptors and holds a maximum capacity of 19,800 for basketball games. It was completed back in February 1999 after only two years worth of construction time due largely to many NBA teams (and their fans) still coping with what had just happened at another arena that same month.

You know which one we mean if you’re reading this blog right now!

This particular facility originally cost CAD 265 million to build off the backs of both private fundings. As well as multiple local government agencies including the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System (OMERS). Who helped close up some loose ends near the end thereby putting down roughly 20% percent cash out of pocket on top of any other money they were already responsible for loaning out to this project.

That same pension fund would eventually end up owning a good portion of the building itself after putting down about 30% cash from their coffers on top of some additional funding they helped provide early in the process back during 1998.

This place is also known for hosting one very notable and historical moment when Vince Carter. Star player for both Toronto Raptors and former New Jersey Nets – hit what most still believe is “The Greatest Dunk Ever”.

Which took place right here during Game Two of the 2000 NBA Playoffs against none other than Michael Jordan’s Chicago Bulls. Who were defending Eastern Conference Champions at a time!

7. Madison Square Garden

The most storied and biggest NBA arena in the entire world holds a capacity of around 19,763 people and is home to both New York Knicks as well as New York Rangers.

This famous place was opened way back in February 1968 after just one year of construction time. Since that date, the Knicks have treated their fans to four additional championships while Rangers would win one during 1994 which is still considered the biggest title in franchise history up until this very day!

As for Madison Square Garden itself, it was originally built for 123 million dollars back when the average price tag per NBA arena/stadium sat around about half that figure but has gone on to host almost everything you can imagine over its more than 50 years of existence including several historic boxing matches with some notable names attached such as Muhammad Ali, Joe Frazier, and Mike Tyson just to name a few along with hosting multiple high profiles acts from Frank Sinatra through Beyoncé Knowles who will forever be known as The Queen of Pop/R&B music!

This facility is a staple within the biggest city in America and has served as a backdrop for films such as “Fame” back during 1980, both versions of The Thomas Crown Affair from 1999 and 2008 respectively along with being featured prominently on one very memorable episode from Saturday Night Live.

6. Energy Solutions Arena

This is home to the Utah Jazz and holds roughly 19,911 people for basketball games, making it 6th among the biggest NBA arenas.

As of today (April 2016), this place has been around since 1991 but was originally known as “The Delta Center” way back during 1985 when construction began which would eventually take more than three years before it opened on October 14th, 1988!

Back in those early years several notable events took place here including being host to one NBA Slam Dunk Contest – won by Julius Erving – along with hosting what currently stands as one very memorable moment from Michael Jordan who hit a jump shot against none other than Bryon Russell to win his sixth championship at that time during 1998 right after he had just returned from playing minor league baseball for almost three years!

This facility has also hosted two NBA All-Star Games in both 1997 and 2009 respectively along with many memorable moments that would end up being used on ESPN including several iconic shots from Karl Malone during his entire career playing alongside John Stockton.

biggest NBA arenas

5. Wells Fargo Centre

Also known as “The Center”, this place has been home to one of the biggest NBA arenas/stadiums in the world since 1996 and holds roughly 20,328 people for basketball games.

Back when it first opened on October 21st, 1996 – just four days before #Madison Square Garden was officially opened – this arena was originally named after First Union Corporation who helped fund a large portion of its total cost at about 239 million dollars which would end up being more than three times what they were worth back then!

Their name remained until December 2009 where Wells Fargo took over their sponsorship rights but still retained the name’s branding despite no longer having that same level of investment within this joint venture with Comcast-Spectacor.

4. Verizon Centre

As far as the biggest NBA arenas/stadiums in the world go, Verizon Centre sits at number five and is home to the Washington Wizards.

Known locally by many simply as “the Phone Booth” this place has been around since December 1997 and can currently hold roughly 20,356 people for basketball games through its total capacity which peaked during 2006 where it housed approximately 21,000 fans!

This massive arena was built with a price tag that sat just below 262 million dollars but has gone on to host multiple high profile events such as several WWE Wrestling shows including WrestleMania 22 back when it took place here along with hosting concerts from some very notable names such as Bruce Springsteen along with Lady Gaga back when she was only just starting to breakthrough in the biggest way possible.

This place is named after Verizon Communications Inc. who is an American broadband and telecommunications company that has gone on to sponsor this arena for more than eighteen years now with a total cost of nearly fifteen million dollars per year which has made them one of the biggest sponsors within an NBA arena today!

3. Quicken Loans Arena

Also known as “The Q” this place is home to the Cleveland Cavaliers. And can currently hold roughly 20,562 people for basketball games.

Opening on October 17th, 1994 with a concert from Billy Joel which featured him playing three nights in a row (October 19-21st) during that year alone here within The Palace of Auburn Hills! It was also hosted to one NBA All-Star Game back in 1997.

Where they had an old school Slam Dunk Contest that included several notable names such as Kobe Bryant along with Vince Carter. Who would end up winning it all himself after jumping over both Michael Jordan and then Tracy McGrady before finishing his dunk by throwing down two balls at once. While he stood under the other basket!

That being said, this biggest NBA arena/stadium also has the biggest regular-season single-game attendance record for an NBA basketball game. Which was set on November 19th, 2003. When they hosted a total of 20,562 people here that night to see one of Michael Jordan’s number retirement ceremony. Along with his very last game.

This place is named after Quicken Loans who ended up buying their naming rights in late August 2012. And went through until 2034 making it the longest deal out there today. Where 40 million dollars will be put towards using their name as well as getting signage around the entire building itself!

The Q currently houses over 200 events or more per year. Including concerts from some pretty big names such as Justin Bieber. Who performed during 2015 while Rihanna played here back in 2014 too.

But they have also hosted some great sporting events along the way including hosting the 2007 Frozen Four on April 11th, 2008. Where they played their biggest game to date against Notre Dame. Who would end up winning that particular contest with a final score of 47-21!

This is another one of those biggest NBA arenas/stadiums which can be found sitting at number four out there today and does very well when it comes to getting all sorts of different types of shows booked for people’s entertainment while showing how much value this place holds within its many years worth of consistent history here within Cleveland!

2. United Arena

This second of the biggest NBA arenas/stadium is known for being home to both the Chicago Bulls and the Chicago Blackhawks. Who take over this place whenever they want to go all out with their shows here. Which have resulted in several large events coming through including hosting The Rolling Stones back in November of 2015 during that year only!

Opening on August 18th, 1994, it was also built at a price tag just below 173 million dollars. But does hold 20,500 people if needed making it one of those biggest arenas around today.

Named after United Airlines (more commonly referred to as “UAL”). Where they originally signed up for five years worth of naming rights back during April 2005. Where they would end up spending nearly fourteen million dollars per year before they decided to let that deal expire. And handed over the naming rights back to the United Center Joint Venture in November 2011.

However, it is currently still known as “The Madhouse on Madison”. Which has been a name given by many of its biggest fans who have witnessed some pretty crazy things go down here within this biggest NBA arena/stadium.

Such as when Dennis Rodman headbutted referee Ted Bernhardt while playing against The Phoenix Suns back during June 1997. Where he would get suspended for six games resulting from his actions!

This place can hold nearly twenty-five thousand people if needed. And hosts an average of forty non-sporting events along with roughly 170 sporting events each year. Making it one of those biggest arenas around that is worth visiting if you are ever in the market for seeing something big happen!

1. The Palace of Auburn Hills

This biggest NBA arena/stadium is also home to the Detroit Pistons. Who have been playing here ever since it opened on August 13th, 1988. Where they would lose that night against Michael Jordan and his Chicago Bulls with a final score of 96-94!

It was built at a price tag just above 63 million dollars. Which included over twenty thousand seats capable of holding nearly two-hundred events per year. But has now gone down to nearly half capacity (roughly eighteen thousand) after many renovations took place back in 2010.

The Palace currently holds both the records for most consecutive years (twenty-four straight seasons between 1990 until 2014). As well as the biggest margin victory by one team inside this biggest NBA arena/stadium during November 30th, 1995.

When the Detroit Pistons beat their biggest rivals (the Chicago Bulls) by a score of 37 points during that game!

Now making it one of those biggest NBA Arenas. Where you can go to enjoy some great entertainment at either an event or sporting match. Which is sure to keep your attention for hours on end.

biggest NBA arenas


So there you go! We have given you the biggest NBA arenas/stadiums. As well as a little bit of information on each one to help you get started with your research. And we hope that this blog post has been both informative and entertaining for everyone who has gotten the chance to read it.

That is all! Thank you so much for stopping by. And make sure to come back soon. Because there will always be more coming down the pipeline right here at Field Insider.

Have you ever been to one of these NBA arenas/stadiums? Let us know in the comments below!

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