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.
10. Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse – Cleveland Cavaliers
We start the list with the home of the Cleveland Cavaliers – Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse. Previously known as Quicken Loans Arena, it is a multi-purpose arena based in Cleveland, Ohio. Currently, it serves as the main arena for the above-mentioned Cavaliers and Cleveland Monsters of the American Hockey League. It was opened in 1994 with Billy Joel’s concert and has a capacity of 19,432 people for basketball and 9,447 for ice hockey games.
The arena witnessed one of the most memorable NBA Finals series when the Cleveland Cavaliers won against the Golden State Warriors 4-3, led by LeBron James in 2016.
Going back in 2014, LeBron James came back to Cleveland, promising that he will bring the title to the city and state of Ohio. After the loss in the Finals in 2015, the Cavaliers came back even stronger, overcome the 3-1 deficit, and finally brought the title to the city of Cleveland after a 52-year drought (The last title won was in 1964 by the Cleveland Browns of NFL).
At the beginning of the next season, Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse was the home of one of the most iconic Ring Ceremony that literally gives you goosebumps!
9. Moda Center – Portland Trail Blazers
There are just 2 arenas in the Top 10 based in the Western Conference, and Moda Center is one of those two. Formerly known as Rose Garden, it’s the primary indoor sports arena in Portland, Oregon, and the home arena of the Portland Trail Blazers. It was opened in 1995 and has a capacity of 19,393 people for basketball games.
Before the Moda Center was built, the Trail Blazers were playing in the 12,888 Memorial Center. Due to the increase in NBA popularity at the end of the 70s and the beginning of the 80s, the Trail Blazers sold out each home and it was clear that the Memorial Center was too small for those who would like to watch Portland live. In 1988, the franchise was bought by Paul Allen, and under his ownership, they reached the Finals in 1990 and 1992. Allen soon expressed a desire to build a new arena for his team and approached the Oregon Arena Corporation and finished the project in 1995.
The arena is widely known for its acoustics. The effect during Blazers games is to absorb the noise from the upper levels and reflect it back down to the court. As you can see, the Moda Center is home to one of the most electrified atmospheres in the entire NBA!
8. Ball aRena – Denver Nuggets
Alongside Moda Center, the only representative in the Top 10 biggest arenas coming from the Western Conference is Ball Arena. Formerly known as Pepsi Center, it’s a multi-purpose indoor arena located in Denver, Colorado. Ball Arena currently serves as home to the Denver Nuggets, the Colorado Avalanche of the NHL, and the Colorado Mammoth of the NLL.
It was opened in 1999 and it has a capacity of 19,520 people for basketball games, 17,809 for ice hockey games, and 17,809 for lacrosse games.
When it comes to NBA, the arena never hosted the Finals, but it was home to the 2005 NBA All-Star. However, it witnessed a bigger success in the NHL, when the Avalanche won the Stanley Cup twice, in 2001 and 2022.
Even though they never made it to the Finals, the Denver Nuggets fans were making an amazing atmosphere during Carmelo Anthony and Allen Iverson’s days, with great in-game dunks that were getting them on their feet!
7. Miami-Dade Arena – Miami Heat
Miami Vice, South Beach, and the Miami Heat! Miami-Dade is a home arena to one of the most popular franchises in the NBA – the Miami Heat. Opened in 1999 and it has a capacity of 19,600 for basketball games.
In its 23-year-old history, the arena hosted five NBA Finals and got three championship banners! Dwayne Wade and Shaquille O’Neal led the Heat to its first championship in 2006 defeating the Dallas Mavericks led by Wade, LeBron James, and Chris Bosh, they won it again in 2012 and 2013.
Alongside basketball, the Miami-Dade Arena hosted the first UFC event in the state of Florida in 2003 and featured a huge number of concerts from various artists such as Tina Turner, Rihanna, Mariah Carey, Kanye West, Maroon 5, etc.
With the whole Miami-Dade arena wearing white and the 7 Nation Army playing, the energy in the arena was definitely something else!
6. Scotiabank arena – toronto raptors
Formerly known as the Air Canada Center, Scotiabank Arena is the only arena based out of the US and its sixth biggest arena in the NBA. Opened in 1999, it serves as home to the Toronto Raptors of the NBA and the Toronto Maple Leafs. It has a capacity of 19,800 for basketball games and 18,800 for ice hockey games.
The Scotiabank arena has seen a lot of memorable moments and events. In hockey, it hosted the 2004 and 2016 World Cup of hockey, the NHL All-Star game in 2000, and in 2020 due to the COVID pandemic, it was home to the Stanley Cup Eastern Conference Playoffs.
When it comes to basketball, the most significant season played in Scotiabank was the 2018-19 NBA Season, when the Toronto Raptors won their first and only championship ever. Led by Kawhi Leonard, the Raptors defeated the reigning back-to-back champions Golden State Warriors 4-2.
5. Madison Square Garden – New York Knicks
The oldest and one of the most iconic arenas in the NBA is Madison Square Garden. On the 5th place in the 10 biggest arenas in the NBA is the home to the New York Knicks with a capacity of 19,812 people for basketball games. Alongside the Knicks, the New York Rangers are using MGM as their home arena and the capacity for hockey games is 18,006.
As one of the most popular arenas, Madison Square Garden hosted a huge number of events. Just to name a few, boxing’s biggest fights were held in MGM such as Muhammad Ali vs Joe Frazier. MGM is considered as well as Mecca to professional wrestling and the WWE. High-profile concerts from various world star artists were held such as Michale Jackson, Elton John, Elvis Presley, Led Zeppelin, Madonna, etc.
Even though they lacked major success in recent history, the New York Knicks are still one of the most valuable franchises in the entire NBA due to their location and the fact they are playing in Madison Square Garden.
4. Little Caesars Arena – Detroit Pistons
Serving as the home of the Detroit Pistons and the Detroit Red Wings, the Little Caesars Arena is 4th biggest arena in the entire NBA! Being opened in 2017, it’s one of the newest arenas and it has a capacity of 20,332 for basketball games and 19,515 for ice hockey games.
Initially designed as an ice-hockey arena for the Detroit Red Wings, the Little Caesars Arena needed some modifications in its structure since the Detroit Pistons expressed a desire to relocate as well. Even though they were playing in the bigger arena, the Palace of Auburn Hills was located in the suburbs and they wanted to move to the new and shiny arena in downtown Detroit in order to increase their attendance.
The Little Caesars Arena is yet to see any basketball major success or event, with the Pistons appearing in only one Playoff NBA series since their relocation. With the new arena and huge name, hopefully, fate will change for the Pistons in the future.
3. Capital One Arena – Washington Wizards
Capital One Arena, or the Horizon Center previously, is the third biggest arena in the NBA. Similar to most arenas, it has 2 main tenants, the Washington Wizards of the NBA and the Washington Capitals of the NHL. Maximum attendance for basketball games is 20,356 and for ice hockey games, it’s reduced to 18,573.
Opened in 1997, the Capital One Arena saw a lot of success for the Washington Capitals. Playing in the arena, they’ve reached the Stanley Cup Finals twice, in 1998 and 2018, and won it in 2018.
Unfortunately, when it comes to basketball, the Wizards had less success. The Capital One Arena hosted many Playoff series but has yet to host the Finals series. Regardless, it had the privilege to enjoy Michael Jordan‘s last years when he played for the Washington Wizards from 2001-2003.
2. Wells Fargo Center – Philadelphia 76ers
Opened in 1996, the Wells Fargo Center is the second-largest arena in the NBA. Home of the Philadelphia 76ers and the Philadelphia Flyers of NHL has the capacity of 20,478 for basketball and 20,306 for hockey games. Next to the main tenants, the Philadelphia Wings of NLL are also playing their home games in Wells Fargo Center.
As a multi-purpose arena, alongside indoor sports, numerous concerts were held by various artists such as Ray Charles, Guns N’Roses, and Billy Joel.
Since their moving to the Wells Fargo Center, the Philadelphia 76ers played in the NBA Finals only once, in 2001. They’ve lost to the mighty Los Angeles Lakers 4-1, however, they were able to enjoy tremendous skills and crossovers of Allen Iverson. With the likes of Joel Embiid and James Harden, the 76ers are one of the favorites to win it all, and maybe in the future a first championship banner won in the Wells Fargo Center will hang from the roof.
1. United Center – Chicago Bulls
Somehow it makes sense that the biggest arena is the one where the greatest player of all time played. The United Center is home to the Chicago Bulls of the NBA and the Chicago Blackhawks of the NHL. With a maximum capacity of 20,917 for basketball games, it makes it the biggest arena in the entire NBA.
The arena hosted three Stanley Cup finals, in 2010, 2013, and 2015. The Blackhawks won the first two on the ice of their opponent in the sixth game of the series. Finally, in 2015 they won in front of their crowd, the first time since 1938 the Blackhawks clinched the Cup in Chicago.
Opened in 1994, the United Center was able to witness greatness and the second three-peat of the Chicago Bulls in 1996-1998. Arguably, the best team that has ever played the game was dominating the league! Led by Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, and Dennis Rodman, the Bulls were an unstoppable force.
The arena is home to the iconic statue of Michael Jordan and is joined by the statues of Blackhawks legends Bobby Hull and Stan Mikita.
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.
|Wells Fargo Center
|Capital One Arena
|Madison Square Garden
|New York Knicks
|Portland Trail Blazers
|Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse
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Have you ever been to one of these NBA arenas/stadiums? Let us know in the comments below!