The best NBA arenas according to fans

NBA games are all about big stars, flashy handles, and gravity-defying dunks. But when it comes to the fan experience, a great venue can make all the difference, which is why — a startup that has revolutionized customer reviews for local businesses — has used data from Google reviews to identify the best NBA arenas as of the beginning of last season.

Podium consolidated review data for all 29 NBA teams' arenas through its platform to produce the following rankings:

The best NBA arenas, according to fans
See Gallery
The best NBA arenas, according to fans
29. Target Center - Minnesota Timberwolves

Overall star rating: 4.13

Total number of reviews: 629

One thing to know: Many reviews for the Target Center note that the arena feels outdated, but since this data was collected, the Timberwolves' home has undergone a $140 million makeover. Fans will see the biggest changes in the concourses and hospitality areas, but chief strategy officer Ted Johnson said that the renovation has improved "just about every surface of the building."

(Photo by Jordan Johnson/NBAE via Getty Images)
28. BMO Harris Bradley Center - Milwaukee Bucks

Overall star rating: 4.17

Total number of reviews: 743

One thing to know: Like the Timberwolves' Target Center, BMO Bradley Center was low in the rankings because fans felt it had been looking old during the last few seasons. Luckily, Milwaukeeans will enjoy a glossy new arena with the start of the 2018-19 season.

(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
27. Moda Center - Portland Trailblazers

Overall star rating: 4.29

Total number of reviews: 1,523

One thing to know: Spectators have complained about cramped seating and strained views from the Moda Center's upper levels, but fans may not even find time to sit and watch the game after navigating the arena's 70+ food vendors.

(Photo by Cameron Browne/NBAE via Getty Images)
26. Barclays Center - Brooklyn Nets

Overall star rating: 4.31

Total number of reviews: 3,573

One thing to know: A sleek and modern arena, the Barclays Center opened in September 2012 with eight sold-out shows from then co-owner Jay-Z. Unlike most other sports venues, Brooklyn's mecca only features local New York City food vendors.

(Photo by William Volcov/Brazil Photo Press/LatinContent/Getty Images)
25. Oracle Arena - Golden State Warriors

Overall star rating: 4.34

Total number of reviews: 2,054

One thing to know: Oracle Arena's low ranking is particularly surprising given the Warriors' recent success, but fans bemoan the long trek to Oakland and the $40 charge for parking. Luckily, construction on Golden State's new home is underway in the Mission Bay neighborhood of San Francisco. The Chase Center is slated to open before the 2019-20 NBA season.

(Photo by Chris Elise/NBAE via Getty Images)
24. Wells Fargo Center - Philadelphia 76ers

Overall star rating: 4.384

Total number of reviews: 1,962

One thing to know: Just like the Philadelphia 76ers, the Wells Fargo Center has been undergoing a rebuild for some years. When completed, the arena will boast new sound and lighting systems, improved seating, upgraded concourses, open-air lounge areas, and expanding views of the city's skyline. #trusttheprocess

(Photo by David Dow/NBAE via Getty Images)
23. Capital One Arena - Washington Wizards

Overall star rating: 4.387

Total number of reviews: 2,174

One thing to know: Like almost every arena on this list so far, Capital One Arena will undergo renovations in the coming years. The owners will invest $40 million in a new sound system and new concessions, bars, and clubs to improve the fan experience.

(Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
22. Vivint Smart Home Arena - Utah Jazz

Overall star rating: 4.434

Total number of reviews: 583

One thing to know: The Vivint Smart Home Arena just got a $125 million facelift last season, and like the Utah Jazz's young core, the early results are positive. The arena now features comfier seats, open social spaces, and a brand new atrium with a box office and team store.

(Photo by Melissa Majchrzak/NBAE via Getty Images)
21. Golden 1 Center - Sacramento Kings

Overall star rating: 4.434

Total number of reviews: 1,643

One thing to know: Opened in the fall of 2016, Golden 1 Center sits in the heart of downtown Sacramento. Kings fans love the modern look for their up-and-coming team but often mention in reviews that leg room in the arena is pretty tight.

(Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images)
20. Pepsi Center - Denver Nuggets

Overall star rating: 4.43993

Total number of reviews: 1,748

One thing to know: Fans love how easy it is to get to the Pepsi Center by car or by public transit. While some reviews suggest that concert acoustics at this venue the best, people love coming out for Denver Nuggets games.

(Photo by Bart Young/NBAE via Getty Images)
19. Air Canada Centre - Toronto Raptors

Overall star rating: 4.43995

Total number of reviews: 3,464

One thing to know: Rapper and Toronto native Drake is a huge Raptors fan and often sits courtside at the Air Canada Centre.

(Photo by Ron Turenne/NBAE via Getty Images)
18. Smoothie King Center - New Orleans Pelicans

Overall star rating: 4.4681

Total number of reviews: 566

One thing to know: Located in the heart of New Orleans' Central Business District, the Smoothie King Center is connected to the Mercedes-Benz Superdome — home of the New Orleans Saints — by two pedestrian walkways. Fans love the venue for basketball games and concerts.

(Photo by Stephen Lew/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
17. Chesapeake Energy Arena - Oklahoma City Thunder

Overall star rating: 4.4689

Total number of reviews: 951

One thing to know: Although Oklahoma City was a questionable landing spot for the rebranded Seattle Supersonics franchise, locals are absolutely crazy about the Thunder. Fans argue that the atmosphere at Chesapeake Energy Arena during home games is unparalleled.

(Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images)
16. Talking Stick Resort Arena - Phoenix Suns

Overall star rating: 4.47

Total number of reviews: 1,399

One thing to know: The Phoenix Suns may not be much fun to watch right now, but Talking Stick Resort Arena often plays host to many WWE events, including Smackdown, Raw, Elimination Chamber, and The Royal Rumble.

(Photo by Barry Gossage/NBAE via Getty Images)
15. Spectrum Center - Charlotte Hornets

Overall star rating: 4.481

Total number of reviews: 849

One thing to know: Located in downtown Charlotte, the Spectrum Center is home to Michael Jordan's Charlotte Hornets. Although the arena missed out on hosting the 2017 NBA All-Star Game due to the NBA's opposition to North Carolina's Public Facilities Privacy & Security Act, it has hosted some notable NCAA Tournament games, including the 16th-seeded UMBC Retrievers' historic upset of the No. 1 Virginia Cavaliers this past year.

(Photo by Kent Smith/NBAE via Getty Images)
14. AT&T Center - San Antonio Spurs

Overall star rating: 4.489

Total number of reviews: 1,290

One thing to know: With veterans Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker both announcing their departures this offseason and superstar Kawhi Leonard's trade to the Portland Trailblazers, the perennially stable San Antonio Spurs will be sporting a new look for the first time in decades. Fans can enjoy southern BBQ and San Antonio staples while getting acquainted with their new team.

(Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
13. Philips Arena - Atlanta Hawks

Overall star rating: 4.511

Total number of reviews: 1,385

One thing to know: Philips Arena is currently undergoing a $192 million renovation. The upgraded venue will feature a center court scoreboard that stretches from one free throw line to the other.

(Photo by Scott Cunningham/NBAE via Getty Images)
12. Toyota Center - Houston Rockets

Overall star rating: 4.513

Total number of reviews: 1,417

One thing to know: The Toyota Center has the largest lower level of all NBA arenas due to its sunken floor. The Houston Rockets' court sits 32 feet below street level.

(Photo by Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images)
11. Little Caesars Arena - Detroit Pistons

Overall star rating: 4.53

Total number of reviews: 707

One thing to know: Little Caesars Arena opened in downtown Detroit in 2017. Fans love to grab a drink at the outdoor beer garden off of the Budweiser Lounge.

(Photo by Dave Reginek/Getty Images) 
10. TD Garden - Boston Celtics

Overall star rating: 4.5402

Total number of reviews: 1,764

One thing to know: The home of the Boston Celtics and Boston Bruins, the Beantown venue has had 33 official names over its 28-year history.

(Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)
9. Quicken Loans Arena - Cleveland Cavaliers

Overall star rating: 4.5414

Total number of reviews: 2,124

One thing to know: Much of the excitement at Quicken Loans Arena in recent years has centered on LeBron James. The arena ditched its legendary banner of #23 after his departure, which marks a new era for both the venue and for the Cleveland Cavaliers.

(Photo by Mark Blinch/NBAE via Getty Images)
8. American Airlines Center - Dallas Mavericks

Overall star rating: 4.545

Total number of reviews: 2,152

One thing to know: American Airlines Center is home to Mark Cuban's Dallas Mavericks. In 2017, Billboard identified American Airlines Center as the 6th busiest arena in the country and the 8th busiest in the world.

(Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
7. United Center - Chicago Bulls

Overall star rating: 4.581

Total number of reviews: 3,045

One thing to know: The Chicago Bulls have a ton of history wrapped up in the United Center despite the arena being only 24 years old. It has played host to three NBA Finals, all of which were won by Michael Jordan-led Bulls teams. You can find a statue of Jordan outside of the arena's main entrance.

(Photo by Bilgin S. Sasmaz/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
6. Madison Square Garden - New York Knicks

Overall star rating: 4.584

Total number of reviews: 4,475

One thing to know: Madison Square Garden is one of the most famous arenas in all of sports, so it may be worth suffering through a New York Knicks game just to enjoy the atmosphere of the building alone. You'll find megafan Spike Lee courtside at any home game.

(Photo by David Dow/NBAE via Getty Images)
5. Bankers Life Fieldhouse - Indiana Pacers

Overall star rating: 4.586

Total number of reviews: 979

One thing to know: Modern amenities meet old-school feel at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, home of the Indiana Pacers. The arena is located in downtown Indianapolis near plenty of bars, restaurants, and hotels.

(Photo by Ron Hoskins/NBAE via Getty Images)
4. Staples Center - Los Angeles Lakers/Los Angeles Clippers

Overall star rating: 4.602

Total number of reviews: 3,787

One thing to know: Located in downtown Los Angeles, the Staples Center is home to four different teams: the Lakers, the Clippers, the Kings, and the Sparks. In addition to games, the arena hosts the X Games and the Grammys each year.

(Photo by Adam Pantozzi/NBAE via Getty Images)
3. AmericanAirlines Arena - Miami Heat


Overall star rating: 4.608

Total number of reviews: 2,643

One thing to know: Not to be confused with the Dallas Mavericks' American Airline Center, American Airlines Arena hosts Miami Heat home games in the Sunshine State. The venue features a night club where fans can party after Heat victories.

(Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)
2. FedEx Forum - Memphis Grizzlies

Overall star rating: 4.612

Total number of reviews: 849

One thing to know: It's interesting that FedEx Forum ranks so high on this list given the rumors that the Grizzlies could leave Memphis in the future. Fans say that they have a near-perfect view of the floor no matter where they sit in the arena.

(Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images)
1. Amway Center - Orlando Magic

Overall star rating: 4.616

Total number of reviews: 1,730

One thing to know: Even though the Orlando Magic have not been among the top teams in the NBA in quite some time, fans love the Amway Center. Located in the heart of downtown, the state-of-the-art arena features tons of restaurants and luxury suites, an area where children can play, and the largest HD scoreboard in the league.

(Photo by Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images)

See Also:

Read Full Story

From Our Partners