Whether you’re in the stands at NYC’s Madison Square Garden or Sacramento’s Sleep Train Arena, there’s nothing quite like the experience of seeing a game at a classic NBA arena. With history as deep as the talent on their rosters, these 9 classic NBA arenas deserve a shout out for their cherished place in basketball fandom. These are the courts where stars are born, and these are the arenas where countless memories are made each year by NBA fans lucky enough to pass through their doors.
Many NBA teams have migrated over the years from their old arenas to more modern venues, while others have stayed put, sticking to their roots and honoring tradition in their classic arenas. Below we’ve collected 9 NBA venues that create a feeling of nostalgia among fans and rivals alike, delivering unforgettable moments and nail-biting action as their teams duke it out on the court. Dig in and let us know your favorite NBA venue by commenting on Ticketmaster.
Originally known as the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Arena, the Oracle Arena is the oldest active NBA venue, built in 1966. This venue has a reputation for hosting one of the loudest and most electrifying crowds in the NBA. It was especially energetic during the Warriors’ “We Believe” playoff series against the Dallas Mavericks in 2007, where they became the only 8th seed in NBA history to beat a 1st seed in a seven-game playoff series. It is also the home of the Warriors 1975 championship team.
Madison Square Garden, also known as “The Garden” or “The Mecca of Basketball”, is widely recognized as one of the most prominent and historic NBA venues in the nation. Constructed in 1968, MSG is the second oldest active NBA venue. The New York Knicks won two championships in the early ‘70s and made two finals appearances in the ‘90s. And not to forget the countless, historical single game performances by some of the game’s best. Fans love the Garden, and it’s no secret that the Garden is a favorite with players too.
“It was a fantastic experience. I had never attended an NBA game before, and Madison Square Garden was the best choice to start. I was extremely impressed by the magical atmosphere around me. I will never forget it, thank you Knicks!” – Manu23 or Anonymous
“Nice to be there, good game, awesome arena! Let’s go Knicks!” – Daniel879 or Anonymous
The Palace of Auburn Hills, built in 1988, has held some of the greatest moments in NBA history, many of which occurred during the gritty Detroit Pistons/Chicago Bulls rivalry. The Pistons met the Bulls in the Eastern Conference Finals several times, which resulted in some of the toughest, most entertaining games in NBA history. Detroit won back-to-back championships at The Palace in 1989 and 1990, and the echo of those victories still reverberates in the arena’s hallowed halls. The Palace is also the home of the 2004 Pistons championship team, which unexpectedly took down a star-studded Los Angeles Lakers in five games.
Originally known as the Bradley Center, this classic NBA arena opened in 1988 and remains one of the oldest NBA venues still in use. Bucks fans are known for their loyal and impassioned support — they held the Guinness World Record for indoor crowd noise from 2006-2013. Fans describe the venue as beautiful, easily accessible, and entertaining, but don’t just take our word for it – check out the reviews below.
“Attended the Bucks vs Heat basketball game — first time at the Bradley Center. The facility is beautiful and easily accessible. All event staff we met were kind and helpful. We would definitely make the trip from Michigan to attend events at the Bradley Center.” – LansingStilts
“I drove from Chicago to Milwaukee and took my son to see his first live NBA game. He got to see the Bucks beat the Heat. We had great seats and the entertainment during the time-outs and halftime was great!” – TME0101
Constructed in 1988, the Sleep Train Arena (originally ARCO Arena) is the home of the Sacramento Kings. It has held some of the greatest Western Conference Finals games in NBA history. In the early 2000s the Kings gave the three-peat Los Angeles Lakers a run for their money in the playoffs, resulting in one of the most notorious rivalries in NBA history. Sacramento fans love showing their excitement at Sleep Train Arena — in 2013, a sell-out crowd of 17,317 reached 126 dBA during a game, which broke the Guinness World Record for loudest indoor crowd roar.
Built in 1994, the United Center is flooded with both victory banners and memories. The Chicago Bulls achieved their second NBA championship three-peat playing in this old school venue – yep, six NBA championships. Led by arguably the greatest basketball player to ever lace them up (Michael Jordan, in case you’ve been living under a rock), the Bulls have always been a must-see team and the United Center is a truly classic NBA arena.
Since 1995, the Portland Trailblazers have played their home games at the Moda Center, originally known as the Rose Garden. Portland fans are very passionate about their team, and the atmosphere at any Blazers game is filled with noise and intensity. Here’s what a couple fans had to say about their experience at the Moda Center.
“This game was so much fun! The venue is amazing, and the whole place was electric. Definitely a great experience.” – Anonymous
“The best time I have ever had at any professional sporting event!” – Sidgolf
The TD Garden is home to the Boston Celtics, who have won a whopping 17 NBA championships. The arena is flooded with victory banners, and any fan that sets foot into the arena can feel the nostalgia right away. It has the same throwback parquet flooring as its predecessor, the Boston Garden, which gives the venue a traditional, old school look that makes longtime Celtics fans feel right at home.
“The atmosphere is amazing. For me to see the Celtics in Boston is a dream come true! I will remember the experience forever.” – jstewp or Anonymous
“TD Garden is the most traditional arena in the NBA. Very good game with a Boston win in the last second!” – AlexCukier