Every team in the NBA desperately wants recognition to their NBA franchise. Whether it’s a record, incredible jerseys, or even the best stadium. Some teams are able to accomplish such feats and others aren’t, creating winners and a losers even in a situation concerning only NBA arenas.
Who Has the Biggest NBA Stadium? In terms of seating capacity, the United Center is without a doubt the largest stadium in the NBA to date. The stadium is owned by the Chicago Bulls and is able to seat roughly 20,917 people each game. One of the biggest reasons that this stadium was built so large is because it used to be host to Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen and Dennis Rodman. When the stadium opened in 1994, the mentioned players were all still playing fans wanted to go see them regardless of ticket price.
There are a few stadiums that have been able to inch their way closer to the United Center in recent years, and a few others that have the potential to be remodeled and surpass it. Let’s take a bit of a deeper look into these stadiums and see what we have.
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Top Five Largest Stadiums in the League
We’ve already talked about the United Center, so let’s go over the next four largest stadiums because they are all incredibly close to one another right now. Second is the Wells Fargo Center, the home of the Philadelphia 76ers. This stadium was built in 1996 but has undergone some extra renovations to increase seating in recent years. It seats a maximum of 20,478 people in total. Right behind them is Capital One Arena, the stadium for the Washington Wizards. This particular stadium has been home to a large number of sporting events in the last two decades, like when they hosted the Stanley Cup and the NBA All Star game.
This arena was built one year after Wells Fargo Center, in 1997, and seats a max of 20,356. The fourth stadium on this list is Little Caesars Arena. Little Caesars Arena is the Detroit Pistons stadium centered in Michigan. The Arena was built recently, in the year 2017 actually. It holds 20,332 people and is literally less than 50 seats apart from Capital One. Finally, we have Madison Square Garden. The New York Knicks stadium is one of the largest and for good reason. It was created a long time ago back in 1968 and holds 19,812 people in total. The brand and recognition that this stadium has nowadays is what makes it incredibly special.
Best Rated NBA Stadiums by Fans
Regardless of the seating arrangements or the actual teams playing in the arenas, the fans are the ones that make the determination if a stadium is up to par. Fans rated every single stadium out of five stars at the beginning of last season and here are some of the results that we got back. The clear-cut top-rated stadium was Madison Square Garden, once again. It is one of the largest in the league and is such a special place to be at.
The atmosphere and history behind the property are really what sets it apart from other places. Staples Center follows Madison Square Garden close behind with a near identical rating. Both of the stadiums received a 4.7 rating. Staples Center is located in Los Angeles and is home to two teams, the Clippers and the Lakers. If we are talking outside of the NBA, then the stadium actually holds four teams, including the Kings and the Sparks.
Smallest NBA Stadiums
Obviously, as there are large stadiums in the NBA, there are some small ones. The Smoothie King Center, the home of the New Orleans Pelicans in Louisiana, is by far the smallest stadium around right now. They can seat approximately 16,867 people but it’s a little disappointing that there haven’t been any improvements to the property. After all, it was first built in 1999. Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee is the second smallest stadium on the list. However, I imagine a renovation may be in order once again as the Bucks are coming off an NBA Championship. The stadium was fixed up and renamed back in 2018, and has the capacity to hold 17,500 people, which is almost a thousand more than the Pelicans stadium.
That is no surprise though as each stadium is located in a smaller city compared to places like New York and Washington. What is surprising is that Barclays Center is the fourth smallest stadium here, and happens to be located in New York. You can tell that the city really favored the Knicks over the Nets, because Barclays Center is only able to hold 17,732 people in total. The stadium was fixed up back in 2012 but still is one of the smallest. If the Nets hold onto Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and James Harden the next few years, changes may be made to increase capacity, but for now it remains one of the smaller stadiums in the NBA.
Worst Rated NBA Stadiums
Just like we went over the best rated stadiums, we have to go over the worst rated. These are the smallest and overall mediocre stadiums in the league right now. Surprisingly, Barclays Center is on this list. It is still a sleek and modernized arena but it is one of the lowest ranked stadiums by fans with a 4.4 rating.
Though in my opinion, I feel that it is only biased because people compare it to Madison Square Garden too heavily. The absolute worst stadium rating is headed to the Minnesota Timberwolves. The Target Center recently underwent some renovations which have probably improved their rating in the eyes of some, but overall, it is just not a place where fans go to take in a incredible atmosphere. Another reason for the low rating may be Timberwolves fans frustrated with their team’s struggles on the court for the last couple of years.