Photo of the court at KeyArena, home of the Seattle Supersonics.

If you're an NBA fan that has been attending games since the 1980's, you've probably noticed the difference in the atmosphere these days. Not only is the quality of play not what it used to be but the fan experience isn't what it used to be either. Ticket sales are down. Players don't play hard until the playoffs heat up. The Commissioner of the NBA blocks trades. Players only want to stay a year or two in college and are never fully developed. If you're an NBA fan that got to see a game in one of the following three arenas during the league's glory days; consider yourself lucky. 


3. Chicago Stadium, Chicago Bulls.

Photo of Chicago Stadium during a Chicago Bulls game.

Nothing says Michael Jordan in his prime like the old Chicago Stadium. Though remembered by Chicago sports fans primarily as the home of the NHL's Chicago Blackhawks, the arena was also home to the Chicago Bulls for 27 years. It's nickname was the 'Madhouse on Madison' due to the rabid nature of Chicago sports fans. It was the only NBA arena that used a Barton organ during games and the organ was one of the arena's most popular attractions. Getting tickets to either a Blackhawks or Bulls game became a chore and in any event, you had to "know someone" or pay big money to ticket scalpers. It was the most electric arena in all of professional sports at the time.

The Bulls moved in to the brand new United Center in 1994, ironically the same year that Michael Jordan retired for the first time. The old Chicago Stadium was demolished at the beginning of 1995. The former site of Chicago Stadium is across the street from the United Center where it serves as a parking lot.


2.The Forum, Los Angeles Lakers

Photo of The Forum, former home of the Los Angeles Lakers.

There was no NBA arena more “prime time” than The Forum during the 1980's. When the Larry Byrd-led Boston Celtics were in town, it was time for war. The Forum was also known as the Great Western Forum for a number of years. The Los Angeles Lakers won five NBA championships between the years 1980 and 1989. Today, The Forum is a large church and has thousands of worshipers that trek to Inglewood every Sunday. In the 1980's, The Forum was Magic Johnson's stage. There has been word that Madison Square Garden Entertainment has planned on purchasing the forum for quite some time and will remodel it with the hopes of bringing in acts for many years to come. It didn't take long for the Los Angeles Lakers to create history and add hardware to the trophy cases of their new home; the Staples Center which opened in 1999. The Lakers won three straight NBA championship during their first three years at the Staples Center (2000, 2001, 2002). Both the Forum and the Staples Center were also home to the Los Angeles Kings of the NHL


1. The Boston Garden, Boston Celtics

Photo of the court at the old Boston Garden, former home of the Boston Celtics.

The old Boston Garden was the longest tenured arena in the NBA before closing it's doors. It had been home to the Boston Celtics since 1946 and was home to the NHL's Boston Bruins since 1928. Compared to the other NBA arenas, and according to many basketball players, Boston Garden's floor was known to be in poor shape.  Boston Garden had no air conditioning and was commonly known to be one of the loudest and most hostile arenas in the NBA due to the fans' proximity to the court.

Like many other professional stadiums and arenas, Boston Garden's run came to an end when the owners had ultimately decided that luxury seating was necessary to compete with other teams and generate additional revenue. The TD Garden was constructed down the street from Boston Garden and it is the current home of the Bruins and Celtics. The former site of the Boston Garden provides parking for the TD Garden. 

Will the NBA ever return to its glory days? We're skeptical. 1978-2000 is an era in the NBA that will never be matched. Basketball fans will forever miss these three basketball shrines; that is for certain.