Exterior photo of Little Caesars Arena in Detroit, Michigan. 

While many NBA fans don't share the same fascination with their league's venues as Major League Baseball fans do, there are still plenty of cool venues to visit throughout the NBA's 28 cities. The rule of thumb in professional basketball seems to be that the larger the arena, the more history the team has, the more their tickets are in demand. With that, we've compiled a list of the ten largest arenas in the NBA today.

 

10. Miami Heat - American Airlines Arena. 19,600.

  American Airlines Arena, Home of the Miami Heat

Even though Lebron James has departed Miami, American Airlines Arena has still hosted three NBA finals in the last eight years. With nearly 90 Luxury Suites, the arena has symbioses known as "Flagship Lounges". It offers a great view of the Biscayne Bay. Tickets and concessions will be much pricier than other NBA arenas but is a great arena for basketball and concerts. Not until the playoffs does the atmosphere become what it should be on a nightly basis, however, as the fan base tends to be a little fair weather.

 

 

9. New York Knicks - Madison Square Garden. 19,763.

 Madison Square Garden, Home of the New York Knicks

Perhaps the most famous arena in the World. When you are a visiting team's player, this is a big stage for you no matter what team you play for. Madison Square Garden is not only the home to the New York Knicks but also the NHL's New York Rangers. It is the oldest arena in the NHL and the second oldest arena in the NBA and possesses a history unlike any other NBA arena. There are six ascending levels to this arena with only the first level being available for basketball and music events. Simply known as 'The Garden', the arena just underwent it's 4th renovation which included a better and more efficient layout of sections for sporting events and concerts.

 

 

8. Toronto Raptors - Air Canada Centre. 19,800.

 Air Canada Centre, Home of the Toronto Raptors

The Air Canada Centre, also known as the Hangar, is not only home to the NBA's Toronto Raptors but also home to the Toronto Maple Leafs of the NHL. It is a very accessible arena thanks to the nearby GO Transit and the Union Subway System as well as parking throughout the downtown Toronto area. While the Toronto Raptors have not had much success on the hardwood in recent years, the Toronto Maple Leafs keep the place rocking' when they take the ice. In fact, Maple Leaf tickets are the most expensive ticket in all of hockey and even have the city considering another team for expansion in nearby Markham.

 

 

 

7. Utah Jazz - Vivint Smart Home Arena. 19,911.

Vivint Smart Home Arena, Home of the Utah Jazz

Formerly the Delta Center and EnergySolutions Arena, Vivint Smart Home Arena has seen it's share of successful teams and players. Yes, Karl Malone scored more career points than Michael Jordan and his teammate John Stockton had a lot to do with that. You can see a statue of both just outside of the arena. The Utah Jazz have a very loyal fan base which attributes to the hostility the visiting teams feel when they play here. The noise levels at Vivint Smart Home Arena are some of the loudest in the NBA. Will it be soon that the franchise returns to a similarly glory of Malone and Stockton? Only time will tell.

 

 

6. Portland Trail Blazers - The Moda Center. 19,980.

 Moda Center, Home of the Portland Trail Blazers

The Moda Center at the Rose Quarter is one of the more scenic NBA arenas in one of the more scenic NBA cities. The Rose Quarter was named after Portland's identity as the 'Rose City'. Both the franchise and the arena are owned by former Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen. The Rose Quarter has never hosted an NBA finals but it did host the memorable 2000 Western Conference Finals against the Los Angeles Lakers. Perhaps the Moda Center's coolest feature is that it sits on the banks of the scenic Willamette River in Portland's Lloyd District.

 

 

5. Washington Wizards - Capital One Arena. 20,278.

 Capital One Arena, home of the Washington Wizards

Formerly the MCI Center and Verizon Center, Capital One Arena has been home to the Washington Wizards since 1997. Just before the opening of the Capital One Arena, the franchise had changed it's name from the Bullets to the Wizards, a decision made by the owner. The arena is also home to the Washington Capitals of the National Hockey League and the Washington Mystics of the WNBA. All three franchises are owned by entrepreneur Ted Leonsis. There is nothing about the Verizon Center that distinguishes itself from the other NBA arenas aside from it's prime location adjacent to Washington DC's Chinatown. It is also known to be home to the most unkept ice rink in all of the NHL.

 

 

4. Philadelphia 76ers - Wells Fargo Center. 20,444.

Wells Fargo Center, home of the Philadelphia 76ers

Formerly the Wachovia Center, the Wells Fargo Center lacks the history and charm of the old Philadelphia Spectrum where Dr. J hoisted his shots. Not only is this arena in a prime location in the city, it is also in close proximity to Lincoln Financial Field and Citizens Bank Park in an area known as the South Philadelphia Sports Complex. It is also home to the Philadelphia Flyers of the NHL and can become a highly congested area when multiple games are going on during the same day. Not many hotels or restaurants in the immediate vicinity of the Wells Fargo Center so most fans will need to arrive here via rapid transit.

 

 

3. Detroit Pistons - Little Caesars Arena. 20,491.

Little Caesars Arena, home of the Detroit Pistons. 

And finally, the Little Caesars Arena, the NBA's newest arena. Little Caesars Arena obviously doesn't have much history and didn't set any attendance records during it's first year in operation. However, for the first time, the Detroit Pistons are sharing an arena with the NHL's Detroit Red Wings. 2017 also marks the first time the Detroit Pistons have played their home games in downtown Detroit. The Palace of Auburn Hills, the team's former arena, was the largest arena in the NBA for many years.

 

 

2. Cleveland Cavaliers - Quicken Loans Arena. 20,562.

 Quicken Loans Arena, home of the Cleveland Cavaliers

When Lebron James left Cleveland, he took the soul of this arena to South Beach with him. Now that he is back, Quicken Loans Arena is buzzing again. The arena replaced the old Richfield Coliseum which was a 40 minute drive from downtown Cleveland. It was constructed downtown with the hopes of revitalizing the surrounding area and bringing more life back into downtown. Along with Progressive Field, home of the Cleveland Indians, both venues make up the Gateway Entertainment District. Often called the "Q", the arena underwent a major and much needed face-lift in 2005. That same year, it changed it's name to Quicken Loans Arena from Gund Arena.

 

 

1. Chicago Bulls - United Center. 20,916.

 United Center, home of the Chicago Bulls.

When you hear the phrase United Center, one word should come to mind. Michael Jordan. If you said Derrick Rose or Phil Jackson, that works too. Named after United Airlines, this arena is home to both the Chicago Bulls as well as the Chicago Blackhawks of the NHL. It sits just outside of the Chicago Loop near the old Chicago Stadium. It is the largest NBA arena in both square footage and capacity. The Chicago Bulls have led the NBA in attendance for the past six seasons and the Chicago Blackhawks have led the NHL in attendance for the past five seasons. Needless to say, tickets to games here are pricey and hard to come by.

 

There are plenty of other quality arenas throughout the NBA albeit smaller than these mentioned. I, for one, highly recommend a visit to Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, home of the Indiana Pacers. Bankers Life Fieldhouse is built to resemble an old fieldhouse from the mid 1900's. Indiana has a rich basketball tradition which the arena proudly displays and Pacers tickets are often very affordable for fans.