Basketball is one of the most popular sports in the world, not just in the United States. There are estimated to be around 2.2 billion fans around the world, and though there are professional leagues around the world, the NBA is considered to be the top level.
An average of 9.91 million viewers tuned in for the 2021 NBA Finals, though this was down from the 2015 Finals between The Golden State Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers who had an average of 11.6 million viewers.
The numbers remain high in America, while NBA League Pass is up 30% from global subscribers, while more than 13 billion video views in 2021/22 were generated on social media, up 7% from the 2020/21 season.
With the emergence of in-play NBA betting and live streaming, more and more people are getting immersed in basketball. It is by far the most watched basketball league globally and home to some of the best stadiums and atmospheres for games you could imagine.
1. Madison Square Garden
One of the most famous sporting areas in the world, based in one of the most exciting and visited cities in the world. The New York Knicks are backed by die-hard fans who will often rank in the top-10 for the highest average attendances. Despite the side being somewhat of a dormant giant, having won two Championships in 1970 and 1973, the Knicks fans still make it a must visit for any basketball fan.
While there you will have the chance to spot super fan and celebrity Spike Lee who is almost always court side at Knicks games, as well as a host of other celebrities and sports stars from the New York area.
You can enjoy some incredible half-time entertainment as well with a host of musicians, like Iggy Azalea, who are always backed by the Knicks City Dancers.
2. Staples Center
The Los Angeles venue is home to both the LA Clippers and the LA Lakers and is a hub for Finals basketball in the NBA. In addition to the two NBA sides, the venue also is home the Ice Hockey side the LA Kings and WNBA side the LA Sparks. It also hosts the X Games and Grammys each year.
As you can imagine, the venue is set up to be a spectacle, and the experience provided by the fans as well as the arena provides a memorable experience.
Half time shows host a range of musical talents, along with the Laker Girls cheerleading squad.
3. American Airlines Arena
Home to the Miami Heat, this venue is one that creates an almost social occasion as much as a basketball game. While the game is on the Heat will provide an exciting and at times incomparable end to end event, the amenities and sight lines for the spectators are just as impressive.
There is always the chance to sport A-List celebrities sitting courtside and enjoy the halftime show and choreography of the cheer squad. This is another place where the experience is befitting of the city it is in, fun, vibrant and exciting.
4. Scotiabank Arena
Heading north of the border to Toronto, Canada, the Scotiabank Arena is one of the most innovative and modern stadiums in the league.
Ground floor luxury suites and excellent sight lines throughout the stadium, the experience is one of the best in the league and the team has some well-known fans, especially Toronto based musician Drake.
The Raptors have a dedicated and passionate supporter base, and the fan engagement from the franchise ensures everyone enjoys the experience.
5. Amway Center
Although the Orlando Magic have not been one of the NBA’s top sides for some time, their home is one that fans love to visit.
The Amway Center is a state-of-the-art arena and features numerous restaurants and luxury suites while being in the center of downtown. There is an area for children to play and has one of the largest HD scoreboards in the league.
There are a number of groups providing entertainment throughout the breaks in the games, with The 407 a co-ed hip-hop performance group, 321 Hype keep the energy high in the crowd with entertainment and on-court contests, as well as a number of other groups to keep the excitement levels up throughout the game.
Across the league, there is an exciting a diverse range of experiences with each team having its own traditions and styles. The heritage of a city and the community bring so much to the NBA teams and the experiences you can enjoy during game day. The vast nature of the United States and diverse communities provide a different experience throughout the different states and cities that are home to NBA sides.
The league and its franchises provide spectators with unforgettable experiences for those in the United States and Canada, as well as Basketball fans looking to travel to see their favorite teams.