A look at the biggest NBA arenas and how it compares to the NFL

A look at the biggest NBA arenas and how it compares to the NFL


Although they aren’t on par with NFL stadia in terms of capacity, basketball arenas can certainly live up to the billing in a whole host of other ways. Typically, NFL stadiums boast a number of features and benefits that can set them apart from other sports played in North America.

Currently, the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum is the biggest NFL stadium with a capacity of 93,607. The Mercedes-Benz stadium is another spectacle to behold. The ‘roof petal’ roof is a credit to the designers and engineers who manufactured it, allowing the stadium to open its roof like a petal and creating a pretty cool illusion – something which NBA arenas could follow in the future.  

In the NBA, matches are played in state-of-the-art arenas and centres which generate an atmosphere that is unrivalled across the majority of global sports. Here, we take a look through the 5 biggest stadiums the NBA has to offer and compare them to the nearest NFL stadia. But before we do, you can check out all the latest NBA betting odds on Betfair ahead of the next round of fixtures.

Wells Fargo Center – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Originally called Spectrum II, the Wells Fargo Center is home of the Philadelphia 76ers and was opened in 1996. The arena is the fifth largest in the NBA with a total capacity of 20,328. The Wells Fargo is also home to the Philadelphia Soul (AFL) and Philadelphia Wings (NLL) to name but a few. It wasn’t cheap to build, either, costing $331,540,000.

The nearest NFL stadium to the Wells Fargo is the Lincoln Financial Field, which opened in 2003 with a capacity of 69,176 and is the current home of the Philadelphia Eagles.

Capital One Arena – Washington, D.C.

Located in the Chinatown neighbourhood of Washington, D.C., the Capital One Arena is the home of the Washington Wizards and has been credited to have revolutionised the area since it opened in 1997. The arena cost $399,040,000 to build and can seat 20,356 spectators, and is also home of the Georgetown University men’s team.

The closest NFL stadium is located just five miles east of Washington. The FedExField, home of the Washington Redskins, boasts a capacity of 82,000 and cost $391 million to construct.

Little Caesars Arena – Detroit, Michigan

The newest venue to make the list, Little Caesars Arena opened in 2017 and is the current home of the Detroit Pistons. 20,491 spectators can cram into the arena on match day but perhaps the most impressive thing about Caesars is the glass-roofed concourse that links to the surrounding offices and shops. At a cost of $871,150,000, that’s the least we come to expect from the state-of-the-art arena.

Just a short distance away, NFL side Detroit Lions play their home fixtures at the Ford Field stadium which opened in 2002. The design incorporates a former Hudson’s warehouse, which was a flagship building in Detroit in the 1960’s.

Quicken Loans Arena – Cleveland, Ohio

The Quicken Loans Arena, or better known as “The Q”, is the home of the Cleveland Cavaliers and has been since 1994. The venue can sit 20,562 spectators and was one of the least expensive of the entire 29 NBA arenas, costing $165,910,000. ‘The Q’ is also home to the Cleveland Monsters (AHL) and the Cleveland Gladiators (AFL).

The love of sport in Cleveland extends to the NFL, with the FirstEnergy Stadium playing host to the Cleveland Browns.

United Center – Chicago, Illinois

Finally, the biggest of all the NBA venues in America. The United Center based in Chicago, Illinois, is the home to the Chicago Bulls and the Chicago Blackhawks (NHL). It was built in 1994 at a cost of $292,300,000 and can seat 20,917 fans, with 19,717 for ice hockey. Random trivia: the United Center’s first ever sporting event was WWF’s SummerSlam and the venue also features statues of Michael Jordan, Bobby Hull and Jerry Reinsdorf.

Based on the Near South Side of Chicago is Soldier Field, home of the Chicago Bears in the NFL and boasts a capacity of 61,500. 

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