Although not every event planner will be coordinating sports hospitality at the NBA All Star Game or the NBA Finals, the season includes 44 home games. This will provide other, more reasonable, opportunities for corporate entertainment and outings.
Basketball fans enjoy a night of basketball when their team is in town and playing another popular team or high scoring players, and basketball arenas are excellent venues for event planning.
Most people consider a day at the basketball arena for entertainment only options. However, because most arenas allow arrivals as early as 1½ hours prior to the game, corporate and other event planners also use arenas to host business meetings directly in the suite or elsewhere prior to the game.
Basketball arenas usually have more facilities than other sports stadiums (e.g., baseball) to host meetings and social events on non-game days. Event planners should consider basketball arenas as a unique venue, including skybox suites, meeting rooms, dining facilities and other areas of the stadium. And for programs on game day, the combination of business meetings with the game creates a total sports hospitality package.
Common Group Entertainment and Meeting Choices
- Luxury suite packages for groups of 12, 18, 20, 32 to 80 people.
- Skybox suite packages that accommodate larger groups (e.g., 50 or 80 people).
- Group block ticket packages typically for groups with 20 or more.
- Group club seat packages with food/beverage and other entertainment amenities.
- Group events that offer pre-game or post-game on court experiences.
- Meeting rooms for groups, including chalk talks from the team’s coaches.
- Depending on the level of entertainment selected, value-added program elements may typically include VIP parking passes, recognition on the jumbo-tron, suite attendants and bartenders, tours of the stadium, and coach visits.
Food and Beverage Packages
Each basketball arena typically works with a third party catering company Food and beverage operations include packaged options and a la carte selections. Most teams offer a standard buffet dinner package that may include:
- Snacks (chips, pretzels, nuts, etc.)
- Burgers, sandwiches
- Drink packages (soft drinks, water, beer, wine)
- Gourmet dessert bar
Event planners should anticipate increasing quantities of certain foods and beverages or even upgrading the catering items.
Basketball Team Group Sales
The following provides direct links to the group events and suites options available at each baseball stadium:
- Atlanta Hawks, Philips Arena, 1-866-715-1500 (option 4)
- Boston Celtics, TD Banknorth Garden, 1-866-4CELTIX
- Charlotte Bobcats, Charlotte Bobcats Arena, 1-704-BOBCATS
- Chicago Bulls, United Center, 1-312-455-4000
- Cleveland Cavaliers, Quicken Loans Arena, 1-800-858-CAVS
- Dallas Mavericks, American Airlines Center, 1-214-747-MAVS
- Denver Nuggets, Pepsi Center, 1-303-405-1212
- Detroit Pistons, The Palace of Auburn Hills, 1-248-377-0100
- Golden State Warriors (Oakland, CA), Oracle Arena, 1-888-GSW-HOOP
- Houston Rockets, Toyota Center, 1-713-758-5047
- Indiana Pacers, Conseco Fieldhouse, 1-317-917-2582
- LA Clippers, Staples Center, 1-866-910-5638
- LA Lakers, Staples Center, 1-310-426-6031
- Memphis Grizzlies, FedEx Forum, 1-901-888-HOOP
- Miami Heat, American Airlines Arena, 1-786-777-HOOP
- Milwaukee Bucks, Bradley Center, 1-414-227-0842
- Minnesota Timberwolves, Target Center, 1-612-337-DUNK (ext. 1)
- New Jersey Nets, Izod Center, 1-201-806-7277
- New Orleans Hornets, New Orleans Arena, 1-504-525-HOOP
- New York Knicks, Madison Square Garden, 1-212-465-6073
- Orlando Magic, Amyway Arena, 1-407-89-MAGIC
- Philadelphia 76ers, Wachovia Center, 1-866-913-9790
- Phoenix Suns, US Airways Center, 1-800-4NBA-TIX
- Portland Trail Blazers, Rose Garden Arena, 1-503-797-6900
- Sacramento Kings, Arco Arena, 1-866-713-1006
- San Antonio Spurs, AT&T Center, 1-210-444-5050
- Seattle SuperSonics, Key Arena, 1-206-289-DUNK
- Toronto Raptors, Air Canada Centre, 1-416-366-DUNK
- Utah Jazz, EnergySolutions Arena, 1-801-355-DUNK
- Washington Wizards (DC), Verizon Center, 1-202-661-5050