NBA Arenas With the Most Expensive Concessions

Homemade Coney Island Hot Dog with Chili and Mustard
Brent Hofacker /

Ever had a small heart attack when you ordered a small meal at a sports event and saw the final price? You’re not alone. You’re not allowed to bring outside food or drink to modern-day arenas, and you’re not allowed to leave and re-enter once you’ve entered, so venues know that they have you prisoner for the next few hours, and they fully take advantage of it, and your wallet.

Despite the fact that taxpayers foot the bill for many of these stadiums around the country, we do not enjoy any public good from them unless we pay extreme prices for basic necessities. But which arenas are the worst offenders? Which ones charge the most for cheap beer and hotdogs that barely qualify as edible food? We did the research and found the top ten arenas with the most expensive concessions.

All these data are taken from and are current as of the 2023 NBA season.

Why Are We Talking About This?

Source: Brent Hofacker / Shutterstock
Feel like paying $8 for a hotdog?

If you’re planning a night out, it helps to know the cost of everything involved. Very rarely does a fun evening cost just the price of a ticket. With parking, transportation, food, and other thing, the cost of a night out has increased drastically in the last few years, with many people being unable to afford it anymore. Take a look at these outrageous prices before settling on attending any of these venues.

#10 Target Center

Source: Bobak Ha'Eri / Wikimedia Commons
A view of the Minnesota Timberwolves.
  • Team: Minnesota Timberwolves
  • Price for two 16oz beers: $22.00
  • Price for two 20oz sodas: $11.50
  • Price for four hotdogs: $25.00

The Target Arena opened in 1990 and is the second-oldest arena in the NBA (right behind Madison Square Garden). It cost $104 million to build which is about $268 million in 2023 and it was the first NBA arena to feature a green roof.

The City of Minneapolis bought the venue in 1995 and continues to own it today. The 2015 renovations cost $140 million and taxpayers paid for $74 million of that.

#9 Footprint Center

Source: Troutfarm27 / Wikimedia Commons
Where the Phoenix Suns play.
  • Team: Phoenix Suns
  • Price for two 16oz beers: $23.92
  • Price for two 20oz sodas: $11.80
  • Price for four hotdogs: $20.00

The Footprint Center opened in 1992 and cost around $89 million to build. If you want to see a building that was designed with utter contempt for human beings, look no further than this arena. At first glance, the building looks like any other, with the exception of the unique front that features an interesting concave face. However, a brief tour of the facility leaves one with a sense that the architect despises people on principle.

All attention is given to the design and flashy appearance as one makes their way from the entrance directly to their seats. An enormous beer garden right behind the main doors creates a chaotic and crowded atmosphere and the unease only increases if you have to return to the lobby or a lower floor for any reason. In those cases, the design and care for appearance give way to blank concrete and dismal stairways.

Following an event, attendees are herded out the back door of the building into the alleyway and garbage-lined streets and have to walk all the way around the building back to the main parking facility. No more flashy lights and music on this side of the building.

If you want to feel like a building is alive and really doesn’t like you, this is the place for you.

#8 Fiserv Forum

Source: cweimer4 / iStock Unreleased via Getty Images
Where the Milwaukee Bucks play.
  • Team: Milwaukee Bucks
  • Price for two 16oz beers: $25.50
  • Price for two 20oz sodas: $14.80
  • Price for four hotdogs: $30.00

The Fiserv Forum opened in 2018 with a total cost of $524 million. The taxpayers of the city had to cover $250 million of that cost and the city of Milwaukee sold the valuable land in the downtown area for just $1 to the team.

#7 Scotiabank Arena

Source: Otto Greule Jr / Getty Images Sport via Getty Images
A photo of the Toronto Raptors.
  • Team: Toronto Raptors
  • Price for two 16oz beers: $21.25
  • Price for two 20oz sodas: $16.20
  • Price for four hotdogs: $24.00

This venue was built in 1941 and served as the Toronto Postal Delivery Building and was briefly used during World War II by the Department of National Defense. It was finally converted into a basketball arena in 1999.

The land the arena is built on was originally part of Toronto’s harbor which was filled in during the 1850s.

It is the busiest arena in all of Canada and the 13thbusiest in the world, with most of the events sold out and a long waitlist for season tickets for most hockey games.

#6 United Center

Source: Jonathan Daniel / Getty Images
The Chicago Bulls playing.
  • Team: Chicago Bulls
  • Price for two 16oz beers: $21.50
  • Price for two 20oz sodas: $13.50
  • Price for four hotdogs: $26.00

The United Center is the largest arena in the NBA with a seating capacity of 21,000 people, it opened in 1994. The Chicago Bulls and the Chicago Blackhawks both own the venue equally through a joint venture company.

The venue cost $175 million to build and has been renovated a handful of times since then. It was designed to resemble the original Chicago Stadium that preceded the arena and the interior space was designed to replicate “The Roar” of the previous arena — an amplification of the crowd which made it sound much louder than it was.

#5 Barclays Center

Source: davidcjones / Flickr
The Brooklyn Nets during a game.
  • Team: Brooklyn Nets
  • Price for two 16oz beers: $30.25
  • Price for two 20oz sodas: $18.00
  • Price for four hotdogs: $29.00

The construction of the new Barclays Center, which was announced in 2004, was fraught with controversy. The government used eminent domain to seize residential buildings and local businesses and demolish them to make room for the new arena. Many people lost their homes and livelihoods to make room for this building. It also used huge amounts of public subsidies to help the wealthy Bruce Ratner construct his new arena. The ridiculous amounts of public subsidies that were applied to the project led to numerous lawsuits. It was finally opened in 2012.

#4 Arena

Source: Stephen Dunn / Getty Images Sport via Getty Images
The Los Angeles Lakers during a game.
  • Team: Los Angeles Lakers
  • Price for two 16oz beers: $26.25
  • Price for two 20oz sodas: $15.18
  • Price for four hotdogs: $21.00

The Arena opened in 1999 and also hosted the Los Angeles Clippers from 1999 to 2024. It is also known as “The House That Kobe Built”, in honor of Kobe Bryant’s long career with the Los Angeles Lakers after his death.

This venue has the most expensive naming rights of all sports venues in the world, with setting the record in 2021 when it bought the naming rights for $700 million for 20 years.

#3 TD Garden

Source: Jared Wickerham / Getty Images Sport via Getty Images
The Boston Celtics in 2013.
  • Team: Boston Celtics
  • Price for two 16oz beers: $39.74
  • Price for two 20oz sodas: $16.50
  • Price for four hotdogs: $26.00

TD Garden opened in 1995 and is the most popular sports venue in all of New England. A condition of the construction of the new venue was that TD Bank would have to host three fundraisers every year to help the government agency that takes care of Boston’s public recreation areas and facilities. Naturally, the company did not fulfill this obligation. It made a single $2 million payment in 2017 as a “sorry” gesture.

In 2013, TD Garden was accused by certain television announcers that it constantly used fake sound effects and fake crowd noise to make the games sound more intense than they actually were. This is a not-uncommon practice that some companies use on live events to keep more people interested in what is happening.

#2 Chase Center

Source: Michael Vi / iStock Editorial via Getty Images
Where the Golden State Warriors play.
  • Team: Golden State Warriors
  • Price for two 16oz beers: $38.02
  • Price for two 20oz sodas: $16.00
  • Price for four hotdogs: $34.00

The Chase Center is the newest of all the venues on this list, opening in just September of 2019. Before it opened, the Golden State Warriors used to play at the Oracle Arena in Oakland where many of their fans also lived. When the team relocated to San Francisco, they felt betrayed because many of them had supported the team for so long and could not travel to San Francisco to watch them in a newer, more expensive venue. This also highlighted a significant problem with sports in the United States in that many of the teams are run like companies (moving to different cities or even different states, changing names and branding, caring more about money than local people) instead of public goods, so they lack much of the passion and grass-roots support that teams in other countries can rely on.

#1 Madison Square Garden

Source: littleny / iStock Editorial via Getty Images
Where the New York Knicks play.
  • Team: New York Knicks
  • Price for two 16oz beers: $31.50
  • Price for two 20oz sodas: $16.50
  • Price for four hotdogs: $36.00

Madison Square Garden is actually the fourth New York venue to have this name, with the previous three also hosting public sporting events. It was opened in February of 1968 and remains the oldest sports arena in the entire New York metro area. It is the oldest NBA arena. In recent years, it has ranked as the second-most popular music arena in the world by ticket sales.

The total construction cost of Madison Square Garden’s latest renovation in 2011 was around $1.1 billion, putting it in the top ten most expensive sports venues in the world. Madison Square Garden hosts around 320 events every year.

Thank you for reading! Have some feedback for us?
Contact the 24/7 Wall St. editorial team.