Bobcats Home Arena
Warner Cable Arena
Charlotte, North Carolina
Charlotte Bobcats Basketball Tickets?
Opened: October 2005
Capacity: 19,568 seats
Mascot: Rufus D. Lynx
Dance Team: Lady Cats
Team Chant: Let's Go Bob-Cats!
Draft Beer: $7.75
Hot Dog: $4.00
Time Warner Cable
333 East Trade Street
Charlotte, NC 28202
Arena Parking: $10.00
NBA Basketball Arena Review - Time Warner Cable Arena Tour
Built in 2005, Time Warner Cable Arena represents the state of the art in multipurpose indoor venues and with owner Michael Jordan at the helm, residents of the Carolinas can expect nothing but the best from the home of the Charlotte Bobcats. While in town, I decided to take in a tour of this world class facility and was impressed by the connection the arena has with the community and the amenities it provides for its fans.
Our tour began at the main entrance, where visitors to the arena are greeted by a collection of artwork celebrating the history of basketball in the Carolinas as well as the storied history of the area itself. From over 500 artists that applied, five artists were chosen to create original works of art to breathe life into the building. While many of the older venues appear fairly sterile and antiquated, the artwork at time Warner Cable Arena serves to open the concourses and remind Carolinians of the importance of community when it comes to sports in the region.
The tour continues into the arena itself where accommodations for 19,126 rabid NBA basketball fans are made. Due to a concert the night before, the hardwood basketball court was packed up, leaving an empty concrete floor at court level. Typically, the arena tour would extend onto the court itself where visitors can walk the same hardwood floor that serves to showcase the elite talents of NBA superstars throughout the 41 home game season and into the playoffs. When taking a tour that includes time on the court, I generally like to bring a mini-basketball with me in case the temptation to shoot a couple jump shots strikes. How often does one have the opportunity to shoot on an NBA court anyway?
The scoreboard at Time Warner Cable Arena remains a benchmark for other franchises to aspire to. One of the largest scoreboards hanging within any indoor entertainment venue in the country, it contains four HD screens measuring 28' wide x 16' high. Perched above the HD screens is a three-dimensional cityscape of the Charlotte skyline. The Skyline is backlit by a 360-degree projection system allowing the sky behind it appear to change throughout the evening. Night-time or daytime skies can be projected, along with graphics such as airplanes and fireworks to keep things fresh.
From courtside, our tour guide, Zeke, led us through the player tunnel to the Back Court Lounge which is reserved for VIP's and player guests. Before the game, special guests can gather in the lounge to grab a drink or a bite to eat and greet the Bobcat players as they head for the arena floor at the start of the game. Unfortunately because Time Warner Cable Arena is a fully functional team headquarters and practice facility, the lockers rooms are unavailable to guests during guided tours.
Heading toward the luxury suite area, I was thoroughly impressed by the number of suites available. Time Warner Cable Arena has sixty-four separate suites packed into the general seating area including ten elite level Founders Suites, four Party Suites, and fifty Uptown Suites that surround the venue on all sides.
For the casual fan that can't afford the luxury of suite level treatment, Time Warner Cable Arena has established the first indoor tailgating area in the NBA. Flanked by concession stands serving up typical tailgate fodder such as hamburgers and hot dogs, the Rock the Rooftop mezzanine level is a common area that's setup to entertain the kids as well as provide an area for adults to collect in before, after, or during the game. Flat screen TV's, tabletop gathering points and rooftop bars provide seasoned fans with a more relaxed fanzone that's open to the public, while kids will find practice basketball courts and xBox gaming stations to keep themselves occupied as well. Seating areas can be claimed on a first come, first serve basis and live entertainment is usually provided an hour before and an hour after the game. This is one fan area that's not to be missed on gameday.
Our tour concluded with a walk down to the team practice court. Here you might find NBA stars fine tuning their game or even full practices. All in all it was an impressive facility with an excellent arena tour. Time Warner Cable Arena has definitely become a priority on my list of arena visits for some live NBA action.
For More information on the city of Charlotte, NC check out my other reviews by clicking on the links below:
NBA: December 11, 2010 - Boston Celtics vs. Charlotte Bobcats
NBA: Charlotte Bobcats, Time Warner Cable Arena - General Information
NFL: October 25, 2009 - Buffalo Bills vs. Carolina Panthers
NHL: Carolina Hurricanes, RBC Center - General Information