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More information about Smoothie King Center
- Arena Football Capacity: 16,900
- College Basketball Capacity: 18,500
- Concerts: 17,805
- Construction Cost: $114 million
- NBA Basketball/Hockey: 16,867
- Opened: October 29 1999
1. Quick Facts
- Home court/field for the Pelicans (NBA) and VooDoo (Arena Football League)
- Host of the 2008 and 2014 NBA All Star Game
- Following Hurricane Katrina, medical operations that had previously been housed in the Superdome were moved to the New Orleans Arena.
- The first game ever played in New Orleans Arena was a hockey game! (in October 1999)
2. Local Flavor
It’s no secret that New Orleans is one of the top tourist destinations in the world and offers lots of fun! New Orleans Arena, which is practically next door to the SuperDome, is just a few blocks away from the French Quarter and Bourbon Street. Do yourself a favor while you’re there and stop by the world famous Café Du Monde for some beignets (pronounced ben-yey or be-nye) – French-style powdered donuts that are made-to-order and served warm!
3. As NBA Tickets Go, Pelicans Games Are Very Affordable
An outing to a Pelicans game is one of the least expensive options in the NBA and cheaper than many college teams. Average ticket price is around $30, but depending on the matchup, sometimes you can find tickets for as little as $10.
4. Food & Drink
New Orleans Arena offers some of the most eclectic stadium food you’ll find anywhere including crawfish pie, catfish po'boys, alligator sausage, fried pickles, and (of course) jambalaya. Abita Beer, the local favorite, is served at the stadium.
5. Signature In-Game Tradition: The “Woo”
Wrestling great Rick Flair was famous for saying “woo” whenever he had the chance and the Pelicans have co-opted his signature verbalization. The tradition started with Baron Davis when he was with the team and has been handed down to other players throughout the years. Every time the team's star player scores, Rick Flair’s “woo” is played over the speaker system and the crowd responds with their own “woo”.
6. The Arena Itself
New Orleans Arena is on the smaller side as professional arenas go, so generally most seats offer a pretty good view. Some have critiqued the sound system and the outside design as being uninspired.
7. Traffic & Parking
There are multiple parking garages in the vicinity, including one at the SuperDome, although you may be able to find parking on surface streets or at Tulane for free. There’s generally a lot of police coverage (before and after the game) directing traffic and making sure people are safe.