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Life expectancy of Arenas

I often see that people question how long an arena can last and therefore questioning the 30 year term of the Bond payback schedule in the SoDo Arena. So I decided to do some research on the Current NBA franchises and their arenas.

Of active arenas being used in the NBA, the average age is 16. That includes Oracle Arena (Golden State) at 48 years young and Barclay’s age zero. Or if you need some visuals…

On the surface people might be concerned at “average age of 16” but that really isn’t a good approach because there was certainly a boom of arenas in the 90s and it is unclear how long these areans could last. So let’s look at some Arenas that have since closed their doors. So if you look at arenas that have closed and were once used as NBA home courts, the average age is 32 years of service, but that doesn’t really include Arenas that are still being used. There are 9 other arenas that have lives over 30 years that were once used by an NBA Franchise. When you include those active facilities, the average life goes to 38 years.

Now there are some duds of arenas out there that can be used as poster children for an Arena gone wrong:

Amway Arena, Richfield & Miami Arena all had lives of about 20 years. US Airways (DC), Market Square and the Omni had lives of about 25 years….but keep in mind that these Arenas are the exceptions and I am sure that everyone is learning from those mistakes.

I will be doing the same thing for the NHL next week.

John Barr
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