Being originally from Minneapolis, I have been to NBA games before. I have lived in Colorado for 9 months now, and have had a chance to make it to the Pepsi Center for a game. My wife for Valentine's Day decided to brought me via Groupon tickets to the game against the Suns and we went for the first time. Below are some quick thoughts about the game experience:
1. Parking (A) -> I was pleasantly surprised how easy finding a parking spot was, and how reasonable the parking prices were. I have been to NBA cities where the $10 parking I paid for, would have been $20 or $30. I could have parked somewhere else not too far away for cheaper, but was hurrying to get to the game on time.
2. The Game (B) -> The game was entertaining, and really that's the most important element of going to a professional sporting event. With Gallo and Nene out, I was worried about the product that I would see on the court. There was some sloppy play at times, and some solid play at times. Crowd favorites Birdman and Rudy Fernandez did not disappoint, so that was pretty fun. As a general NBA fan, I am a little dissapointed that Nash and Hill both got the day off. While I am in favor of a shorter NBA season (60 games), it does stink that the nature of the schedule has been causing injuries, and some of the big players to take days off. I haven't had the chance to see Nash live and was looking forward to seeing him play. To me, expectations were low with having 4 of the best players between both teams out, but the game exceeded those low expectations which was nice.
3. The Pepsi Center (C-) -> For how new the Pepsi Center is, it is a disappointing arena in a couple of ways: the food, and the technology. This arena feels like it was built in the 1990s in some ways.
My thoughts on the food situation: I went to the game on Valentine's Day and because of some factors, my wife and I didn't have enough time to eat anything before the game if we wanted to make tipoff (interestingly, most fans did not follow our cue, and the building was more full in the 3rd Quarter than it was in the 1st). There just isn't much of a food selection, and the food is really unhealthy. I am not a health nut, but I have seen better options at NBA games, and have experienced better options at Rockies and Broncos games.
I usually laugh at people when they complain about the overall experience at a game and mention the food. The old me, the me that went to 20+ baseball games, 1-2 NFL games, 20+ basketball games, etc., would NEVER eat at the game. Too expensive, not enough choices, and dumb, dumb, dumb. Well, I finally got into a situation where I wanted to eat dinner at the game, and Nachos was my best bet.... They were monster nachos, so I guess it had that going for it.
One last criticism of the Pepsi Center beyond the food: the scoreboards and video boards. The video board was all pixely, and the promotions screen above it was straight out of 1980s, because the Metrodome had similar graphics. The technology needs an upgrade in my opinion in the building.
I sat in the nosebleeds, and they were pretty good seats, on top of the action as opposed to feeling pushed back. I see these seats on slower nights go for pretty cheap on Stubhub, Flashseats, etc., and I wouldn't hesitate to sit there again. I think the Pepsi Center is better than the Target Center by a longshot, but for a building built less than a decade ago, I would have thought it would be more up to today's standards.
Overall Experience: (B) -> I am giving my trip a B overall. The team was fun to watch (which is why I was going to the game in the first place), the parking was easy, and although the atmosphere was just so-so, I think it was pretty good for a weeknight, against a bad team, and on a night were everybody and their mom typically do something other than going to a sports game. I am going to check out the game against the T-Wolves on the 20th, and hope to get to a game against a bigger team like the Thunder to see a more live atmosphere.