Though not a universal arrangement in markets with teams in both leagues, shared NHL-NBA arenas are still somewhat common. For the 2018-19 seasons in both leagues, there are 11 total shared arenas— but that number is likely to go down in coming years.
Indeed, we’re seeing in these instances the advantages to a single ownership group for two teams and either ownership or management of the arena. On the operations side, there’s less redundancy, and a shared sales approach leads to smoother negotiations. While a few may change in the coming years, the majority of shared arenas are looking to be home to both leagues for years to come. We take a look at shared NBA and NHL arenas, in order of the years that they opened.
Madison Square Garden, New York Knicks and New York Rangers (1968)
The fourth arena with the Madison Square Garden name, the venue has hosted both teams throughout its history. While other teams in the New York City region have sought their own venues (the Devils and Nets provide examples), the Rangers and Knicks are both owned by MSG and are therefore likely to play under the same roof for the foreseeable future.
United Center, Chicago Bulls and Chicago Blackhawks (1994)
Though the Bulls and Blackhawks operate under separate ownerships, the two organizations share ownership and operation of the arena under the United Center Joint Venture name. The two teams also have a long history of sharing a venue, going back to when the Bulls arrived at Chicago Stadium, the longtime home of the Blackhawks, in 1967.
TD Garden, Boston Celtics and Boston Bruins (1995)
It took years of planning before plans for a replacement to Boston Garden moved forward, culminating with the opening of what was then the FleetCenter in 1995. TD Garden is owned by Delaware North, whose chairman, Jeremy Jacobs, is the owner of the Bruins.
Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia 76ers and Philadelphia Flyers (1996)
The shared arena concept has been the norm for these franchises for decades, as both clubs played in the Spectrum before the new arena opened in 1996. Wells Fargo Center is owned by Comcast Spectacor, the owner of the Flyers.
Capital One Arena, Washington Wizards and Washington Capitals (1997)
Privately financed by Abe Pollin, the venue celebrated its 20th anniversary last December. Both franchises were owned by Pollin at the time of the venue’s opening, and both teams—as well as Capital One Arena—are now under the ownership of Ted Leonsis’ Monumental Sports & Entertainment.
Pepsi Center, Denver Nuggets and Colorado Avalanche (1999)
Both teams played at McNichols Sports Arena before moving into this venue in 1999. Kroenke Sports & Entertainment owns and operates the facility, with Ann Walton Kroenke owning both teams.
Staples Center, Los Angeles Clippers, Los Angeles Lakers, and Los Angeles Kings (1999)
Along with the Kings, the arena hosts Los Angeles’ two NBA franchises, making it one of the busiest venues in professional sports. The Clippers are currently pursuing a new arena in Inglewood, which could give them a new home when their Staples Center lease expires in 2024, but the Lakers and Kings figure to play there for the foreseeable future.
Scotiabank Arena, Toronto Raptors and Toronto Maple Leafs (1999)
Scotiabank Arena (formerly Air Canada Centre) was initially envisioned as an NBA-specific venue, but those plans changed when Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment (MLSE) purchased the team and the arena during its construction process. With the Maple Leafs playing at an aging Maple Leaf Gardens and their own arena plans faltering, MLSE opted to modify plans for the under-construction venue to accommodate both teams.
American Airlines Center, Dallas Mavericks and Dallas Stars (2001)
American Airlines Center was conceived as a dual-purpose venue, giving both teams a replacement for the aging Reunion Arena. There have been signs that the Mavericks may eventually build their own arena, but with more than a decade remaining on their American Airlines Center lease, any replacement plans could be years away.
Barclays Center, Brooklyn Nets and New York Islanders (2012)
Barclays Center was originally designed and constructed for the Nets, with the Islanders arriving in 2015 after years of trying to replace the aging Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. However, the venue’s hockey experience has been the subject of criticism from fans and players alike, and the Islanders are working to open a new Belmont Park arena in 2021.
Little Caesars Arena, Detroit Pistons and Detroit Red Wings (2017)
When ground was broken for a new arena in 2014, it was only the Red Wings that were expected to move into the venue. The Pistons later announced in 2016 that they would leave the Palace of Auburn Hills to move into the arena when it opened in 2017. As a result, additions were made during the construction process to accommodate the NBA.
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