Opinion: NBA Finals games should have neutral sites


Oracle Arena official site

Oracle Arena, home to the Golden State Warriors, will be packed with nearly 20,000 fans providing for a large home team advantage.

Jason Kocsis, Guest Writer

The 2019 NBA Finals are set to begin on Thursday, May 20, and fans from around California will yet again travel to Oracle Arena to watch the Warriors play.

Although America will finally see a new team representing the Eastern Conference, the Western Conference Champion Warriors will play in their fifth straight Finals. Due to the team’s recent success, winning three out of the last four championships, many NBA fans all across America are transitioning to rooting for the Warriors.

The more fans a team has leads to major advantages in the Finals, and for a team like Golden State that already flourishes with opportunity in late May basketball, the NBA playoffs may get stuck in an angering cycle. For this reason, the NBA must take game fairness a step further and host the Finals in any location other than the city of a participating team.

In the NFL, the Super Bowl is played in a location determined multiple years in advance. Not only does this work to the convenience of the general fan who might not get to see their home team play, but it also allows them time to book their traveling much earlier than waiting to see who makes the ultimate series. If the NBA implemented this idea, fewer fans would be disgusted with five consecutive conference titles and would cherish the opportunity to view talent in a location near them.

Since so many fans are traveling to one location to follow their team rather than one neutral ground to stay at for all seven games one year, travel becomes more difficult. ABC7 News said to readers, “Tickets to fly to Canada range between $400 to $600.”

Though it can be hard to believe home court advantage can be so advantageous, just the fact that the Raptors play at home has given them the chance to take visible steps towards reversing the public’s thoughts on the series. According to The Action Network, “The defending champion Warriors opened as 1.5-point favorites, but the spread has moved already Sunday morning to a pick’em or even the Raptors as one-point favorites at some books.”

Oracle Arena is said to be one of the loudest stadiums in the NBA. With a mixture of ‘bandwagon’ fans from their extensive winning and their location within the heavily populated state of California, the trouble for the opposing team rises as the playoffs go on. Not to mention that California also happens to be filled with celebrities and wealthy citizens to purchase tickets to these games and contribute to the noise factor.

In fact, according to a Bleacher Report article, “After Andrew Bogut’s one-handed hammer… the decibel level got up to a staggering 112 decibels… Physical pain to the ears begins at 125 decibels.”

If NBA Commissioner Adam Silver does not come up with a solution quickly, ratings for the Finals will plummet and the Warriors could continue to take over the next decade of NBA championships and lead to the disappointment of sports enthusiasts.