Are Basketball Games Cold? (The Answer May Suprise You)

Basketball games, especially college-level to pro, are very exciting, and the atmosphere is truly unique, mainly because the arenas are typically indoors. However, because they are played indoors, organizers can control the temperature. So, does that mean basketball games are cold?

Unlike outdoor sports, basketball arenas have controlled temperatures. Most are kept at approximately 65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit (18 to 24 degrees Celsius.) However, the arena’s temperature rises as it fills up with fans, staff, and players and can reach up to 90F.

Additionally, some arenas are shared by basketball and hockey teams, so what do they do with the ice then? First, I want to discuss, in detail, the average temperature in an NBA arena before moving on to topics that are harder to find information about, such as what they do with the ice during a basketball game. So, let’s jump into it.

What Temperature Are Basketball Arenas?

When you first walk into a basketball arena, it might feel chilly. After all, 65 degrees Fahrenheit is not considered a warm temperature. However, you might not want to put your coat on just yet because there are two factors to consider:

  • Basketball arenas can be relatively humid
  • The more bodies in an arena, the warmer it gets

As much as the arena staff would like to control the temperature as much as possible, keeping the stadium at relatively low temperatures isn’t always possible.

An article by NBC Sports talks about how the temperature rises and how it affected LeBron James in a game where he had to leave due to the heat.

It is important to remember that the heat doesn’t always rise. Some matches are played at a comfortable 65F to 75F, with a bit of humidity as well.

A final thing to note is that arenas that are shared with hockey teams will typically be slightly cooler than those that aren’t.

How Humid Are Basketball Arenas?

Humidity can significantly increase how hot or cold you feel. See, even at 60F, if the humidity is anything above 30% to 40%, you will start to feel it. So, how humid are basketball arenas?

The staff controlling the temperature in the arena typically like to keep the humidity level below 55%. Unfortunately, that is quite humid, and even in colder temperatures, it can cause many people to sweat a little bit, especially when doing activities.

That is why even at temperatures that are below 70F, most basketball players will break out into a sweat during the first or second quarter.

How Cold Are High School Basketball Arenas?

Most high school gyms have air conditioning, which allows the staff to keep the temperature comfortable; however, the technology is not as advanced as in the NBA arenas.

So, the temperature inside a high school gym can vary depending on a few factors:

  • How warm or cold the climate is
  • The quality of the aircon (Some are not as good as others)
  • The outside humidity levels
  • What temperature the staff sets the aircon to

While we cannot give an exact number due to those factors, the temperature in a high school gym is cool as you enter it, and it starts to warm up if it gets too full, but the change is not nearly as drastic as in the NBA.

How Do Hockey And Basketball Teams Share Arenas?

Many people find it confusing that hockey teams and basketball teams can both share the same arena. After all, what do they do with the ice when a basketball team is using the stadium?

Typically during a basketball game, a platform that is the playing surface is placed on top of the ice. This helps the ice to stay intact while ensuring that water from the ice does not affect the game.

Running a stadium or an arena costs a lot of money, so some NBA teams share stadiums with NHL teams as it helps save money. Not only do you save on owning the property itself, but the maintenance costs are also shared.

Placing a platform on top of the ice every time a basketball game is on costs much less than owning an entirely different facility. Finally, arenas are typically only shared between two local teams.

How Many Hockey And Basketball Teams Share Arenas?

The latest figure states that 11 NBA teams share stadiums with ten NHL teams.

The Crypto dot com arena is shared between 2 basketball teams and one ice hockey team:

  • The Los Angeles Lakers (basketball team)
  • The Los Angeles Clippers (basketball team)
  • The Los Angeles Kings (Ice Hockey team)

It is unclear whether or not more teams in the NBA or NHL will decide to share stadiums. I guess it depends on where both boards are headed in the future.

Will A Basketball Bounce In The Cold?

The more heat a basketball is exposed to, the more it expands. This is due to what happens at a molecular level with the air inside the ball.

On the other hand, as the temperature decreases, the pressure in the ball also decreases. When this happens, the ball starts to deflate naturally and would need to be inflated again to regain its natural bounce.

Basketball officials will typically keep an eye on this. However, it is hardly cold enough inside any basketball arena to deflate a ball to a point where it goes against the NBA or any other organization’s basketball regulations.

Should You Take A Jacket To A Basketball Arena?

I don’t want to be the guy telling you not to take a jacket and then you end up cold. It all depends on a few factors, primarily how well-controlled the temperature in the arena is.

It would be best if you also considered how cold it is on your trip to the basketball game. Perhaps you won’t wear your jacket inside the arena, but the minute you step out, it could be cold, depending on where you live and the season.

I recommend taking a jacket with you just in case, even if it is too hot outside. As mentioned earlier, the basketball arena may be on the chilly side in the beginning, but it naturally warms up due to the body temperature of all the fans.


NBA arenas may seem cool when you look at the face value of their controlled temperature. However, it still gets really warm in the arena, and I would advise you to consider that before heading to the next game.


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