American Airlines Center has been the home to our beloved Dallas Mavericks since 2001. There’s been a lot of winning in that arena over the years, none being sweeter than the Game 4 and 5 wins in the 2011 NBA Finals against LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and the Miami Heat. With all things being considered, from outside appearance, certain spots inside and overall atmosphere, we asked our staff:
What’s your favorite spot/feature of the AAC?
The staff at the AAC are fantastic folks. I went to a game last season when the Mavs played the Jazz and was being my usual enthusiastic self, despite the fact that I was sitting way up in the cheap seats and the team was getting absolutely pulverized in the first half.
Well, an AAC staff member recognized my passion and upgraded me and my three friends to court side seats for the second half. And in that second half, the Mavs came back from double digits, sent it into overtime, and then won the dang thing off a couple Seth Curry iso drives and Harrison Barnes elbow jumpers. It's a night I'll never forget, and evidence that MFFLs look out for their own.
The environment at the AAC has always been an absolute joy. I've been to several Mavs games since I was 8 or 9 and always meet fantastically kind people who have a passion for basketball and the Mavs.
I was at a playoff game in 2010 against the Spurs and during halftime they shot the t-shirt cannons into the stands. One shirt flew over my head and behind my seat, but before I could get to it another fan (wearing a Spurs jersey) scooped it up. Once he saw me looking sad as only a 12 year old Mavs fan who just lost an XL shirt with Cuban’s face on it, he immediately gave it to me with a smile.
I guess it's because I don't actually live in Dallas, but my favorite spot in the AAC is the Hanger (fan shop). Do you know how hard it was to try and find a Seth Curry t-shirt online last year? Well, at the Hanger, they've literally got everything Mavs-related you can think of. I've shopped for Mavs gear on their official site, but it pales in comparison to the physical store. There's just so much more to choose from.
Another part of AAC that will always be near and dear to my heart is section 333. That's where me, my siblings, and my wife sat during Game 4 of the 2011 NBA Finals. That was the game Dirk Nowitzki had a 102-degree fever. It was also the turning point of the series. The atmosphere was incredible, and I'll always have images in my head from those seats that night.
I have a bit of a different perspective of the AAC. I've been credentialed for four seasons and therefore get to see parts of the building that average fans don't get to go. Before games I can sit court-side and watch players warm up. After the game I go to Rick Carlisle's presser and the locker room. And while all of that is fine, it's not the best part for me.
My favorite part of the AAC is the media dining room. The room itself isn't glamorous but that's not why it matters to me. It's where I've made a number of great friends in the past four years. These bonds have been forged through countless cookies and more halftime hot dogs than I would care to admit. These are great people and I'm happy that the media dining room brings us together each game.