The NBA is the most popular basketball league in the entire world.
And whether you take part in NBA betting, purchase season tickets, or prefer to watch the games from the comfort of your couch – everyone can get involved in NBA culture. 

Arguably the most fun part of being a basketball fan is getting to sit amongst thousands of other people as you watch your favorite team (hopefully) work their way to a victory.

However, there are a few NBA games with large record-breaking attendances that deserve a special mention.

NBA All-Star Game

  • Date: February 14, 2010

  • Fans In Attendance: 108,713

Photo: Pinterest

You know what they say: everything’s bigger in Texas. Well, the NBA decided to live up to that motto and took the 2010 All-Star Game to Cowboys Stadium, located in Arlington, Texas. Here, a record-breaking 108,713 fans attended the game.

This number included people from all walks of life who traveled near and far to watch some of the world’s best players and also see performances from iconic musicians, including Shakira, Alicia Keys, and Usher.

At the end of this game, the Eastern Conference defeated the Western Conference – with a final score of 141-139. 

Chicago Bulls vs. Atlanta Hawks

  • Date: March 27, 1998

  • Fans In Attendance: 62,046

This Bulls connection occurred during a major time of transition for the Atlanta Hawks. They played games during the 1997-98 season at the Georgia Dome and the Alexander Memorial Coliseum at Georgia Tech University as they were waiting to move into a brand new arena. 

Over 62,046 people witnessed the Chicago Bulls defeat the Atlanta Hawks inside the Georgia Dome. The away team was led to victory by the excellent playing of Michael Jordan.

Detroit Pistons vs. Boston Celtics

  • Date: January 29, 1988

  • Fans In Attendance: 61, 983

This attendance record for an NBA game was set only a year before the huge fan attendance at the Pontiac Silverdome. This time, however, the visitors happened to be the Boston Celtics. 

Everyone knew that the Celtics were the team to beat in the Eastern Conference if the Pistons wanted to progress to the Finals. Luckily for their fans, they finished on top with a 125-108 victory. The game was noted for the obvious rivalry between Isiah Thomas and Larry Bird.

Philadelphia 76ers vs. Detroit Pistons

  • Date: February 14, 1987

  • Fans In Attendance: 52, 745

Both teams were known for being tough and very physical back in 1987. Again, we see another increase in attendance numbers as we move up to the fourth-highest NBA attendance in the history of the Association. The game took place in the Pontiac Silverdome.

Thankfully, home fans left the Superdome happy as the home team was widely successful  – with a triumph of 125-107. The most remarkable performer of the night was Adrian Dantley, who scored 35 points that led his team directly to a win.

Minnesota Timberwolves vs. Denver Nuggets

  • Date: April 17, 1990

  • Fans In Attendance: 49, 551

The Timberwolves entered the Association in 1989 and were a humongous sensation in Minneapolis in their early days. So much so that they appeared to lead the league in attendance throughout the 1989-99 season.

This game took place in the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome and was one of the first games to see a significant increase in attendees, with approximately 2,000 additional fans entering the venue. The match resulted in a 10 point victory for the visiting team.

Atlanta Hawks vs. Detroit Pistons

  • Date: March 30, 1988

  • Fans In Attendance: 47, 692

The Detroit Pistons were the team to beat towards the end of the 80s. They were a sensation, and their fans flooded each game played in the Pontiac Silverdome, which was their home before they moved to their current stomping ground at Little Caesars Arena. 

It was the game between the Detroit Pistons and the Atlanta Hawks that was most noteworthy – with an attendance of 47,692 loyal fans. It was an unfortunate defeat for the home crowd, and the Pistons narrowly lost what was an exciting basketball game, 103-102.

Atlanta Hawks vs. Chicago Bulls

  • Date: November 7, 1997

  • Fans In Attendance: 45, 790

This game occurred in a domed stadium in Atlanta that was later demolished in November of 2017. However, it saw lots of impressive sporting games during its long period of operation. It also saw its fair share of large crowds – some of which were recorded as being the biggest in the whole of the NBA’s history!

This game resulted in a victory for the hosts as they defeated their opponents by just two points. 

Minnesota Timberwolves vs. Orlando Magic

  • Date: April 13, 1990

  • Fans In Attendance: 45, 450

The Timberwolves make this list yet again, thanks to the dedicated home crowd in their earlier days. In 1990, Minnesota hosted Orlando Magic at a venue known simply as the Metrodome. Surprisingly, well over 45,000 fans flocked to the venue to see the home team score a 117-102 victory.

It was the last year in which this arena was used before the Timberwolves moved to the Target Center, where they continue to play today.


These are some of the NBA’s largest attendances to date. Because the general love for basketball doesn’t look to be disappearing anytime soon, there’ll likely be many more record-breaking crowds in the future.

Featured Image: Pinterest
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