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Official Review by Brian Jones, Stadium Journey Regional Correspondent
The Atlanta Dream has been one of the more consistent teams in the WNBA (Women's National Basketball Association) league, as they have won three conference titles in recent years.
One of the reasons they have been one of the top teams in the league is that the team plays in an arena made for basketball. Philips Arena has been home of the Atlanta Hawks for the last 15-plus years, and is a great place to take in an NBA game. It’s no different with the Dream, and if you are a fan of basketball no matter the gender, you should take in a Dream game, because it’s quite the experience.
The FANFARE scale is our metric device for rating each stadium experience. It covers the following:
Each area is rated from 0 to 5 stars with 5 being the best. The overall composite score is the "FANFARE Score".
Because the Dream play at Philips Arena, the food and the prices are the same as any Hawks game. So fans can eat at the Buckhead Diner for a reasonable price, or eat at any of the concessions located at the 100 portals.
Frybaby and Three-Point Play Pizza are also popular with the fans, but the best place to eat might be Taco Mac, which is always a hot spot.
What attracts most fans, though, is the food court at the CNN Center, which is adjacent to the arena. There you can find Arby's, Chick-fil-A, Subway and other various restaurants that do well during game days.
When the Dream play, the 300-level seats are blocked off. This makes each game more intimate, because the fans are not spread out all over the arena. I was sitting in the cheapest seats and I still felt like I was close to the action. But that also has to do with the layout of Philips, because even if the 300-level seats were open, there would not be a bad seat in the house.
There are not a lot of pre game festivities, and there's also not a lot of in-game entertainment, other than the halftime show. The Dream games are more focused on basketball, and that's good, considering most pro teams have gone away from doing that.
Philips Arena, the Georgia Dome and Turner Field are all within less than five miles of each other, so there is never a reason not to find anything to do from a sports perspective. Also, the College Football Hall of Fame recently opened to the public, which is a great place to learn about the story of college football.
There is also no shortage of places to eat. Stats is the best place for sports fans, because it is right next to Philips and there are plenty of big screen televisions to watch all the games. Grindhouse Burger and Ray's in the City are also two high quality restaurants in the area.
The game I went to started at noon andt the attendance was pretty good, considering it was during the week.
The Dream has always had a strong fan base. The fans are passionate about the Dream, and they understand that they have a very good team playing at Philips Arena. One of the good things about the fan base is that there are a lot of women and children that come to the games. That proves the Dream have one of the more fan-friendly atmospheres in the area. The fact there are a lot of women and children in Atlanta, it makes sense that the Dream have had a ton of success.
From a driving perspective, Philips Arena is not the easiest place to get to, and that has to do with traffic. If you are attending an evening game during the weekday, be prepared to sit in traffic on I-75/85 for awhile, especially when the Atlanta Braves are playing at the same time.
However, the city does feature MARTA, which is a transit service that takes you right to the arena. It's only $5 for a roundtrip ticket, so it's worth it if you don't want to deal with traffic and pay for parking.
Because the Dream games do not have the same capacity as the Hawks games, it's easier to move in the concourse, which makes it easier to get to the concession stand and the restrooms.
Speaking of the restrooms, they are always clean, they are big and there are enough to ensure you don't have to search all over the arena.
I got a ticket for $15, and I have to say it was well worth it. The Dream are a high-quality basketball team that has won a lot of games since they started playing less than ten years ago. They also know how to keep the fans entertained, which is not an easy thing to do, especially in the WNBA.
For a family of four, tickets, parking and food will cost you a little over $100, which is a great value. Going to a Dream game is something every family should attend, because you will get your money's worth.
The merchandise shops are not as big as the Hawks' merchandise shops, but they have enough to choose from, and their prices are very fair.
The mascot Star is always entertaining and the cheer team helps get the fans fired up. They are one of the reasons families love coming to the games.
And the duo of PA announcer Vince Bailey and in-game host Shamea Morton is just as good as you will find at any arena. Both have high energy and you can tell they love what they do.
Member Review by jmccurdy on Sep 28, 2012
That the WNBA is not only around sixteen seasons after its inception but continues to thrive and serve as a showcase for some of the best basketball on the planet is a victory for American sport and its followers. That my hometown of Atlanta has a great team playing in this league is just icing on the cake. Formed prior to the 2008 season to share Philips Arena with the NBA’s Atlanta Hawks and already a two-time Eastern Conference champion, the Dream is just another reason to be proud to live in Georgia’s capital.
437 Memorial Dr SE
Atlanta, GA 30312
1238 DeKalb Ave NE
Atlanta, GA 30307
209 Edgewood Ave SE
Atlanta, GA 30303
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