Perspective is not always right

I recently read an article (which is now behind a paywall so I won’t post it) where in a survey of a shit ton of NBA fans (like 50,000) when asked which teams they would not feel safe going to their arenas, #1 and #2 were the New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets.

This is what the world is like now. People just have these odd perceptions of places in their minds and there is no way to convince them otherwise. You ask people in in Middle America, they have this thought in their heads that they live in this great place that is so safe, and the evil places like New York and Los Angeles are just these cesspools of crime.

I have been to literally every single NBA arena in the country, even ones that no longer exists for either basketball games, or concerts.

People who have this localized sense on reality could not be more wrong.

I can’t even count how many times I have been to Madison Square Garden, like 100 or more. Seriously don’t even remember at this point. But I can tell you, without a shadow of a doubt, there is no place on earth I feel safer than when I’m at Madison Square Garden.

First off, People who live outside of New York, or have never been to New York, don’t understand that New York is MASSIVE and really a whole bunch of different areas. Same Thing with Las Angeles.

If you go to New York and you got the South Bronx? Sure, odds are you’re gonna get robbed or killed. It’s a shit hole. It’s also an hour from Midtown Manhattan. For people who live in plains states where stuff is flat, and cities are comprised to a location, you don’t get it.

People Think Bronx and Manhattan is the same thing. It’s not.  It’s like if you were in Iowa thinking Des Moines and Cedar Rapids were the same city.

Post 9/11 I honestly doubt there is a place in the US more secure than Midtown Manhattan.

You go to an NBA game or a Concert at MSG, first off the streets around (7th Ave, 33rd Street) and such are basically closed. Also there are more police in that area than most MAJOR cities even have. You can’t got more than 5 feet without running into a cop. They also have albumances, fire trucks, swat vihicles, all that stuff right there all the time.

Then lets talk about all the stuff they do…

Safety is paramount in any live sports event, and NBA arenas are no exception. The National Basketball Association takes fan safety seriously, and each arena must meet rigorous standards to ensure a secure and enjoyable experience for fans. While all NBA arenas prioritize safety, some stand out as safer than others due to their advanced security measures, well-trained staff, and state-of-the-art facilities. 

Access Control: One of the primary aspects of fan safety is controlling access to the arena. The safest NBA arenas employ cutting-edge technology to secure entrances and exits. High-quality turnstiles, metal detectors, and X-ray scanners are commonly used to screen fans for prohibited items, ensuring that nothing dangerous enters the venue. In some cases, facial recognition technology is employed to expedite entry while maintaining high-security standards.

Bag Policies: Many arenas have stringent bag policies that restrict the size and type of bags allowed inside. Clear bag policies are common, as they make it easier to inspect bags quickly. These policies not only enhance security but also facilitate smoother entry, reducing the risk of long lines and overcrowding.

Surveillance Systems: Top-notch surveillance systems are a must in safe NBA arenas. These systems typically include a network of high-definition cameras that cover every corner of the venue. The footage is closely monitored by security personnel who can respond swiftly to any incidents. Additionally, facial recognition technology can help identify potential threats in real-time.

Security Personnel: The safest NBA arenas invest heavily in their security personnel. Staff members receive extensive training in crowd management, conflict resolution, and emergency response. They are also well-versed in the venue’s specific security protocols. Quick thinking and effective communication are essential qualities for security staff to ensure fan safety.

.Medical Teams: Injuries and medical emergencies can occur during NBA games. Safest arenas are equipped with fully staffed medical teams, including paramedics and first-aid stations. These professionals are prepared to respond promptly to any medical issues, ensuring that fans receive the necessary care without delay.

Emergency Evacuation Plans: Every safe NBA arena has detailed emergency evacuation plans in place. These plans are communicated to fans through signage and public announcements. In the event of a crisis, fans can quickly and efficiently exit the arena to a designated safe location.

Fire Suppression Systems: Fire safety is of paramount importance in any venue. Safe NBA arenas are equipped with state-of-the-art fire suppression systems, including sprinklers, fire alarms, and smoke detectors. Regular maintenance and testing ensure these systems are always in working order.

Seating Arrangements: Fan safety extends to seating arrangements as well. Safe NBA arenas have spacious and comfortable seating with appropriate aisle widths, allowing for easy movement and evacuation if needed. Seating sections are well-lit and clearly marked to help fans find their way.

The NBA is committed to providing a safe and enjoyable experience for its fans, and this commitment is reflected in the safety measures employed in its arenas. While all NBA arenas adhere to rigorous safety standards, some stand out as the safest due to their advanced security measures, well-trained staff, and state-of-the-art facilities. Whether it’s access control, security personnel, medical teams, or fire safety, the NBA takes every possible step to ensure fan safety. Attending a game in one of the safest arenas in the NBA not only allows fans to enjoy the game to the fullest but also provides peace of mind, knowing that their well-being is a top priority.

When I was reading the article a few things came to mind.

The first thing was, in all the cities I have been to, all over the world. And if there is a major city in the US, Canada I have been there, and the big ones in Europe I have been there. There is no city, anywhere on earth, even shit holes like Camden NJ, Gary Indiana, Flint MI, which I have been to, ever held a candle to Hartford CT. People think Hartford, they thing CT, they think Bob Newhart, they think white picket fences and candy and rainbows.

HELL NO.

It is a goddamn ghetto, from start to finish. The minute you get off the expressway the first thing you used to see (now torn down) was The Flamingo Inn. Hands down, The WORST “motel” I had ever been to in my life. Literally had crack whores outside offering blowjobs for $25 or a gram of coke.

As we drove around the city, every damn place either had bored up windows or bars on the windows. Had the worst pizza I ever had in my life from a place that had a crack head pissing on the steps leading into the place where no one even blinked and was like “yeah that’s Sparrow, he does that”

It was one of the few times in my life after a concert, I was like, know what, fuck it, lets eat the money we paid for the hotel and drive home 7 hours in the middle of the night to avoid this place.

So I started to think about it, since, as I said I have been to every NBA arena there is. Thinking about the ones I felt totally safe, the ones I felt ok, and the ones I was like, this area is sketchy as shit.

Feeling safe for me

#1: Madison Square Garden (Knicks)
#2: Barclays Center (Nets)
#3: Scocia Bank Center (Raptors)
#4: TD Center (Boston)
#5: Kia Center (Lakers)
#6: Quiken Loans Arena (Caveliers)

Then I was thinking of the ones I went to where the area was sketchy as hell where I literally would run out of there and go to the hotel.

#1: FedEx Forum (Memphis Grizzlies). Look, I LOVE Nashville, have been there for concerts 5 times this year. Love the food, love the people, love the atmosphere. But I HATE Memphis. First off, it smells like shit around there. The Forum is at the bottom of a hill where all the garbage and shit washes down street and ends up there. I’ve also ever been to 3 places where people died. 2 of which were not NBA arenas, but FedEx form is the only place someone actually died. When you leave  there, it’s annoying as hell. You leave a show at MSG, people leave you alone, and the only people around are street meat vendors. FedEx Forum? You have a shit ton of people trying to sell you Ecstasy, go to some club, or just start yelling at you for no reason. I hate it.

#2: Spectrum Center (Charlotte Hornets). I also love Raleigh, Walnut Creek is one of my favorite venues. But Spectrum Center? F That noise. First off, lets talk about the Parking (looking at you too Cleveland). All of the parking is like a 15 minute walk away, and as you walk, you’re going to be accosted by assholes. The last time I was there for a concert, I had to walk through a bunch assholes having 2nd amendment rallies, and throwing shit at people about Anti-Abortion. It was a goddamn concert, no one gives a shit about that stuff.

#3: Little Caesars Arena (Detroit Pistons). Look, 80% of Detroit is a shit hole. This is without a doubt the most violent place I have been to. On 7 occasions I have seem people jumped outside the area, for basically no reason. I once saw a person beat to shit with a bat because they were wearing a Rapters Jersey about a mile from the arena. In 2019 after an Elton John concert I also watched a dude in a boa get the shit kicked out of him as 3 kids called him a fag and beat his ass.

#4: Fiserv Forum (Milwaulkee Bucks). I once had a rental car stolen from the 5th street garage, so enough said. Also not Fiserv but going to Summerfest a couple years ago to see Mile Cyrus people threw rocks and batteries at us when we were leaving the show.

#5: State Farm Arena (Atlanta Hawks). Not stolen, but I had a rental car broken into TWICE. One at the lot across the street when seeing a hawks/spurs game (2004), and another time at the Olympic lot seeing a Widespread Panic Show (2013). The 2004 once only stole the cassette thing I had that hooked into the CD player. In 2013 they stole nothing, but broke the back seat to get into the trunk to see it was already empty.

So after reading all this shit, I was like, ok, so what are the most dangerous and least dangerous arenas by statistics if you take personal feelings out of the equation.

Yeah, basically where I have experiences.

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Author: guyute