Adventure

Catch An NBA Game For The Ultimate American Travel Experience

Locking in some tickets to an NBA game when you head to the United States is just as important as locking in your airfares to get there. It just wouldn’t be an American holiday if you didn’t watch some live ball in the game’s home country. With 30 teams currently playing in the NBA, you are spoilt for choice on who to see play and where. Having finished up their last season in third place in the Eastern Conference, and laying claim to one of the most exciting Australian sporting exports, the Philadelphia 76ers are on an undeniable high.

There is no better time than now to catch one of their games on their home court at the Wells Fargo Center.

A few facts about the 76ers:

  • Their home ground is in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • The name comes from a pivotal USA event: The signing of the Declaration of Independence in the city in 1776
  • The name was chosen by public vote, and changed from the Syracuse Nationals in 1963
  • The mascot for the 76ers is Franklin the Dog (see below)
  • Aka the Sixers, they’ve won three NBA championships.

These are just a few of the reasons why a Philadelphia 76ers home game is an NBA experience every sport nut needs to have.

You can catch Australia’s first NBA All-Star selection play in the flesh

 

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If there was just one reason (there isn’t, there are plenty) to watch a 76ers home game, it is to catch Ben Simmons on the court. Nothing gets an Australian more excited than watching a fellow Australian absolutely smashing it on the world stage, and a finding yourself in a seat at a 76ers game will soon prove that.

Simmons isn’t the only Aussie playing in the NBA, but he is the one making monster waves in the league. Not only is he the only player in the history of NBA to have started a season with upwards of 170 points, 100 rebounds and 80 assists in his first 10 games, but he was the first Australian to ever play an NBA All Stars game (next to LeBron himself), he has one of the best-selling jerseys in the league at the moment, and he has been referred to as the next LeBron on multiple occasions. If that isn’t some serious hype for the guy, we don’t know what is.

Catching any NBA game while you are in the States is a dream, but watching home grown talent play on his home court is as good as it gets. If your heart is set on the 76ers, you better hope he doesn’t switch to LA’s Lakers – or just catch that other team.

Philadelphia’s 76ers are on a roll

 

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The 76ers made a good showing in the 2018-29 season, reaching the Eastern Conference Semifinals. While they didn’t quite make it to the NBA Finals, they were only a couple of games away! They’ll be a team to watch in the 2019–20 season, which starts in October this year.

The game day food is more than just pizza and hot dogs

 

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In Australia, our sport comes with a side of meat pies and hot dogs, in Philadelphia they get a side of crab fries.

If you don’t like seafood, don’t panic. Crab fries aren’t actually covered in piles of crab meat like you might expect. Instead, the moreish fries get their name from the generous sprinkling of Old Bay seasoning (a mix of celery salt, black pepper, crushed red pepper flakes, and paprika) that they are topped with.

Made famous by the Philadelphian sports bar Chickie’s and Pete’s in 1977, crab fries were born when they needed to find a use for their crab seasoning out of crab season. The seasoned crinkle cut fries and their side of cheesy dipping sauce have been a staple at 76ers games ever since.

If you have a hankering for something true-blue Aussie while you are there, the Simmons fever has hit the Wells Fargo Centre hard, and they are now the only stadium in America that serves Australian meat pies. Yes, the home of the 76ers is one of the very few places in America you can seek out an Aussie meat pie.

The fun doesn’t stop after the final siren

Even when the game is done and dusted, the night’s fun is all but over for 76ers fans.

Xfinity Live! sits smack bang in the middle of the Wells Fargo Centre, Lincoln Financial Field (home to the Philadelphia Eagles) and Citizen’s Bank Park. The central bar and restaurant complex is the perfect meeting point pre or post game, as it houses 8 separate bars and restaurants, as well as a bar space in the middle that is lined with giant screens playing any and every sport imaginable.

Win or lose, heading to the XFinity Live! complex post-game for a few beers, a feed, some more sport and even a ride on the bucking bull is an unofficial tradition of 76ers fans. Instead of dispersing to their separate watering holes for a celebratory or commiseration beer, having the one central spot for the excited crowds to congregate only makes the atmosphere of game night all that more electric.

If sport’s not quite your thing, Philadelphia is also killing it in the arts arena.

(Lead image: Philadelphia 76ers, Game I @ Toronto Raptors, 27 April 19)